Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan is a fun read about a space-traveling circus.
Beatrix Ling has problems. As if it wasn't bad enough that her astronaut parents died in a rocket explosion, leaving her stuck in a boarding school full of mean girls and harsh teachers, now there is a mysterious man creeping into her room at night, trying to steal the one thing her parents left in her care. When her hair inexplicably turns bright pink, Trix knows she is in for even more trouble than usual. But before the headmistress can catch a glimpse of Trix's new 'do, Trix stumbles through a mirror at the Circus Galacticus, which she is visiting on a school field trip. And that's when she learns that the Circus Galacticus is no ordinary circus . . .
I'm not sure if it was the mostly-black cover or the circus-inspired title font, but this book languished on the "New Books" shelf at my library for some time. I was intrigued by the description on the back of the book, so I took a chance on it, and I'm glad I did. This book is a lot of fun to read. It's a little bit typical in spots (outsider orphan, bleak boarding school, then the orphan is whisked away to a life of adventure where she is accepted and valued and gets a chance to save the universe/her friends/etc.) but enjoyable nonetheless. The best part, in my opinion, was the description of Trix's life on board the Big Top as she makes new friends, experiences new food, and learns how the circus operates and finds a place within it. There's no romance, but there's a hint of the possibility of future romance, making this book just about right for the upper elementary or middle-school reader. The plot has a couple of weak spots of the sort you would expect in this type of story -- some things are not fully explained, and some things are a little too conveniently coincidental, but it's forgivable because the story as a whole is so much fun.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)