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Wunder Ellis is a miracologist, dutifully cataloging stories of the miraculous in a journal However, after his newborn sister dies, Wunder stops the stories miracles don t exist But then he meets Faye and, in turn, the woman who lives in the crumbling house near the cemetery Though Wunder can t say for sure if she s a witch, he follows her instructions for a journey that makes him reconsider friendship, grief, and even miracles.There are few books that, within the first sentences, feel special They re different in an almost intangible way And yet, there s an energy that radiates through their prose effortless and compelling that suggests something wondrous is to come.That s what author Jess Redman has managed to accomplish in her debut novel To be fair, with a main character named Wunder, that s sort of implied Yet, this complicated and driven kid just trying to find his way after the death of his infant sister is the glue that binds this work together Disconnected from his friends and navigating a home life with parents who are also struggling, he pushes aside the miracles that have defined the first part of his life Yet underneath is his optimistic, curious side that drives him into an adventure full of potential magic.Perhaps that s what Redman has done best of all she s crafted an expression of the healing process as it relates to grief Wunder s moods buck and weave, grappling to find peaceful equilibrium in his sorrow And through it all he seeks answers, about miracles and about himself It s all part of the healing process.While this might sound heavy and it certainly is that s not to suggest there s no fun Faye is the perfect partner, unapologetically boisterous and ready to tackle the world She sneaks into Wunder s protective shell and propels him into taking risks After all, there s a potentially witch out there who has a quest, and that needs investigating Just like in life, there s plenty of joy in sorrow.Redman has written a story that thrusts the darkness of death into the light while punctuating with a hug As a result, The Miraculous is a breathtaking debut.Note I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.Review also posted at [[ Kindle ]] ↜ The Miraculous ↱ Eleven Year Old Wunder Ellis Is A Miracologist In A Journal He Calls The Miraculous, He Records Stories Of The Inexplicable And The Extraordinary These Miracles Fill Wunder With The Feeling That He Is Not Alone, That The World Is Magical, That He Is Part Of Something Brighter Than He Can ImagineBut Then His Newborn Sister Dies, At Only Eight Days Old If That Can Happen, Then Miracles Don T Exist So Wunder Gets Rid Of The Miraculous And He Stops BelievingThen Wunder Meets Faye A Cape Wearing, Outspoken Girl With Losses Of Her Own Together, They Find An Abandoned House By The Cemetery And The Old Woman Who Lives There And Who Might Be A Witch The Old Woman Asks For Wunder And Faye S Help She Asks Them To Go Through Graveyards And Forests, To Townhalls And Police Stations, By Bike And By Train She Asks Them To Believe And Together, They Go On A Journey That Leads Them To Friendship, To Healing And To MiraclesE MIRACULOUS Is Jess Redman S Stunning Debut About Facing Grief, Trusting The Unknown, And Finding The Brightness In The Darkest Moments Awwww look at that heartwarming cover and that blurb Another MG book added to my 2019 tbr Some books come straight from the heart, and this is one of them We meet Wunder Ellis shortly after the death of his baby sister, when his family is still spinning with grief What follows is an exploration of family, friendship, love and the miracles that surround us If you like heartfelt books with lyrical language, characters that will make you laugh and cry, and a beautifully detailed setting, then you will love THE MIRACULOUS. This was such a beautiful and wholesome story about grief, friendship, and love I liked the characters and even though there wasn t much of a plot, I enjoyed simply reading about their lives Plus, I have to say it, the cover is gorgeous. I am fed up with the moms in depression But I love the main character and his crazy friend anyway. I wondered if I could take another book with grieving being an important part of it, but actually this is the book to read if you think you can t read another book on this topic for MG readers The people of the small town at the center of this book learn to believe in what they cannot see and find light in the darkest of places This is no small challenge for an author to pull off, but I think Jess Redman has done it. kidlitexchange partner The Miraculous by Jess Redman Releases July 30th, 2019 The Miraculous, set in an America that feels nothing like our America, and completely like a place new and mysterious, brings us a boy named Wunder, his friend Faye, a witch in the woods, and a baby sister who only lived for eight days The imagery is rich, the dialogue thought provoking The characters burst off the page, not because they are so loud or eccentric with the exception of Faye , but because they are so deeply real, with every quiet word and thought and emotion Many middle grade books cover loss, but this is the first piece of fiction I ve ever read that depicts infant loss Losing an infant sibling is so different from losing an older one You may not be losing a friend, but you re losing your hope of this child The idea of who this little person would have grown up to be It can be deeply devastating And this book handles it so, so well Jess Redman is a psychologist by day, but The Miraculous, her first book, reads like she s been doing this all her life It is masterfully handled and the story is woven with grief and mystery and so much love I read this book in one day You can too on July 30th Thank you kidlitexchange for providing me with a review copy all opinions are my own. The overall message of this book is contradictory On the one hand the topic of death, especially that of a younger sibling, is addressed in an accessible way There is also much hope as the town is brought together by the deliveries of Wunder and Faye I also loved the way Faye s character was so comfortable in her own skin and steadfast in supporting Wunder Wundie in the midst of his family crisis We are indeed all witnesses of miracles as defined by Wunder and slowing down enough to see them and connect with each other is indeed a blessing My biggest objection to this novel is the fact that a witch is given the credit for drawing the town together when it should be given to God.Thank you to Macmillan and NetGalley for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.