Sunday, February 8, 2015

Book Review: The Question of Miracles by Elana K. Arnold

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: The Question of Miracles
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Pages: Hardcover; 240
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Content Screening: Tough Issues - Death

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers of all ages, especially those who love moving and realistic fiction.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes
Following the death of her best friend, Iris and her family move to Oregon for a fresh start in this middle-grade story of miracles, magic, rain, hope, and a hairless cat named Charles.

Sixth-grader Iris Abernathy hates life in Corvallis, Oregon, where her family just moved. It's always raining, and everything is so wet. Besides, nothing has felt right since Iris's best friend, Sarah, died.

When Iris meets Boris, an awkward mouth-breather with a know-it-all personality, she's not looking to make a new friend, but it beats eating lunch alone. Then she learns that Boris's very existence is a medical mystery, maybe even a miracle, and Iris starts to wonder why some people get miracles and others don't. And if one miracle is possible, can another one be too? Can she possibly communicate with Sarah again?

Oh, this book. Let me tell you that as soon as I finished reading this in ebook format, I called my local Indie bookstore to buy a physical copy. The Question of Miracles is the exact kind of Middle Grade book I adore. The kind that isn't afraid to deal with tough issues. The kind that treats young readers as the strong, compassionate, curious human beings that they are. Best of all, this is a book that will resonate with all readers. No matter what your age group, you'll be touched. You may even cry.

Iris Abernathy's life has been forever altered. She's lost a best friend, been uprooted to a new state, and feels like nothing is fitting together the way it should. I must admit, Iris was a perfect main character to me. I truly believe there's nothing more difficult than channeling what a middle grader would do, and say, accurately. Iris felt real. I felt her frustration, I understood her sadness, and I loved her little quirks. As the story progressed, and she blossomed, I couldn't look away. This book came alive because Iris was alive.

Now add in a beautifully bittersweet story line, and there was no turning back for this reader. I've said it before, and I'll say it as many times as it takes, young readers deserve books like these. They need books that deal with tough concepts. Concepts like the death of a best friend. Elana K. Arnold's expert handling of this subject was impressive. I felt myself looking through the eyes of Iris. Stumbled along as she kept trying to deal with the loss of someone who was such a large part of her life and, worst of all, so close in age to her. Everything about this story pulled at my emotions in all the right places, but what I appreciated most of all was that it was so honest. Truly, wonderfully, honest.

I wish I could say more. If you'd allow me, I'd gush over how perfectly the idea of miracles are woven into this story. I'd praise Boris as a character, and how he was the perfect match for Iris. I'd smile proudly and admit that I adored the fact that the card game of Magic makes such a big debut in this book. Truthfully, you wouldn't be able to shut me up. So, instead, I'll just tell you that you definitely need to read this book. The Question of Miracles is absolutely gorgeous, and it deserves a place on your reading list.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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