Esme Dooley and the Kirkkomaki Circus

"A dead person?" asks eleven-year-old Esme. How intriguing! She has just learned that she is going on a journey in search of a dead person. Was she going to a cemetery? Or maybe to a funeral?

By train, by gypsy wagon, and even by ostrich, Esme takes a summer journey. She and her grandmother and her cousin Tommy meet up with a circus that is going through harrowing times, for someone is pulling wicked shenanigans! Caught in the conundrum, Esme and Tommy eagerly don their sleuth's hats to try to solve the mystery. When tragedy strikes, they learn the importance of friendship, and they begin to understand the value of forgiveness.

This historical adventure portrays another humorous season in the life of Esme Dooley. It is set in rural Minnesota in 1904, where love is definitely in the air.


Foreword INDIES Gold Winner for Juvenile Fiction (2017)

Mom's Choice Awards (Gold)

Purple Dragonfly Award for Middle Grade Fiction (Honorable Mention) (2017)


"Exceptional, original, and inherently entertaining from cover to cover, Esme Dooley and the Kirkkomaki Circus is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library General Fiction collections for young readers." — Midwest Book Review

"A fast-paced, episodic adventure with an amazing cast of characters who are quirky and perfect to populate an old-time circus." — San Francisco Book Review

"An old-fashioned melodrama that fuses peril with friendship. Delightful illustrations styled as cut-paper silhouettes add nostalgic flair. . . Esme and Tommy’s deep kinship serves as a warm reminder of the power of loyalty." — Foreword Clarion Reviews

"Back-and-forth chapters from various characters’ perspectives works very well to propel the action at a pleasing and increasingly tense pace, and the beautiful illustrations throughout will mesmerize readers. I thoroughly enjoyed it!" — Judge, 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards


Format:  Paperback

Price:  $19.99, which includes free shipping

Size:  6 x 9 inches

Length:  404 pages

Interior:  Colored, in shades of red and gray

Where it's available