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|Incredible magic of being|
Author: Erskine, Kathryn
Nine-year-old Julian almost died when he was born and he believes that he has a special connection to the universe because of that, and he wants to make his two moms and his sister (who turned into a black hole of discontentment when she turned fourteen) happy because he is convinced that soon he will die and travel to the dog star--but now they have moved to Maine and he resolves to also use his "uni-sense" ability to help Mr. X, their neighbor, who is in desperate need of healing.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 191869
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 72514
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/17)
School Library Journal (08/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/17)
The Hornbook (00/11/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2017 Gr 5–8—Nine-year-old Julian is an unusual kid. He's seriously obsessed with space, he has friends in alternate universes, he wears a life preserver at all times to feel safe around water…and he sometimes has the magical ability to know what others are thinking. In an energetic inner monologue interspersed with physics facts, he tells the story of his family's move to rural Maine and their growing connection with an elderly man. The protagonist, his 14-year-old sister Pookie, their mom, and their stepmother Joan have left Washington, DC, behind for the slower pace of owning a lakeside bed-and-breakfast. Their loving family is going through a rough time: Pookie snarls with chronic teenage resentment, Julian's behavior is so extreme that his uber-anxious mom wants to homeschool him to avoid further bullying; his parents also worry about his mysterious health issues. When their retired neighbor sends a lawyer over because their new bed-and-breakfast addition illegally blocks his water view, Pookie decides the best way to lower the collective stress level is for Julian to befriend "Mr. X" next door and convince him to drop his lawsuit. The resulting interactions lead to a happy ending that changes everyone's lives. Julian's distinctive narration, awash in supernatural perceptions as well as a nine-year-old's natural misconceptions, is a tour de force on par with that of Ted Spark in Siobhan Dowd's The London Eye Mystery and Salamanca Tree Hiddle's journey in Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons. VERDICT Touching contemporary magical realism, with a final twist that truly surprises.—Beth Wright Redford, Richmond Elementary School Library, VT - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.