The Quirks in Circus Quirkus: The Quirks, Book 2

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
The Quirks in Circus Quirkus: The Quirks, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Thinly stretched plot takes air out of fun idea.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids will glimpse the hard work that goes into learning new skills.

Positive Messages

Awkwardly told lesson about people not always being what they seem, that appearances can be deceiving.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

 

Language

What 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.

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What's the story?

The Quirks are doing their best to keep a low profile in their new town, Normal. This means hiding their magic: Gran is a fairy, Grandpa manipulates time, mom Bree manipulates minds, young Finn is usually invisible, and Penelope's thoughts become real. Only her twin, Molly, seems to have no magic. They're starting to settle in, and the kids are delighted to be practicing for parts in a real circus visiting town: Molly's learning to walk a tightrope, Finn's juggling, and Penelope's a natural on the trapeze. But their spying neighbor, Mrs. DeVille, suspects there's something odd about the Quirk family. The kids fear her nosiness will run them out of town before they even get to perform.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about privacy: Mrs. DeVille says snooping is OK because neighbors are supposed to keep an eye on each other. Where do you draw the line between public and private?

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  • Why do you think stories about kids with special powers are so popular? 

  • How do handle it when you think someone is being nosy?

Book details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love magic and humor

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