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Trends in YA: Circus

There have been a lot of circus themed or books with circus elements to them coming out lately in the YA world. I tend to think this trend has something to do with this little title that was published a couple of years ago:

I think The Night Circus made the circus cool and marketable and put it on everyone's publishing radar. Here are some YA circus themed books:

-A traveling wonder show that travels from circus to circus to attract attendees into their human curiosities show. 

-A girl joins a circus in search of her mother 

-A group of misfits are trapped in a Victorian sideshow

-Features a circus of magic and a character who joins the circus and becomes its rising star.

Have you noticed any other circus themes showing up in books?


  1. If you include side shows in that category, there's Karen Cushman's (middle grade) Will Sparrow's Road... and one of my favorite books ever is Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan!

    1. Jessica-
      I ALMOST put that one! Because as you mentioned, it has side shows in it. :)

  2. I'm listening to The Night Circus on audio book right now. So far so good :)

    1. Jim Dale is such an amazing narrator! I listened to it on audio too but got confused by the time changes, so I stopped. I need to get back to it.

  3. I have The Night Circus and Pantomime on my TBR list, but I'm curious to check out some of these other titles you've listed now as well!

  4. I definitely noticed that the circus has become popular! Water For Elephants is the first one I remember popping up even though that is adult and not YA. I actually didn't care much for The Night Circus, but I REALLY want to read Pantomime and That Time I Joined the Circus. :)

  5. The only one I've read is Pantomime, but that's one of my favourite for years, so I'm definitely feeling good about circus settings! That Time I Joined The Circus looks particularly cool. :)


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Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee