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Son of the Circus - A Victorian Story

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Voices: Son of the Circus - A Victorian Story explores the life of a young mixed-race boy, Ted, living with his mother and poorly older brother in Victorian Bradfield.
When a stranger, a man the boys don't remember ever seeing before, appears in their kitchen, Ted is hit with a shocking revelation. This man is his father - the first black circus owner in Victorian Britain,
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Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 5th 2019 by Scholastic (first published September 2019)
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Tony Ryan
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this book in anticipation of using it with my Year six (key stage 2) primary class. I didn’t like it at first, as the language felt a little anachronistic. However, by the halfway point I’d started to empathise with some of the characters and could see that it would definitely be enjoyable to youngsters. It also seemed to end a little abruptly, with plenty of scope for further storytelling. Nevertheless, as a discussion for my class in both reading and history, it will definitely serve as ...more
JD
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This part of a series of books and I found this one fun, refreshing, and informative. I think middle grade readers will find a friend in the main character, Ted. And what young reader hasn’t dreamed at least once about going off to join the circus. Now this story is set in the late 1800’s in England which for me made it even more interesting since the time period made it feel like visiting another world. To take financial pressure off his mum, Ted is whisked away to the circus by his father, Pab ...more
Christina Reid
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really like this series of 'Voices' looking at lesser-known narratives from history. They are written in an accessible and inviting way and shine a light on viewpoints that are not always widely covered. This story follows a young mixed-race boy whose father runs a circus and whose mother has given up her life on the road to raise her two sons, but still faces discrimination because she is married to a black man.
Ted is a realistic, though at times rather annoying protagonist and I enjoyed seei
...more
Alysa
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and the insight into voices that have been so underrepresented in literature. Ted is a mixed-race boy living with his mother and older brother when their long-absent father arrives one day to take Ted off to join the circus. Terrified of horses and confused by the appearance of a father he's never known Ted is faced with adjusting to a new life, and a new way of thinking about himself.
I was so happy to read a story centering voices and lives we have, until now, read so little a
...more
Jenny Cooper
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
This is a children's book but, as an adult I very much enjoyed it. Pablo Fanque was a real-life circus owner and performer in the 19th Century. He was unusual in that he was a person of colour and this novel combines fact with fiction as it weaves a story around the known facts. It would seem that the idea of running away to join a circus, which most of us fantasised about in our youth, does not lose its magic as we grow older! ...more
Paula Hale
Mar 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book in the Voices Series. This will go straight into my classroom for children to choose.
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