Middle School / Books Rule!
Recommended books for grades 5-8

WONDER SHOW, by Hannah Barnaby


The story: Portia’s family has disappeared, and the girl has been abandoned at a “Home for Wayward Girls”. It’s run by a creepy man who has…designs…on her best friend Caroline. When Caroline commits suicide rather than marrying Mister, Portia runs away–straight into the Freak Show. But what she finds there defies all expectations: surprisingly, she discovers friends, stories, and maybe even a home.

Mrs. Friend’s opinion: This was a very strange story, and at the same time, quite fascinating. During the Great Depression, families were split apart and often never found each other again; we’re also not used to the idea of a freak show, which showcased “human oddities” like a bearded woman, Siamese twins, and a family of albinos. The story takes place less than a hundred years ago, but it shows us a completely different world than the one we live in now.  You’ll really come to root for Portia as, assisted by her “new” family, she outwits the awful Mr. McGreavy and gets on with her new life.


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