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Author: Erin Morgenstern

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Publisher: Doubleday Books, 2011

Material: hard cover

Summary: The Night Circus is set in Victorian London of the 1800s. It is the story of Le Cirque des RÍves, or the Circus of Dreams. The circus runs only from sunset to sunrise, has no actual schedule, and gives little notice about what its next destination might be. From its gardens of ice and complex cloudy mazes to shows from unbelievable tricks of contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is filled with many wonders. Although the actual magic is disguised and revealed to only be tricks (a slight of hand or such), it has a very real purpose. Celia and Marco, who have worked in the circus their entire lives, and are being trained as magicians, are about to learn first-hand just how real it is that their lives are bound to the circus and that magic is not just a game. The story reads much like a fairy tale but with the mystery and intensity of books like The Hunger Games.

Type of Reading: anytime reading, independent reading,

Recommended Age: read together: 12 and Up; read yourself: 12 and Up

Interest Level: 12 and Up

Reading Level: 6.5

Age of Child: There's more to our review. Visit The Reading Tub®. While you’re there, add a link to your review of the book.

Young Reader Reaction: The Night Circus is a truly whimsical book with an incredible magical feeling. After I had finished, I still wanted more. At the same time, I couldn't envision a better ending. Morgenstern’s writing is superb and you feel as though you are witnessing the events from the "front row." Immersed in so many beautiful intricate details about the setting, you only need to keep up with what is happening. Because each chapter is from a different time about a different character, you get many perspectives as the story devlops. The chapters don't make the plot confusing. Instead, they make it even more enthralling. This is the book to read if you wan to give the fantasy genre a try! I've never read a book like this one, and it is one I will remember - and recommend - for a long time. I highly recommend giving The Night Circus a chance. I think you'll find a whole new vivid world, just waiting to be discovered.

Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Pros: Magic draws readers in and then pushes their imagination to new places on a wonderous, fantastical journey.

Cons: The story deals with some adult themes and morally gray characters, but contains nothing graphic. It is suitable for young adult readers.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. When you finish reading it the first time, you'll want to read it again.


Educational Themes: This is a book to be enjoyed for the fun of reading.

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from their local library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - young adult, fantasy, magic, romance

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2017

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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