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Discussion Guide

Watch Out for Flying Kids!

How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community

by Cynthia Levinson

Can circus change the world?

Award-winning author Cynthia Levinson brings together the inspiring real-life stories of two social circus groups—one a team of inner-city and suburban Black and white American kids and the other a group of Jewish and Arab kids from Israel—as they join forces to learn from each other and perform circus acts together in each of their countries.

“[Levinson] captures [the youth performers’] infectious enthusiasm for the hard work and fun of building a circus.” ―The Washington Post

“Enchanting…inspiring.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Welcome to the world of social circus—a movement that brings kids from different worlds together to perform amazing acts on a professional level! Watch from your seats as we follow the participants of two specific circuses: Circus Harmony in St. Louis, whose participants are inner-city and suburban kids, and Circus Galilee in Israel, whose participants are Jewish and Arab. They’re from different demographics, different races, and different religions, and they learn not only how to overcome assumptions, animosity, and obstacles, but also how to put their trust in the hands of someone different from themselves.

With Levinson’s combination of in-depth one-on-one interviews and extensive research, this inspiring nonfiction book highlights stories of collaboration, compromise, and overcoming obstacles. Includes informational sidebars and photographs throughout.

Discussion Guide available!

Sydney Taylor Notable Books for Older Readers / Association of Jewish Libraries

Social Justice Literature Award / Literary and Social Justice Special Interest Group, International Literacy Association

Top 10 Multicultural Nonfiction for Youth / Booklist

Format: Hardcover
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-821-9
Publication Date: 8/1/2015
Page Count: 224
Size: 8-7/8″ x 9-3/8″
Age Range: 10 – 14
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-68263-305-2
Age Range: 10 – 14
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
BookShout
eBooks.com
Google
IndieBound
Kobo
Scribd

AR Level: 6.8
F&P: GRL Z, Gr 7th & up, Genre I
Lexile: 930L
Themes: Class, Circus, Culture, Race, Religion
BISAC 1: JNF039010  JUVENILE NONFICTION / Performing Arts / Circus
BISAC 2: JNF053160  JUVENILE NONFICTION / Social Issues / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
BISAC 3: JNF053060  JUVENILE NONFICTION / Social Issues / Friendship

Reviews

“[Levinson] captures [the youth performers’] infectious enthusiasm for the hard work and fun of building a circus.” ―The Washington Post

“Enchanting indeed―and inspiring as well.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“This inspirational story easily lends itself to classroom use, as it encompasses a broad spectrum of values and subjects.” ―Booklist

“Inspiring.” ―School Library Journal

Awards

Sydney Taylor Notable Books for Older Readers ―Association of Jewish Libraries, 2016

Social Justice Literature Award ―Literary and Social Justice Special Interest Group, International Literacy Association, 2016

Top 10 Multicultural Nonfiction for Youth ―Booklist, 2016

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Meet the Author

Cynthia Levinson holds degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard University and also attended the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. A former teacher and educational policy consultant and researcher, she is the author of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March. She has also published articles in Appleseeds, Calliope, Cobblestone, DigFaces, and Odyssey. You can visit her website here.