Daily Archives: September 27, 2009

Candace Fleming’s The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum


Candace Fleming does it again!  She brings yet another larger-than-live individual from America;  this one is a wild ride of a biography of the Barnum that many young readers may well recognize from the circus that still has his name.  Filled with great stories, amazing primary sources, this is one terrific book.   Now rather than going on, I’m going to turn you over to one of my fourth grade students.  While I can’t identify her, I can tell you that she is an avid reader of history and nonfiction and read this book with great enthusiasm.  (We both marveled at Fleming’s vivid description of Barnum’s Museum and I then showed her this very cool site about it.)  Here’s her review:

The Great and Only Barnum is a wonderful book of P.T. Barnum. P.T. Barnum was an amazing showman like Candace Fleming wrote in her book. Fleming gave Barnum and his family a great part in her story. As I read the part of the Barnum’s American Museum, his exhibits came to life. They moved and ran in my head. I was amazed. His tours with famous people came to an end and Barnum started a circus. Barnum & Bailey was an amazing circus. Not amazing, it was brilliant. You can still watch Barnum & Bailey’s Circus. Its name was changed after P. T. Barnum had died. Now, it is named The Ringling Bros (The Greatest Show on Earth.) Its acts are all the same from the time P.T. Barnum and James Bailey had made the amazing show. P.T. Barnum’s life is all in this very amazing book by Candace Fleming.


Filed under History