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Piper Morgan Joins the Circus

Book #1 of Piper Morgan
Illustrated by Lucy Fleming



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About The Book

In this charming new chapter book series, eight-year-old Piper Morgan is adjusting to a new home and all the new places and faces she meets along the way, as she and her mom look for the perfect place to plant their feet.

When Piper Morgan and her mom have to move, Piper is sad to leave her friends behind, but excited for the new adventures coming her way. Her mom is looking for the perfect place for her and Piper to settle down, and dives into a series of odd jobs.

Mom’s first job? An assistant to the head of the Big Top Circus. And Piper is excited to learn she will be a part of The Little Explorers, a group made up of the circus workers’ kids. They may be small in size, but they play a big part in the circus, as they kick-off the big elephant routine in the show.

But during Piper’s debut as a Little Explorer, her high kicks and pointed toes don’t go quite as planned—and after causing a dance disaster, she has to prove to everyone—especially queen of the Little Explorers, Lexie—that she belongs in the spotlight.


Piper Morgan Joins the Circus CHAPTER 1

I stopped behind my mom, staring up at the big bus in front of me, my mouth hanging open. On the side of the bus was a big sign that read BIG TOP CIRCUS. Plus, there were pictures of elephants and tigers. Best of all, there were three others just like it, all lined up.

Just a little while ago I’d been upset that we were leaving my friends and my teachers and my school. But now I wasn’t even thinking about that. I was thinking about how awesome it was that we were about to get on a big bus and go to the circus, where my mom would be working.

Buses were super noisy. Whooshes and hums and even honks as one bus drove by, its driver waving at ours. But that bus didn’t have the words BIG TOP CIRCUS in huge letters on the side. Ours did.

“Keep up, Piper,” Mom said, reaching out to take my hand. I had my new hot pink purse in that hand, so I switched it to the other and slipped my hand into my mom’s much bigger one.

She was walking fast, which meant I had to run really, really hard to keep up. Lots of steps for every one Mom took. If I didn’t keep up, I’d miss the bus and have to stay here.

I ran faster. I wanted to stay here, but even more I wanted to ride on the bus with animals on the side.

My mom’s new job was as an assistant. That means she takes care of stuff for people. A person will send her jobs to take care of stuff for people, but the jobs are only temporary. “Temporary” is when something doesn’t last long. Her last job lasted two days. The person said if my mom was willing to go anywhere, she might be able to find a job that would last a long time. As long as she wasn’t fired again like she was from her last job. For now, we were going to live with the traveling circus people.

The bus made a loud whoosh noise just as we were stepping on. I thought we’d just made it and almost started jumping up and down. But when I turned around, there were still bunches of people standing outside. Bunches of suitcases, too. The bus wasn’t leaving yet, just making funny noises.

“Let’s find our seats,” Mom said, tugging on my hand. I followed her, expecting to see ballerinas and stuff. Instead, there were just normal people, standing in the aisles and sitting in their seats.

Some guy was showing people where to go. He wasn’t dressed up either. Just a boring old shirt and a boring old pair of pants. He looked like someone I’d see in the grocery store.

“Julie Morgan,” Mom told him. “This is my daughter, Piper.”

“Hi, Piper,” the man said, leaning over to look at me and talking to me way too loud. Like I was four or something.

I didn’t say anything, just looked at my mom. I gave her my “this guy is scaring me” look because . . . well . . . he was. But the good thing was, he stood back up and stopped talking to me.

“You’re in the very back,” the man told Mom in a very businessy tone. I noticed he didn’t talk to her like she was four.

We went to our seats. There was a girl sitting in the seat in front of us, next to an older woman. She was about my age. She stood up in her seat and turned to stare down at me. That was all she did. Just stared.

“My name’s Lexie, and this is my mom,” she finally said, pointing to the person next to her. “What’s your name?”

“Piper,” I said. “Piper Morgan.”

Her mom yelled at her to sit down, so she disappeared. I thought for a second, then kneeled in my seat so I could talk to her. I could just see over the top of the seat.

“My mom said there are ballerinas in the circus,” I told her.

She squirmed around in her seat and looked up at me. “There are not,” she said.

I looked at my mom. She’d said so! But Mom was looking down at her phone. I decided to let it drop and ask Lexie if she wanted to be my new best friend.

“We just came from Florida,” Lexie announced. “We had a circus on the beach.”

“Awesome!” I said. I wondered where we were going now. Mom hadn’t told me. It didn’t matter. I was just glad I had a new friend.

“Do you want to be friends?” I asked.

I picked my best friend Dania out the first day of kindergarten and we were friends for a very, very long time. Until we had to move.

“No,” Lexie said. “I don’t want friends.”

She turned around and started playing some game. I was trying to think of something else to say, like, Fine! I don’t want to be your friend either. But Mom made me sit down because the bus was going soon.

I would have pouted, but when I started to sit down, the best thing ever happened.

I saw a real-life ballerina!

About The Author

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing. When she isn’t crafting fiction, Stephanie is indulging her gadget geek side by writing for online technology sites. Her work is regularly featured on the small business blogs for Intuit and Go Payment, and she is a featured columnist for She lives in Nashville with her husband.

About The Illustrator

Lucy Fleming has been an avid doodler and bookworm since early childhood. Drawing always seemed like so much fun, but she never dreamed it could be a full-time job! She studied art and practiced drawing every day, and in no time, went on to graduate from the University of Lincoln (UK) with a degree in illustration. She lives and works in a small town in England with her family and a little black cat. When not at her desk she prefers nothing more than to be outdoors in the sunshine with a hot cup of tea.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Aladdin (August 9, 2016)
  • Length: 112 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481457095
  • Grades: 1 - 4
  • Ages: 6 - 9
  • Lexile ® 630L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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