What are my kids and I reading this November, 2022?

THE GIRL WHO WALKED ON AIR by Emma Carroll was a whirlwind of an adventure. I simply loved every page! Both my middle son Calum, and I devoured this book. It is beautifully written, emotive, lyrical and captivating. Carroll writes with the same magic in her pen as Rundell and Ibbotson. I can’t recommend this book enough!

The story focuses on Louie, a young, girl who dreams of becoming a showstopper in Mr Chipchases’ Travelling Circus as a famous tightrope walker. Her passion ignited and her talent clear, Louie starts out full of frustration as Mr Chipchase only ever lets her sell tickets. Our curiosity peeks as Carroll hints that the circus ring master makes Louie wear disguises and hide her hair when in public and our investment in Louie grows increasingly strong. There is another story lurking in the shadows of the circus…

Louie is passionate, strong willed and easily lovable. We feel her pain when she is hidden away and her talents are not allowed to shine through. We feel her anguish over never knowing her mum and having that guiding light in her life. We feel it too when a terrible accident occurs one night and Louie’s mentor and chief supporter becomes bedridden. 

At first, all hope seems lost, until the rival circus, Mr Wellbeloved, comes to town and promises Louis the world. As the heady heights of America beckon and the potential thrill of crossing Niagra Falls like her great hero Blondin, Louie gets caught up in a world where nothing is quite as it seems. 

Her bravery is tested over and over as Louie navigates the high-wire and sinister world of Wellbeloveds. We are constantly on tender hooks wondering what will become of her, the circus, will she ever discover where her mother is and will her dreams ever come true.

I loved the relationships developed so deeply throughout the book between the characters. Each one with sensitivity, care and depth. Particularly that of Louis and the young star Gabriel, which starts as rivalry and develops into a deep respect and fierce friendship.

Set in the chilling and thrilling Victorian circus, Carrolls book is filled with drama, excitement and tension. This book is perfect for all boys and girls, aged 8-11. It has the feel of a classic about it and you simply must read it!

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