In these eleven cumulative fictional short stories…Noyes focuses instead on those within the gravitational pull of his American Museum, and how the force that was Barnum affected the trajectory of their lives…Noyes indulges in her own touch of flim-flammery.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
The author uses historical facts combined with her own imagination to show readers that while Barnum did make some of his exhibits rich and famous, deep down he was a shyster who preyed on a gullible population in the name of "entertainment."…with real photos and a historical facts included, this book may make a nice addition to larger public library collections.
—School Library Connection
Proceeding chronologically from 1842 to Barnum’s death in 1891, this collection of 11 intertwined stories from Noyes (Tooth & Claw) imagines the inner lives of real people from the Barnum family and business, with the ambitious, exploitative P.T. Barnum serving as a decentered fulcrum…these stories vividly engage with their period images (“her knuckles… were the color of new cream”), providing a picture of what life with Barnum might have been like: “We are all his creatures.”
—Publishers Weekly Online
An entertaining, absorbing look at the prominent figures in Barnum’s life that will appeal to his fans and history buffs in general. Recommended.
—School Library Journal