Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Bonaventure Adventures

31850667Delaney, Rachelle. The Bonaventure Adventures
May 2nd 2017 by Puffin Books
Copy received from the publisher

Sebastian travels with his family all over Europe with the circus his father runs. Times are tough-- the circus is not getting the audiences it needs to remain solvent, and his father, Dragan, eventually sells all of the animals to a zoo. Seb has no circus abilities, but feels that the circus is outdated. When he finds letter to his father from an Angelique Saint-Germain asking that Seb be sent to her circus school in Montreal, he comes up with a plan. He will attend the school, find out what needs to be done to modernize the family circus, and save the day. His father isn't thrilled with the plan, but he manages to get to the exclusive school. He quickly realizes that Angelique thinks his father will give her decrepit school money to survive, and manages to keep his lack of circus skills a secret by claiming to be a fire breather. He makes friends with Frankie and Banjo, who are also frequently in trouble, and together the misfits find a way to try to save both the Bonaventure School and the Konstantinov Family Circus.
Strengths: This was a realistic view of the problems modern circuses are facing, which was refreshing. The circus and the school were both a little quirky, but in an understandable way. Seb, Banjo and Frankie were sympathetic characters who tried to do what was right, and the problems they were trying to solve were important but within their skill set to solve. The Montreal setting was interesting as well. I'm a sucker for a cover with silhouettes.
Weaknesses: I was vaguely confused about Sebastian's origins and about what language he was speaking. A small quibble.
What I really think: I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would, and it is available through Follett's US web site. Definitely take a look if circus tales are popular in your library.

Occasionally, when I am reading through SLJ for book reviews, I am alarmed by how many books I discard because of ONE SENTENCE in the description. Totally justified, really, in not buying a book that has "wandering rabbit bard" in the description. It's sort of like "Name That Tune"-- what combination of words will make me stop reading. "Rabbit bard" in and of itself stops me in my tracks!

Still over 500 books out. They were due on Tuesday, but I told students if they can get the books back in by first thing Monday morning, that's okay. I'm not so much worried about books due 9 May-- it's the books due back in November that worry me!

Also, spending quality time condensing the nonfiction so that I can have another row of shelving for fiction. That will be fun!
Ms. Yingling


  1. Many years ago, I worked in a high school library, so it was a trip back in time for me to read your note about 500 books overdue! Sadly, that library is no more. The new principal fired the librarian and sold all the books. It's now called something like a "Learning Center" and has tables and outlets so students can use their laptops. Sad.

  2. I honestly live for the blather! Helps me to know what bothers librarians and makes me feel justified in my own bothers. Oh, and the book reviews are great, too.

  3. To paraphrase Gilbert and Sullivan--"A wandering rabbit bard am I, a thing of shreds and patches..."