Ten-year-old Babo has grown up on an abandoned circus camp in a war-torn country. She sleeps in the old lion cage and takes care of the other parentless "leftover kids" telling them fantastical stories about the old circus days and finding ways to make them laugh. They need her. So Babo is not one single bit happy when an American couple wants to adopt her and change her name to Betti. How will her real parents ever find her all the way in America?
But soon crazy America is exactly where she is–with new parents and a little sister, weird food like snaky spooogetti, and all kinds of people speaking gobbledygook. Betti is determined to run away. She just has to find the perfect time….
Heartbreaking and hilarious, Betti on the High Wire is a book about family, the meaning of home–and most of all, about one brave and imaginative (and completely unforgettable) little girl.
You can't NOT love Betti. Betti's country of origin is never revealed, which makes this a story about just about everyone. Both my daughters, so opposite each other in every way, instantly fell for her and her companions. My daughters are seven and nine, and both found the story alternately hilarious (we had to stop the story several times in the car to get ahold of ourselves so we could listen again) and heartbreaking (there were real tears of sympathy. From my 7-year-old!). What's more, I had the same rich experience. It opened up some really wonderful conversations between us, and made all of our worlds a little bigger, our neighbors a little more precious. Railsback and Gray are to be commended for their great work on this.