When the Circus Came to Town by Polly Horvath

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Synopsis

A hilarious satire on small-town prejudice

It all started with the Halibuts. Then came Elmira Degoochy the snake lady. Then the Flying Gambinis -- all seven of them and their mother. And Mrs. Harrison the fortune-teller, and Mr. Wydel the strongman . . .

These are the new residents of Springfield, the formerly peaceful Midwestern town where up to now young Ivy's life had been pretty uneventful. Ivy becomes fast friends with Alfred Halibut, who is an aspiring writer like herself and the son of a circus publicity manager. She also befriends the other circus people who have moved into town. But many of her neighbors are not feeling kindly about this invasion of strange characters. Tensions somersault into a climactic tangle at the Springfield bake-off. In the midst of hurtling pies, one voice alone can bring peace and tolerance back to the community. When the Circus Came to Town is Polly Horvath's funniest novel to date, packed with vivid exaggeration and slapstick scenarios.
 

About Polly Horvath

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Polly Horvath is the Newbery Honor author of "Everything on a Waffle." She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
 
Published March 1, 1999 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 144 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for When the Circus Came to Town

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For someone who plans to be a writer when she grows up, Ivy has led a pretty solitary life.

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Publishers Weekly

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An influx of circus families into a staid small town is the premise of this ""rollicking ode to silliness,"" said PW;

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Publishers Weekly

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Ivy and her lute-playing mother (in church, she's in a group called Lutes for Lent) occasion cunning parodies of parochial suburban life, and so does the climax, which involves mint cupcakes and rigging a church bake-off.

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