Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sawdust in His Shoes by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Joe has grown up in the circus.  He's a bareback rider who lives to perform.  He knows he's good, and he's hoping he can become a star attraction.  When he rides out hearing the crowd cheering for him, he's on a high.  He knows good things are coming.  Then he hears the big cat's growling...

Edelweiss and Plough Publishing House let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 1st.

His father is big cat trainer and he's also the victim of a big cat attack.  All of sudden, Joe is all alone in the world except for his friend, Max, who is a clown.  Max tries to get guardianship for him but he ends up in a home for orphaned children.  He doesn't stay there.  But while he runs and heads for Portland, where the circus is currently performing, he jumps over a fence and gets his leg caught in barbed wire.

A family helps him with his leg and asks him to stay.  They know he carries secrets but they also want to trust him.  He's not prepared to trust them.  They aren't circus people and they just don't understand.  But he stays for the time being.

What he finds is that everyone can be nice and loving, as well as mean.  He works on the farm, is given a horse, and still longs for the circus, but it's not on his mind as much.  Then he has an opportunity to join the biggest circus around.  Does he want to leave the family he's grown to love?  Who will help them if he goes?

As a child, I thought it would be cool to belong to circus and travel the land making friends along the way.  Reading this story I found that most circus people don't trust the civilians.  That's OK, the civilians don't trust them either.  Joe matures in this story and it works out well.  It was an enjoyable story.

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