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What an astonishing book! It shines a spotlight on Leitzel and Alfredo, the two most famous stars in circus history. Leitzel, tiny with golden hair, did one hundred flips on Roman rings, and Alfredo did The Triple, three somersaults while flying between trapezes. Queen of the Air recounts their hard beginnings, their star-crossed love, and their tragic ends. You'll feel like you have a seat under the Big Top!

Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus  by Dean N. Jensen ($26, Crown), recommended by Helen, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.