Noel Streatfield had a handle on what made “working” children tick. Her sympathetic portrayal of characters who take to the stage, the circus, the ice-rink, is consistently smart and realistic. Circus Shoes is no exception. Peter and his rather splendidly named sister Santa face an uncertain future following certain events and as a result of this, they quite literally run away to the circus. What’s more realistic for me and appealing in this story is Peter. Santa’s ultimate fate is somewhat inevitable and a little too easy (which knocked a star off for me) but I’ve got a soft spot for the awkward, irascible, bad tempered brilliantly drawn adolescent that is Peter.