Betti on the High Wire by Lisa Railsback

 From the author of Noonie’s Masterpiece, comes a story that will pull at your heartstrings.

In her war-torn country, Babo lives in an abandoned circus camp with Auntie Moo and a group of other “leftover kids”.  She entertains the children with stories of the old circus days, which feature, among others, her parents–the Tallest Woman in the World and the famous Green Alligator Man.

One day, a couple from America comes to see the “leftover kids”. They want to adopt Babo and change her name to Betti. Babo certainly doesn’t want to leave Auntie Moo and all the children, especially when she knows one day her parents will come back for her.

Soon Babo, now Betti, finds herself in America. She’s definitely not going to like it there. It’s filled with strange sounds and smells, and the people speak a weird language. Betti is determined to run off and find her way back to  Auntie Moo and the “leftover kids”. But the more time she spends in America getting to know her new family, the perfect opportunity to run away never seems to come.

I absolutely fell in love with Noonie Norton from Noonie’s Masterpiece, so I was thrilled when Lisa Railsback emailed me and asked if I would be interested in reading Betti on the High Wire.  Now I’m not sure which of her books is my favorite.

Railsback seems to have found her niche in writing about young girls who have experienced more than their share of heartaches. Babo’s country has been torn apart by war. The fantastic stories she shares with the “leftover kids” about the circus people are filled with triumph over the soldiers who destroyed their once beautiful camp. They are also a way for Babo to dream of the circus people’s return. Abandoned as a result of the war, she feels a responsibility to care for the  “leftover kids”. She can’t imagine them being okay without her when the American couple decides to adopt her.

Betti on the High Wire also deals with prejudice. Betti has her ideas of how foreigners, what she commonly refers to as Melons, act. She shares these ideas with the “leftover kids” so they will be sure not to like foreigners too.

Railsback does not rely as much on humor in this book as she did with Noonie’s Masterpiece, but it’s definitely there. You just can’t help but laugh over some of Betti’s thoughts on things.

Betti on the High Wire by Lisa Railsback will make you laugh; it will make you cry; and most of all, it will touch your heart. I highly recommend it. I can’t wait for Railsback’s next release. As long as she keeps writing, I’ll be eager to keep reading.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Dial
  • ISBN-10: 0803733887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803733886
  • SRP:  $16.99

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