The book recreates that excitement of the circus with a fabulous cast of characters. There are touches of David Walliams and Roald Dahl but the style is essentially unique with big doses of humour and wackiness. Although initially Bigger Miss thought the book looked a little boyish, with the main character being a girl, Hannah, she was soon converted. Hannah is gutsy, bright and slightly tomboyish and is very bored (with pretty much everything) until she meets Billy Shank and his camel, Narcissus from the evil Armitage Shanks' Circus where all is definitely not as at seems. The circus is full of brilliant characters like Irrrrrrrena the Russian assistant to Maurice (pronounced Murrggghhhheeece) the French trapeze artist, the ever bickering clown twins Hank and Frank and Jesse the Human Cannonball, who is definitely a bit of a Jesse! In town, Hannah is accompanied by Fizzer the dog and her Granny who we are pretty sure there is more to than meets the eye.
The story is all about what happens when the circus comes to town and Billy reveals Armitage Shanks' evil plans to Hannah. Hannah is determined to stop him but will she be successful? The story follows these two along with a camel, a dog and a cat and the madcap cast of characters. It is a funny and gripping 'rip-roaring' adventure - all helped along by the addition of amusing footnotes which really do add to the book and some great illustrations by David Tazzyman. I would imagine that confident readers from the age of about 7 would enjoy it, although the younger kids may not quite get all the references and jokes and it is definitely one of those that bridges the gap between boys and girls fiction - appealing to both. There are still questions left at the end of the book and it seems there is to be another book - certainly Bigger Miss and I both hope there is! I am not going to delve deeper into the story as that might just give the game away - however there is a spoiler alert in Bigger Miss's book review below so if you don't want to know what happens don't read her review just yet... (all you need to know is she gave it 10/10 - pretty high praise from a 9 year old!)
|Bigger Miss's review|
You want to read it now don't you? Well I just happen to have two copies from the lovely people at Simon and Schuster, to give away to a couple of you lucky people so if you think you or yours (it's a good book for adults too) would like to get your sticky mitts on a copy then all you have to do is complete the rafflecopter below. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book for an honest review and I am not being paid to host this competition.