[Book Review] August Acrobat (Calendar Mysteries, #8) by Ron Roy

August is for Acrobat...

This August, something special is coming to Green Lawn--a traveling circus! But when the performers arrive, they need help. Their show is a mess, and Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy are happy to chip in. They fix the equipment and find dazzling new acts, but what the show needs most is an acrobat. No on it town is brave enough to go up on the high trapeze, except for one mysterious masked person. If the kids could find out who it is, this might be the best circus ever--but it seems as if the acrobat doesn't want to be found.

August Acrobat is the first Calendar Mysteries book in a while to come without a holiday theme, but it's an entertaining mystery nonetheless. It visits a setting the Green Lawn universe hasn't experienced yet: a circus. But this one, as the summary says, needs some help... mostly, it needs the help of the mysterious masked person who Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy spot practicing a spectacular trapeze act in secret, or else it'll probably go out of business. Luckily for the circus, Green Lawn is a place where stories get happy endings and the good guys always win.

Like the rest of the Calendar Mysteries books, it's a much safer and more casual mystery than the crime-ridden A to Z Mysteries plots, and it spends a lot of time exploring Green Lawn and the strong "let's all help each other" aspect of the community. I continue to be incredibly charmed by this fictional small town, even if it is a bit saccharine for my usual tastes. The ultimate solution to the plot gets a healthy dose of foreshadowing, and the story itself gets a fittingly optimistic ending. 'Charmed' is definitely the perfect word for how I feel about this series; it's quite simplistic, but the characters and their world is endearing, so I'm completely willing to pardon the lack of elements expected of more mature fiction. It is a series intended for preschoolers and elementary schoolchildren, of course, so I've had no problem suspending my disbelief so far. It's really all just terribly cute.

If you like cute kids and small town charm, I recommend recommend giving the series a peak. Though, of course, I'd suggest you start with January Joker, which, unfortunately, is both the first and the weakest installment, in my opinion. Stick with it. Green Lawn grows on you.

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