Posted in Children's Nonfiction

The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum, by Candace Fleming

6425996The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum
Candace Fleming
2009 by Schwartz & Wade
ISBN – 9780375841972
Genre – Nonfiction
Age – Middle School
3.7 Stars

From working at a grocery store to running the most famous circus in the world, this book describes the life and the making of a legend, P.T. Barnum. We learn not only about the business aspects of Mr. Barnum, but the good, the bad, and the ugly of his personal life as well. Fleming does a good job of noting all that made Barnum such a well known man, but she also took care to talk about those aspects that humanized him. He battled with his own vices, and had to work hard to make his family happy, just like the rest of us, but not all of us have the ability to build opulent homes, with elephants in our gardens. Not all of us can buy all the entertainment in the world, but we can all read about someone who did. The evolution of his growing business is as fascinating as his growing notoriety, and those who performed with him. The pictures were a great way to really visualize the over the top world that Barnum created and lived in. I felt like the story was a bit choppy at times, and it read in a way that did not leave me hooked, but all in all it was an interesting read.

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