The Slightly Bruised Glory of Cedar B. Hartley, by Martine Murray

It was Kite who showed me how to become an acrobat. But it was me who showed Kite that we could make a circus, Life’s great like that. It’s like a big game where you have to join forces because, let’s face it, you can’t be good at everything.

Cedar and her almost-boyfriend Kite have a circus and, if she does say so herself, they are pretty good. So when Kite turns up at training with the news that he and his dad are leaving town to join a professional circus, Cedar is devastated. What’s the point of going on?

Then her long-lost Aunt Squeezy turns up to stay and introduces Cedar to Inisiya, a refugee. When Cedar learns Inisiya’s story, she realises her own problems are not so bad, and resurrects the circus at the local community centre, sharing her skills with other children.

Then Kite suggests that Cedar come and audition for the real circus and, once again, Cedar’s life is turned upside down. Should she follow her dream or should she stay with her family and new friends?

This is the second book told in Cedar’s quirky first person voice. Cedar, who aims to be infamous, is starting to grow up in this volume, and has lessons to learn about friendship, family, love and community. While there are plenty of humorous moments and Cedar’s narration is both endearing and entertaining, there are also serious themes being explored.

Fans of the first book will love the second, but readers new to the series will love this one so much they’ll want to go back and read the first.

The Slightly Bruised Glory of Cedar B. Hartey, by Martine Murray
Allen & Unwin, 2005