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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Young Jake has no known relatives and he is heartbroken at the death of his grandmother in Glass Dreams by Helen Laycock. Jake knows it is time for him to grow up. Grandma leaves a box for him without telling him where the key is. He is taken by Social Services and put in a Care Facility, but Jake is too smart to live there for a long time. As he runs away, he meets Khala, a young circus performer who invites Jake to join the circus. She wants him to help her deal with the evil ringmaster there who has spoiled the ambiance inside the circus. Jake’s mysterious box, Khala’s secrets, and the deceit around them take young readers on a trip of suspense, intrigue, action, adventure, and wit.
I like the portrayal of Jake and Khala and their intertwining destinies that make them uncover the deceit hidden inside Fantazi’s Circus. There is an element of whimsy with the inclusion of magic crystal balls, a traveling circus, the ringmaster, and the other interesting characters and paraphernalia a circus usually offers. The story is fast paced and exciting, and all the action and adventure that happens in the lives of Khala and Jake will leave young readers curious and glued to the book till the very end. The story is scary at times and has wit and kindness running through it. The author’s imagination and creativity when it comes to writing for children is evident in this book and her other titles.