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The Harmony of Fantasy and Reality

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In Cassie Beasley’s Circus Mirandus, Micah searches for the Light Bender. Since Micah was little his grandfather has told him stories of this fantastic man. The Light Bender owes Micah’s grandfather a miracle. Maybe that miracle can save Micah’s dying grandfather. So, Micah searches for his magical circus; a miracle. He journeys to the Circus Mirandus with the help of a new friend. There he learns more about his grandfather, his own power, and to let go if he has to.  

The term fantasy is often associated with an escape. But it can also secure us in our reality.  This is apparent in Circus Mirandus and stated on the inner cover of Claire Legrand’s Some Kind of Happiness:

“But as the mysteries pile up, and Finley’s reality and fantasy start to collide, she realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself. “

I almost put Some Kind of Happiness back on the bookshelf. That would’ve been a mistake. I wanted an adventure, something fun for vacation. It was, but it also promised to deal with depression and family problems. I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for something so heavy. But Legrand adds a light touch, even when taking the reader to the darkest part of the Everwood. Besides, I read the first line and refused to put it down.

“Once there was a Great, sprawling forest called the Everwood. Magic lived there, and it lit up every tree and flower with impossible beauty. “

Those first lines are so important. And these resonated deeply with me. I’d been the girl standing beside the woods dreaming up a fantasy world. One in which I’d often drag my cousins into. I didn’t deal with the same heartbreak that Finley did in the story, but after reading it, I felt as though I could. Everwood brought Finley closer to her cousins and in turn closer to the family she just met at age 11. She made friends with outsiders and brought down barriers built high before her time. She learned the heaviness of secrets. By searching for magic, she found possibility, resilience, and learned to not keep her pain hidden. I loved this book.

In Claire Legrand’s Some Kind of Happiness, Finley creates magic in a world full of secrets and heartbreak. In Circus Mirandus, Micah seeks it and it becomes his reality. In both, I found myself strengthened by story. And that’s what’s write about story. So get writing!

 

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