Today’s Book Spotlight is on Wonder Show by: Hannah Barnaby.
Portia has always loved stories. She learned them from her troupe of gypsy relatives that lived outside of her window at night when she was very young, and she’d tell those stories to her father Max to pass the time. Things were perfect then and she was happy. But then the stock market crashed, the land dried up, the gypsies left, and she and Max were left without stories. And then one day Max left to join the circus, leaving her in the care of her Aunt Sophia who had no time for Portia or her tales.
Aunt Sophia left too. Or rather, she left Portia in the care of Mister and his Home for Wayward Girls. She stayed there for years, wondering if she’d ever get out and be able to find her stories again. And her opportunity came when the circus rolled into town.
The Wonder Show was full of opportunity, full of strange people with strange talents that Portia could very easily lose herself in. And she found that her talent for stories was welcome. In the dead of night, she ran away from Mister and the home to join up with the circus. It’s hard, trying to fit in in a place where being normal wasn’t exactly normal. But Portia knows that this is her one opportunity to escape the hard life she experienced at the Home for Wayward Girls and to maybe find her father among the marvels and freaks of the circus.
This book is a work of historical fiction. The plot isn’t true, but many of the circus and sideshow performers were based on people who actually existed and worked in the circus during the late 1920s and early 1930s. The cast of characters is colorful and diverse and the plot is alternately bleak, hopeful, frightening, and triumphant. If you’d like to reserve a copy of this book, please fill out or book request form. Tell us what you think of this book in the comments!