Fagan, D. (2011). Circus Galacticus. Boston: Harcourt. ISBN: 9780547581361
Annotation: Trix sort-of-accidentally runs away with the circus when her school takes a field trip. Along the way she discovers that the universe is a much bigger place than she ever realized, and the meteor her parents gave her to protect is something much more special.
Reaction: This book is great fun; I love a good novel about the circus! And adding in SPACE only makes it better. Trix’s adventures with the Circus Galacticus are all about finding one’s place in the world and making friends. She is an angry teen, but her angst is totally relatable for anyone who ever felt left out or picked on, and she starts to mellow out as she finds Her People. She doesn’t take crap from anyone, but she also learns about accepting responsibility for her actions and grows into a more mature teen along her journey.
My regular library has it shelved in the children’s area, though it is more appropriate for the teen section, being about a 16 or 17 year old high school girl. There’s nothing in this that would be inappropriate for middle school readers, and it would probably appeal to a pretty wide range of ages.