Circus Booklist - Fiction
Books about the circus and circus life, carnivals & freak shows. All genres are included as well as a titles for adults and teens(YA).Annotations are from Advance, the Ingram Book Magazine, unless noted.
- Secret Heart (YA)
Author: Almond, David
Publisher: Delacorte $ 15.95 ISBN: 0385729472 Date: 2002
The transformative power of imagination and beauty flows through this story of a boy who walks where others wouldn't dare to go, a boy with the heart of a tiger, an unlikely hero who knows that sometimes the most important things are the most mysterious.
Author: Chalfoun, Michelle
Publisher: HarperCollins $ 22 ISBN: 0060172975 Date: 1996
A strikingly original first novel about a female circus roustabout and her shadowy existence behind the bright lights of the big top, Roustabout marks a debut of uncommon impact that readers will not soon forget.
- Silence is Golden: A Hilda Johansson Mystery
Author: Dams, Jeanne M.
Publisher: Walker $ 23.95 ISBN: 0802733735 Date: 2002
Hilda Johansson, the sleuth/maid in Dams' turn-of-the-century novels, is a perfect observer and commentator in this latest installment. All is not what it seems in the Studebaker household, as the rich keep secrets, and the poor suffer for them.
- Wonder When You'll Miss Me
Author: Davis, Amanda
Publisher: Morrow $ 24.95 ISBN: 0688167810 Date: 2003
After being attacked at a Homecoming game, 16-year-old Faith Duckle attempted suicide and was briefly hospitalized, losing 58 pounds in the process. She is haunted by "the Fat Girl, " a hideously distorted version of her former self whom only Faith can see, and seeks a new identity and a new home with a traveling circus.
- Circus in Winter
Author: Day, Cathy
Publisher: Harcourt $ 23 ISBN: 015101048x
Kirkus LJ PW
From 1884 to 1939, the Great Porter Circus made the unlikely choice to winter in an Indiana town called Lima. Day follows a colorful cast of circus people into their everyday lives and brings the greatest show on earth to the page.
Suggested Reading: All Stars
- Geek Love
Author: Dunn, Katherine
Publisher: Knopf $ 25 ISBN: 0394569024 Date: 1989
At once a highly regarded novel and an enduring cult classic, Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carnival family of human oddities. As Dunn charts their journey across the U.S. backwaters, their Machiavellian rivalries, and their galvanic effect on gawking crowds, she takes on everything from definitions of beauty to organized religion to family values.
- Dixiana Moon
Author: Fox, William Price
Dixiana Moon is the picaresque account of a young, irrepressible New York salesman, Joe Mahaffey, who flees his business problems by joining forces with fast-talking southern con man Buck Brody in his latest scheme: the Jubilee Crusade and Famous Life of Christ Show, a combination gospel freak show and traveling circus.
Author: Galloway, Steven
Publisher: Carroll & Graf $ 23 ISBN: 0786712082 Date: 2003
A gripping novel that details the perils of Gypsy life, the enchantment of the circus, and the death-defying feats of a high-wire artist.
Final Confession of Mabel Stark
Author: Hough, Robert
Publisher: Atlantic $ 24 ISBN: 0871138700 Date: 2003
This finalist for the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book in Canada tells the fascinating story of the greatest female tiger trainer in history--and her one true love--spanning from golden age of the circus in the early 20th century to the 1960s.
- Ghost Boy (YA)
Author: Lawrence, Iain
Publisher: Bantam $ 15.95 ISBN: 0385327390 Date: 2000
Harold Kline is an albino -- an outcast. Folks stare and taunt, calling him Ghost Boy. It's been that way all of his 14 years. So when the circus comes to town, Harold runs off to join it.
- Slow Dollar
Author: Maron, Margaret
Publisher: Warner $ 23.95 ISBN: 0892967641 Date: 2002
For Judge Knott, the case before her seems to be an ordinary misdemeanor--except that the personal property that's been destroyed is an inflatable carnival ride. When the carnival comes to her own town a few weeks later, Deborah soon discovers there's nothing ordinary about this rag-tag collection of rides and games.
- The Blue Moon
Author: Raleigh, Michael
Publisher: Sourcebooks $ 22 ISBN: 1402200153 Date: 2003
The coming-of-age story of an aging renegade and the boy who finds a home under the big top. Evoking the historical intrigue of Carter Beats the Devil and the ragtag characters of O Brother Where Art Thou?, author Michael Raleigh leads an oddball circus ensemble across the recently tamed, dust-blown American West. - Publisher marketing
- The Aerialist
Author: Schmitt, Richard
Publisher: Overlook $ 26.95 ISBN: 1585670707
PW Kirkus Booklist
This latest title in the Sewanee Writers's Series is a gritty debut novel in the tradition of Tom McGuane and Pete Dexter that chronicles a young man's retreat into the darkly glamorous world of the circus.
Suggested Reading: All Stars
- Masters of Illusion
Author: Smith, Mary-Ann Tirone
Publisher: Aspect $ 28 ISBN: 0446518069 Date: 1994
The author of Lament for a Silver-Eyed Woman now presents a beautifully crafted novel that goes beyond the actual events of a terrible fire to tell a story that is part suspense, part obsession and, as it unravels the emotional and physical scars of the past, part remarkable testament to life and love.
- Our Lady
of the Circus
Author: Toscana, David
Publisher: St Martins $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312271166 Date: 2001
The latest offering by acclaimed Mexican writer David Toscana is a whimsical and dark tale about a group of circus performers who, disillusioned with their lives as traveling entertainers, are seduced by the idea of settling down and living like ordinary people. - Publisher Marketing.
- The Disapparation of James
Author: Ursu, Anne
Publisher: Hyperion $ 23.95 ISBN: 0786867795 Date: 2003
From the highly praised author of Spilling Clarence comes a luminous novel about the joy of family and the perils of loving. The Woodrow family begins to fall apart when five-year-old James climbs onto the stage at a circus and joins the magic act. The trouble is, James really "did" disappear--vanishing before their very eyes.
Dinosaur Summer by
Dogwalker by Arthur Bradford
The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Stranger at Wildings by Madeline Brent
The Way to Bright Star by Dee Brown
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
The Whip by Catherine Cookson
Last Act in Palmyra by Lindsey Davis
The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich
Insect Dreams by Marc Estrin
The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles Finney
Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus by Harry Harrison
A Son of the Circus by John Irving
Spangle by Gary Jennings
Catch a Falling Clown by Stuart M. Kaminsky
A Fine Red Rain by Stuart M. Kaminsky
Freezer Burn by Joe R. Lansdale
There Was a Little Girl by Ed McBain
The Burning by Frank Norwood
Exile by Padraic O'Conaire
The Aerialist by Richard Schmitt
Tatoo Girl by Brooke Stevens
Our Lady of the Circus by David Toscana
Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW.