Paranormal and Carnivale Reading Themes

List of Circus, Carnivale, Paranormal Themed Books for All Ages

Myra here.

Our offering for this month’s Carnival of Children’s Literature (thank you to Just Children’s Books for hosting) is a list of Circus, Carnivale, and Paranormal themed books for children and young adults that we have reviewed for our bimonthly theme which ended during the first week of March.

Picture Books

It was great to discover quite a number of picture books that dealt with the paranormal: from banshees, to vampires, to monsters. Click on the thumbnails to be taken to our detailed review of the books.

The Banshee by Eve Bunting and Illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

Dear Vampa by Ross Collins

Gershon’s Monster as retold by Eric A. Kimmel and Illustrated by Jon J Muth

Dracula as adapted by Nicky Raven and Illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert

Cthulhu by Neil Gaiman as inspired by H. P. Lovecraft

We were also glad to (re)discover quite a few picture books that celebrated the strangenesses and beautiful oddities of the carnivale and the circus people as can be seen in the following:

Leon and the Place Between by Angela McAllister and Grahame Baker-Smith

If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss

The Secret Circus by Johanna Wright

Circus Girl by Jack Sendak and Illustrations by Maurice Sendak

Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman and Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Dad Runs Away With the Circus by Etgar Keret and Rutu Modan

Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer

Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer

Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth by Kate Klise & M. Sarah Klise

We even found a few picture book biographies of actual circus people as you can note here:

Stand Straight, Ella Kate: The True Story of a Real Giant by Kate Klise & M. Sarah Klise

Sawdust and Spangles: The Amazing Life of W.C. Coup

Paranormal or Circus-themed Poetry Books 

Circus Carnivore by Mark Svendsen and Illustrated by Ben Redlich

Hist Whist by e.e. cummings with Illustrations by Deborah Kogan Ray

The Monsterologist, a Memoir in Rhyme by Bobbi Katz and Illustrations by Adam McCauley

Circus! Circus! Poems Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by John O’Brien

Middle Grade/ Young Adult Fiction

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow by Katy Towell

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

The Entertainer and the Dybbuk by Sid Fleischman

When the Circus Came to Town by Laurence Yep

Switched by Amanda Hocking

Adult Literature

The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer

Winner of the AWB Reading Challenge for March

Drum roll, please. This month’s winner for the Award-Winning-Books Reading Challenge is Grace from Books without Any Pictures for her review of Isaac Asimov’s Second Foundation. Congratulations, Grace!

Please choose between Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad or China Mieville’s The City & The City. Book prizes are courtesy of Pansing Books. For those who have not yet signed up for the AWB Reading Challenge, do join us!

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

2 comments on “List of Circus, Carnivale, Paranormal Themed Books for All Ages

  1. Pingback: A Touch of Darkness in Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” «

  2. Pingback: The Circus is Where It’s At: Oddballs and Misfits in Henrik Drescher’s Klutz and Maira Kalman’s Roarr Calder’s Circus |

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