The Circus

Pages: 304
Subject: Fiction
Imprint: Rock the Boat

The Circus

Olivia Levez

Like its wonderful protagonist Willow, The Circus is colourful, funny and brave, and doesn't flinch from the realities of being a homeless teenager.

9781786070944 (4 May 2017)
RRP £7.99 / US$11.99

The Book

Willow has everything: a rich daddy, a pony and a place at a prestigious boarding school. Everything except the one thing she really wants: a father who cares enough to find her when she runs away from home.

On the eve of her father's wedding, Willow runs again into the unknown. Her mother was a circus performer and Willow longs to follow in her footsteps. But when all of her money is stolen and her only friend, a street performer called Suz, betrays her, Willow is left penniless and alone. So begins a gripping, exhilarating journey. Will Willow ever make it to the big top and find a place she can truly call home?

Additional Information

Subject Fiction
Pages 304
Imprint Rock the Boat


About the Author

Olivia Levez divides her time between teaching English and binge-writing in her caravan by the sea. Olivia likes hula-hooping, yoga and real ale, but not at the same time. She lives in Worcestershire with her husband, two sons and her real life Dog, Basil.


'The Circus is a poignant and beautifully written book that draws the reader into Willow's world...The story is quirky, adventurous.'

- School Librarian

'Levez's writing is strong, the voice powerful, and the characters fully developed. With a unique, vibrant cast, this book has something for all readers.'


'An enchanting sophomore novel. With equal parts coming of age, adventure and love story, under the big top of Levez's Circus, readers will find grace and wonder.'

- Shelf Awareness

'Some parallels can be drawn from Levez's latest to her well-received debut, The Island. Both feature young girls as strong - and strong-willed - protagonists who are essentially trying to survive by whatever means necessary. The Circus is a gripping, fast-paced read with a compelling protagonist who has a host of motivations, whether you deem them right or selfishly wrong, guiding her actions. Jumping back and forth between the present and the past, Levez's description of Willow's journey is raw and honest.'

- RT Book Reviews

'Willow's personal revelations make her compelling journey of reinvention soar.'

- Starred Booklist Review

'The story never romanticizes homelessness; it's represented as the harsh reality it is. Women in their infinite variety are celebrated... A beautiful and unforgettable story about a girl who learns she must lose who she thought she was before she can become who she's meant to be.'

- Kirkus

"A journey of self-discovery that is at once beautiful, sad, and—for anyone who has ever felt alone—familiar. Levez's style is lyrical, infusing the story with atmosphere and emotion."

- ForeWord

'A beautiful and unforgettable story about a girl who learns she must lose who she thought she was before she can become who she's meant to be.'

- Kirkus

Dressed in Levez' glittering prose, The Circus has the heart of a lion tamer and the thrill of a trapeze. Raw, compelling, and compassionate, this is a biting and beautiful examination of why we run, what makes a home, and how we find who we are. 

- Kiran Millwood Hargrave author of Girl of Ink and Stars

'A punchy explosion of a book - gritty and colourful exploring the complexities of friendship, family and freedom. Wonderful - though I  am now desperate to learn the trapeze.' 

- Kathryn Evans, author of More of Me

'A fascinating setting, heart-cracking writing, and a big bold friendship at the centre. A deeply satisfying read about desperation and determination, with an ending that takes your breath away.'


- Sue Wallman, author of Lying About Last Summer

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