The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum

The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum


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Discover the true story of P.T. Barnum, the man who created the world-famous Barnum & Bailey Circus, as featured in the movie The Greatest Showman!

The award-winning author of The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary, Amelia Lost, and Our Eleanor brings us the larger-than-life biography of showman P. T. Barnum. Known far and wide for his jumbo elephants, midgets, and three-ring circuses, here’ s a complete and captivating look at the man behind the Greatest Show on Earth. Readers can visit Barnum’s American Museum; meet Tom Thumb, the miniature man (only 39 inches tall) and his tinier bride (32 inches); experience the thrill Barnum must have felt when, at age 60, he joined the circus; and discover Barnum’s legacy to the 19th century and beyond. Drawing on old circus posters, photographs, etchings, ticket stubs—and with incredible decorative art by Ray Fenwick—this book presents history as it’s never been experienced before—a show-stopping event!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375841972
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 09/08/2009
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 508,552
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: 980L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Candace Fleming is the prolific author of many critically acclaimed, bestselling books for children. She lives in Mt. Prospect, Illinois.

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Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
jmsummer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about the life and times of P.T.Barnum, considered the greatest showman on earth. He is best know for the creation of the modern circus that takes his name. He was also known for his famous museam. This book ties together those events with the moments that made up the rest of his life. It take a straightfoward look at his life, from birth to death. Interwoven within many pages are side topics and addition facts that liven up and add to Barnum's life as well as the period of time that he lived in. Almost every page is filled with period ilustrations and photos to help support the reading. The biography helps sugest additional books dealing with Barnum and the 19th century timeframe. My only problem with the book would be its constant use of breaking up the main text with all of the side notes.They are all show inside large black boxes that contrast with the white background of the main text. I find that it causes the reader to lose focus from the main text. Each of the side notes could have been added to the main text or at the very least, used a similar format in order to not distract the reader.
delzey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Assuming you've read nothing about his life, what do you know of P.T. Barnum? That he was a huckster and a flim-flam man? That his name was the first name in three-ring circuses for a good portion of the 20th century? That he said "There's a sucker born every minute?That's about as much as I knew ¿ or thought I knew ¿ going into this biography, coupled with a skepticism that was little more than a glorified snake oil salesman. Nothing like a well-written biography intended for middle grade readers (and up) to clear the air.First, the quote: Barnum never said it, one of his competitors did, apparently cheesed that Barnum was able to corner the market on drawing a crowd. The circuses came later in his career, built from a combination of his showmanship and the desire to mix the curiosities from his "museum" with a traveling show full of animal acts and clowns. In between there was his American Museum of alleged artifacts from history (many of them fake) and the type of human curiosities generally associated with traveling freak shows.If Barnum's life seems like the natural extension of Professor Harold Hill's fast-talking salesmanship it's clear Barnum was born for the life he led. As a boy he was successful in drawing a crowd and making money from them. And what's most surprising is how genial he seems, how he never regarded the public as the "suckers" despite the importance of making money from their gullibility. He had a genuine regard for what we would probably call low entertainment and discovered that the general public didn't mind "harmless" hoaxes.Fleming makes this a breezy read, well-documented with a strong narrative thread, and actually fun. Makes me wish there were more biographies like this when I was a kid.
Bianca0_0 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book mostly becuase I had to read a Historical Non-Fiction one for school, but it turned out to be quite interesting and amusing. Much less boring than I thought it would be. A good Historical Non-Fiction book.
brettmoody on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having read this purely for school work, I must say I enjoyed quite a bit. While not the paper museum most DK books are, the book was nonetheless interesting. Fleming crafted a focused, fun biography for those interested in the life of the greatest showman on Earth.
YouthGPL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a biography of P.T. Barnum, and I learned quite a lot from it. The tone is circus-like, with a lot of exclamations and interesting sidebars. It has a great page design which I think will draw readers with its old-time feel, like an old circus poster. It's easy to read, and long enough for those 100 page plus biography reports. P.T. Barnum never wanted a traditional job, and one of the things that I did not know about him was that he really began in the business of museums, much like the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum in San Francisco. There is an index, source notes, Internet site page, etc. for kids interested in him to do more research. The only thing that I think is disappointing is that many students would not pick P.T. Barnum unless urged to do so. This is one where they should be urged.
saraml on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
middle and early high school, 4starP. This book perhaps fits into Radical Change in that it presents the viewpoint of a somewhat controversial historical person who did some things that might be questionably appropriate for children.Passage for discussion: "But Barnum wasn't always good-natured when it came to his wife. At times, he was downright meant o her. Once, during a boat trip to Ontario, Canada, in 1843, Charity got seasick. Instead of being sympathetic, Barnum made fun of her in front of the other passengers. While Charity moaned miserably, he kept everyone else aboard 'in a half-suffocation of laughter' by telling her disgusting stories to make her feel worse" (76).