Now that the formalities are out of the way, on to the main attraction. We have long been owners of The Whipping Boy, by Sid Fleischman, but it never occurred to me to look for anything else that he had written. As I was in the library the other day, my eye fell on Mr. Mysterious & Company. As soon as I saw the author's name, in addition to the mysterious title, I knew I wanted to read it.
Although it wasn't what I was expecting, it did not disappoint.
Mr. Mysterious and his family are a traveling magic act on their way to settle in California during the pioneer days. On the way they experience everything from bandits to Indians as they entertain people from one side of America to the other. Their adventures, plus the question of what will happen to their splendid act once they arrive in California, keep you turning pages until the very end. It is an excellent middle grade novel read for kids from the ages of nine or ten and up. (Hey, I couldn't put it down and I'm 42.)
I can't tell you the ending, of course, but I think when you get there, you'll agree that Sid Fleischman's way with story and plot is pure magic!