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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids will glimpse the hard work that goes into learning new skills.
Awkwardly told lesson about people not always being what they seem, that appearances can be deceiving.
Positive Role Models
The children are supportive of each other and helpful. Competing for a chance to perform, they wish no one would be eliminated. Adults are not very involved until the resolution of the plot.
Violence & Scariness
Fearing an intruder is in the home, kids set a booby trap. Pen fears she's going to accidentally turn a classmate into a smushed squirrel. A character relates being turned into a tiny creature by a vindictive relative.
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Products & Purchases
A few brand names are briefly mentioned: iPod, Legos, Star Wars, Easter Peeps, and Oreos.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Quirks in Circus Quirkus, the second in the Quirks series, is a slight story: aside from fun characters and silly situations, there isn''t much to recommend it. The children (and sometimes grown-ups) make questionable choices even when they fear for their safety. Adults who should be looking out for the kids don't seem to be paying much attention. Even when kids are chided for poor behavior -- such as sneaking into a house and stealing clothing -- they face no consequences. The characters are entertaining, but the story is loosely strung together and the morals feel forced.
Is It Any Good?
THE QUIRKS IN CIRCUS QUIRKUS -- the second book featuring the magical Quirk family -- is a fast and easy-to-read chapter book. The circus story line is especially appealing to young readers, who will giggle at the silly antics and especially Finn's mischief. They may find it strange that the kids are so reluctant to discuss their very serious concerns about their neighbor with the grown-ups in their family, though, and that the adults are so unconcerned.
Everything turns out well in the end, with the family forging an unlikely friendship with someone who turns out to be far more appealing than they suspected. It's a nice lesson, but parents might wish there was a little more accountability for everyone's actions.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.