The Miraculous

Farrar. Jul. 2019. 320p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374309749.
Gr 3-6–Wunder Ellis always believed in miracles, collected examples of them in his book The Miraculous, and thought of himself as “a miracologist.” Yet all of that changes when his sister dies after just eight days of life, and Wunder and his family spiral into grief. When a strange woman shows up at a house in the woods and Wunder makes a new friend with a strong interest in the paranormal, he begins to question the existence of miracles again. He and his friends attempt to show their town how many miracles are happening all around them. This bittersweet story of loss and hope will appeal to readers intrigued by highly emotional magical realism. Wunder and his family and friends are all exceptionally quirky. While Wunder and his friend Faye are well rounded, other characters are not fully developed. The climax takes a long time to build, and the magical realism is so lightly included in the beginning that it all seems to be coincidence, but becomes obvious by the end. Redman’s handling of grief is realistic, and she shows how each character copes very differently.
VERDICT While the adventure is slow to build, fans of emotionally charged fiction with light magical aspects will enjoy this title.

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