I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Midnight Circus by Jane Yolen, Theodora Goss
Published by Tachyon Publications on October 1, 2020
Genres: YA Fantasy, YA Fairy Tale, YA Retelling
Source: the publisher
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“Jane Yolen is the Hans Christian Andersen of America” –Newsweek
Welcome to the Midnight Circus – and watch your step. The dark imaginings of fantasy icon Jane Yolen are not for the faint of heart. In these sixteen brilliantly unnerving tales and poems, Central Park becomes a carnival where you can – but probably shouldn’t – transform into a wild beast. The Red Sea will be deadly to cross due to a plague of voracious angels. Meanwhile, the South Pole is no place for even a good man, regardless of whether he is living or dead.
Wicked, solemn, and chilling, the circus is ready for your visit – just don’t arrive late.
Other short story collections by Jane Yolen in this series
The Emerald Circus (9781616962739): 2018 World Fantasy Award winner
How to Fracture a Fairy Tale (978-1-61696-306-4): 2019 Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award
So even though I know how prolific Jane Yolen is, I’ve only read two of her books before now, one that I didn’t care for, Armageddon Summer, and one that really was so good, The Devil’s Arithmetic. And I’m sure I’ve paged through some of the children’s books she’s written, especially some of them that the title begins with: How Do Dinosaurs…. So my expectations of this were few, I just wanted to see how it would be. In the past I’ve always enjoyed fairy tale retellings, and I do love circus stories.
On that note, honestly, there weren’t that many stories that related to the circus truly in the book. But that’s okay, because there were a lot of really good short stories and fairy tales. Some that definitely had basis on ones I was familiar with, and others that were new and intriguing. I read all of the stories except one towards the end. And I feel like it started out and I just thought I’d already read so many similar to it in the book that I was going to skip it, and I did, and was immediately drawn in to the next one.
Overall a great short story collection, I could see for upper middle grades for sure, possibly into the lower grades at high school level.