"Ephraim heard the music. Not classical music, not choir music, not even the dire wails of a hurdy-gurdy. The music that calls a person to magic is always the same. Pipes and drums." If that is true, then there must have been pipes and drums playing while I was reading Circus Mirandus, because it is a magical story.
Micah lives with his Grandfather Ephraim quite happily until his grandfather gets sick and Great-Aunt Gertie comes to help out. She doesn't seem to like her brother or her great-nephew, and Micah certainly doesn't enjoy having her around. What he does enjoy are Ephraim's stories of the circus he found when he was a boy, the Circus Mirandus. He tells Micah that the Man Who Bends Light (one of the performers in the circus), promised him a miracle and he is now asking for it. And Micah is determined to do whatever it takes to get his grandfather that miracle.
The story is so sad at times, with the worry that Ephraim is slipping away. But there are also very funny parts. For instance, while waiting for the messenger to return from the circus, Micah makes Aunt Gertie so angry that she locks him out of the house. He and his friend Jenny spend the night in the tree house and Jenny is awakened by a parrot landing on her. "The sight before him was bizarre. Jenny and the sleeping bag looked as if they'd had a fight to the death, and the bag had almost won."
I laughed, I cried, I wanted so badly to smack Aunt Gertie. This is one of those books that captivates you and has you living the story, feeling everything that happens just as surely as if you were in one of the Lightbender's shows. You don't want to miss it. Follow the music; it will show you the way. "You never need an invitation to go home."
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.