Carnival Magic-But is the Plot as Captivating as the Title?


In Carnival Magic, by Amy Ephron, Tess and Max are going on a vacation (finally) to Devon-by-the-sea. They were going to visit their Aunt Evie.

Before they got to Aunt Evie’s cottage, the one she was renting, they stopped to get tickets beforehand to the zoo. The gatekeeper let Tess have a little sneak peek at the zoo. She wanted to see the giraffes, but she ended up seeing the baby tigers instead. One of the baby tigers had a pin stuck in it’s paw, and Tess carefully pulled it out. She pocketed it, little knowing that it had a big play in the story ahead.

The next morning, Aunt Evie decided to take Max and Tess grocery shopping. On their way back from the market, they passed a carnival starting to set up. After previewing it, Aunt Evie said that they could go tomorrow.

After a bit of quarrel, Aunt Evie announced that she would be going to the antique show while Max and Tess went to the carnival.

At the carnival, Tess and Max go on a ferris wheel. Suddenly, in the ferris wheel car in front of them, a boy fell out! Tess bravely crawled across the beam separating the cars and saved the little boy, making it safely back.

Once harmlessly on the ground, Max and Tess went into a psychic wagon to be hypnotized. When Tess get hypnotized, the wagon seems to fly away!

After rushing out of the wagon to find themselves somewhere else, Max and Tess panic. Then, the two Baranova twins, Tatiana and Alexei give Tess an aerial ballet lesson.

Lorenzo, the owner of the carnival liked Tess’s work, hiring her for the carnival. Tess had no say in this, and it was from this moment forward, Max and Tess knew they had to get out of there.

This story has a plot with ups and downs, but it is un-interesting to readers that like detailed descriptions of the setting. It is often hard to tell what the characters look like. I would recommend this book for 5-10 as it is not a very eventful book, good for younger readers.

Carnival Magic also had many sentences that started with “also” or “and”. It is not grammatically correct to do that, and it bugged me a lot.

Overall, I would give this book a 3.5 star rating.