The Miraculous

Title: The Miraculous

Author: Jess Redman

Publisher: FSG Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9780374309749

Publication Date: July 2019

As promised in my last post, I’m taking a break from CRISPR to talk about my favourite middle grade fiction.

The Miraculous is about 11-year-old Wunder, a self-proclaimed miracologist. From a young age, Wunder has believed in miracles and kept a notebook full of extraordinary stories. Then his baby sister dies at only 8 days of age and his mom goes into a major depression. Wunder’s belief in magic disappears. Because how can miracles exist in a world that’s also full of unbearable loss and suffering?

This book was recommended to me by my good friend and writing partner, Christine Thomas Alderman. We have very similar taste so I expected to like The Miraculous. But I didn’t necessarily expect to love it as much as I did. My favourite excerpt:

“And suddenly Wonder understood.

Everyone was connected. The living to the living, and the dead to the dead too. And no one was ever alone. And no one was ever truly gone. And nothing ever ended.

Because love never ended.”

Enough said. Except this – when I finished, I wondered whether The Miraculous would speak to the intended audience of 8 to 12-year-olds as much a it spoke to adult gatekeepers like agents, editors, booksellers, parents, and… me. Unfortunately, my now 14-year-old sons (gulp!) are not so good at helping me judge this anymore. So I leave you with a final word from The Masked Reader: