Want personalized picks that fit your family?
Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.
The Palace of Laughter: The Wednesday Tales #1
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that if your kids are already afraid of clowns, this book isn't going to help. There is a very creepy circus, complete with odd clowns. Other scary situations include kidnapping, hypnotism, and addiction to a mysterious substance. Parents will love the story's emphasis on friendship, loyalty, and family, but there are also plenty of mischievous adults whose actions put children in danger.
What's the story?
Miles Wednesday was the only person to witness the odd Circus Obscuro roll into town in the dead of night. With the circus comes an adventure Miles never could have imagined. An adventure with a tiger, angels, a yeti, and scary clowns, among other curios. Miles experiences plenty of close shaves as he tries desperately to reach the Palace of Laughter and save two friends from a terrible fate. Will he make it in time?
Is it any good?
Jon Berkeley's THE PALACE OF LAUGHTER is a wonderful fantasy adventure. The story motors along at a pretty good pace and throws in enough fright and wild situations to keep even the most reluctant reader interested.
Clocking in at almost 500 pages this novel's a long one for middle graders, but Miles Wednesday's adventures are so out there that readers will quickly forget about the length and settle in for a good ride. A weird circus, creepy clowns, and a Palace of Laughter everyone is afraid to visit would be enough for most fantasies. Berkeley goes one step further and adds in a couple of lost angels and a yeti. Chock full of nuttiness and a hilarious ending, kids seeking to movie on beyond Harry Potter have found a good candidate in this series.