Short Circus by Stephen V. Masse
Good Harbor Press ISBN 9780615320571
Reviewed by Joaquin Rodriguez (age 9) & Savannah Mae for Say What? Savannah Mae Kids July 2013
4 Stars- Funny book!
Joaquin kept me informed as he read “Short Circus”. At first, Joaquin was not sure that he really wanted to read and then review the book. Since he had made the commitment, he followed through and started the book. He found himself submerged in the book shortly after he got started. His mom states that his initial plan was to read one chapter a night however he managed to read a lot more, at times, unable to put it down.
The story is about Jem and his assignment in school to write an essay about his adventurous summer. Jem assures his teacher that he could write a book. The chapters are filled with boy stuff: bike jumping contests, fistfights, motorbikes, visits to seaside towns for festivals, and swimming in a waterfall. There are pretty graphic scenes when Jem hurts himself and there is mention of blood along with the details of the injuries.
Jem’s mom insists that he needs a “Big Brother” and a big brother is what he gets. Jesse and Jem have an outstanding summer but quickly find that Jesse might have to move away.
Joaquin said that there were some “bad words” in the book. When I inquired about who said what, he mentioned that “s-e-x” was mentioned by Jem’s mother. The conversation was Jem’s mother explaining that as young boys grow up it is normal to experience hormonal changes that might be confusing at times. This is one of those things that no one really wants to talk about. Whether it’s a young person hitting puberty or you, the parent, it is always hard to have that conversation about “the birds and the bees”.
Overall, Joaquin loved this book and even gave it to a friend to read. This read is a certified recommended title by a 9 year old and he is excited to read more work from Stephen in the future!