Gr 5-8 The life of the flamboyant 19th-Century showman P. T. Barnum is summarized in this effective biogra phy. Tompert claims that many vic tims of Barnum's hoaxes were good natured about his minor frauds in an age that enjoyed practical jokes. She also credits him with establishing many of the principles of modern ad vertising. The book is best at giving an account of Barnum's various money- making schemes. There is less about his personal life (little is told of his family) or his personal views. For ex ample, it is mentioned that Barnum was interested in politics; yet nowhere does it state what his political views were. Young readers may also find it difficult to tell when certain events oc curred in Barnum's life, since the book frequently skips back and forth in time. A relatively small number of black-and-white photographs and re productions are included. In all, this is an enjoyable biography of a larger- than-life figure. Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Lib . , Ill.