Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Floating Circus

Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn. 2008. The Floating Circus.

"I shoulda listened to my brother. Right follows Zach like a shadow, but wrong wears me like a skin."

Owen and Zach, two brothers, two orphans from Pittsburgh. When we first meet Owen, he is getting ready to fall into some trouble. Dared to climb a tree to see if he could touch the roof of the orphanage, his attempt is brave but extremely foolish. Now he has lost the use of his left arm. When he overhears two elderly ladies--Miss Jane and Miss Eliza--talking about how no one would want to adopt the pair of them--Owen being both a troublemaker and a somewhat crippled one at that--but how Zach could easily find a home, find a family, if he was alone, if he didn't have his brother around, Owen decides to runaway. If his brother would be better off without him, then maybe it's time that he showed just how much he loved his brother by doing what would be best for him in the long run.

Owen mostly by accident joins a circus boat, the River Palace. He's an assistant to a free black man, Solomon, he helps him take care of the animals on board. It includes a lot of CLEANING as I'm sure you can imagine. Solomon is kind and friendly. Owen and Solomon become easy friends and companions. Most of the others ignore him at least in the beginning.

I don't want to say too much. I hate reading things that spoil the plot even a little bit. But this one is good, really good. If you like historical fiction at really should give this one a try. It was inspired by a real showboat, Rogers and Spalding's Floating Palace.

According to the author's website, the book will be released July 22, 2008.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Texas Parlor said...

Becky, My feed for "texas literature" caught you today. Your on-going work is admirable. If you're still in Texas, you probably realize that there isn't a blogger regularly treating children and YA books about Texas, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, etc. There are several titles dozen a year, and a small number of prizes of youth Texana. The TLA awards (Bluebonnet etc.) are for books in general not for Texana. Would you care to become that "special blogger" for children's and YA Texana?
See my blogs at
PS Last December I compiled a list of 150 children's picture books of Texana published over the last 10 years. Care for a copy?
Will, retired Texana librarian

Carrie said...

The title of this one caught my eye. Sounds like a fun read and I'll look forward to it's release. Thanks for putting me on notice!