THE MIRACULOUS by Jess Redman
Kirkus Star

THE MIRACULOUS

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Eleven-year-old Wunder Ellis abandons his study of miracles when his newborn sister never makes it home from the hospital.

The third-person point of view stays firmly with Wunder, so named because he was a miracle for his parents. He was 5 when a numinous experience inspired him: The spiral wood grain of the old house at the town cemetery spun before his eyes, and the bird brushing past him seemed to fly from his own heart. Now, though, he plans to rid himself of his catalog of miracles, the journal his parents gave him. He feels disconnected from his friends, and his parents’ grief is complicated and overwhelming. Faye Ji-Min Lee, an irrepressible classmate, refuses to let him give up. Redman explores faith, the intertwined nature of sorrow and joy, and the transformative process of grief through Wunder’s eyes in a part-fantasy, part-realistic adventure with genuinely humorous moments. A verse (unattributed) from Corinthians 15:51 appears throughout: in the voice of a minister at the baby’s funeral, on a gravestone, and in words spoken by the woman (is she a witch? Or something else?) who appears at DoorWay House by the cemetery: “We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.” Wunder and his family present white; Faye refers to her Korean church; one of Wunder’s friends is Latinx.

Layered, engaging, and emotionally true. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: July 30th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-374-30974-9
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2019




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