Apr 6, 2010

Tween Tuesday: The Palace of Laughter

Talk about flying under the radar, this book by Jon Berkeley is one few people know about. When I first saw this book at Borders what caught my eye was the seal on the front that said "Julie Andrews Collection." I had no idea there was such a thing. But, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews was one of those books that I loved when my fourth grade teacher read it to my class--so I figured Julie must have good taste.
Not being one to jump into a hard cover commitment I found it at my public library and promptly checked it out.

From the publisher:

"Miles Wednesday, orphaned, unwashed and living in a barrel, has never been to a circus before—but then the Circus Oscuro is no ordinary circus. There's a strange beast called The Null and an array of sinister-looking clowns, and when an unusual little girl with wings falls from a tower during the performance, Miles's life is changed forever. As Miles and Little embark on an extraordinary journey to rescue two friends who have been captured at the Palace of Laughter, they discover nothing less than the power of friendship and the gift of family."

I loved it. LOVED it! Every word. The author is great at descriptive writing and he creates some very memorable characters. One of my favorite parts is the way the author introduces Miles at the start of every chapter. He always uses two descriptive words (sometimes made up) to tell us how Miles is doing. For example, "Miles Wednesday, soup-filled and fire-warmed." For some reason it was comforting to me that each chapter started the same way. I ripped through this book, then checked out the sequel, The Tiger's Egg. I have also bought copies of both and the third one, The Lightning Key for myself and my library. They have been a big hit with the kid's who I have talked into reading them.

For fans of fantasy, these are a good bet!


  1. It has a great title-I will try to find it at my library as well. Thanks for such an joyful review!

  2. So glad to hear this is a good one! I bought the first one (this one) for my classroom library, but I haven't gotten around to reading it myself yet. I'll be able to book talk this one better now! :)

  3. Thanks a lot, Jana. Just what I need - another book on my list! How do you find the time to read so much???? J-E-A-L-O-U-S! :-)

  4. I don't sleep enough! And I am not a great housekeeper.

  5. This sounds like so much fun-I'll have to check it out!