Laurel Leaf Library, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780440416685, 352pp.
Publication Date: March 12, 2002
Full of colorful performers, the circus seems like the answer to Harold's loneliness. He's eager to meet the Cannibal King, a sideshow attraction who's an albino, too. He's touched that Princess Minikin and the Fossil Man, two other sideshow curiosities, embrace him like a son. He's in love with Flip, the pretty and beguiling horse trainer, and awed by the all-knowing Gypsy Magda. Most of all, Harold is proud of training the elephants, and of earning respect and a sense of normalcy. Even at the circus, though, two groups exist the freaks, and everyone else. Harold straddles both groups. But fitting in comes at a price, and Harold must recognize the truth beneath what seems apparent before he can find a place to call home.
“This touching novel, [set a few years after World War II], will speak especially to readers who consider themselves different, flawed, or misunderstood.”
—School Library Journal, Starred