||written by Candace Fleming
Curriculum Guide available
Jumbo elephants, skeleton collections, and mermaids!
Come one, come all to this larger-than-life biography of P. T. Barnum, showman and founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Visit Barnum’s American Museum, established in only four weeks! Meet Madame Joseph Cloffulia, the Swiss bearded lady. Get to know Tom Thumb, a miniature man (only thirty-nine inches tall), and his even tinier bride (thirty-two inches). Listen to the smack! smack! smack! as circus tent poles are pounded into the ground. Watch, captivated, as the circus parade goes by, elephants tail to trunk, costumed performers waving, lions yawning. Then, under the big top, as Barnum steps into the spotlight, cast your eyes on the center ring and prepare to be amazed.
Candace Fleming, award-winning author of The Lincolns, Our Eleanor, and Ben Franklin’s Almanac, perfectly captures the spirit of an era, the spirit of the circus, and the spirit of P. T. Barnum himself. Drawing on old circus posters, photographs, etchings, ticket stubs, playbills—and with type and decorative elements throughout inspired by nineteenth-century designs—this book presents history as it’s never been experienced before—a stupendous, tremendous, show-stopping event!
Awards and Honors
ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2010
ALSC Notable Book 2010
Booklist Top Ten Biographies for Youth 2010
Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book 2009
New York Public Library 100 Books For Reading and Sharing Title
Publishers Weekly Best Book 2009
VOYA "Perfect Ten"
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults 2010 (nominee)