Today’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday read is the spectacular Miraculous, by Caroline Starr Rose. It’s a good, old-fashioned adventure story: gripping plot, vibrant historical setting, wonderful characters. For sheer enjoyment, it was definitely in my top three reads of the year!
From the publisher:
A traveling medicine show promises to cure all, but two kids learn it takes more than faith in the miraculous to fix things that are broken.
Thirteen-year-old Jack knows what cured his baby sister when his family thought she might never get well—Dr. Kingsbury’s “Miraculous Tonic.” Guaranteed to relieve maladies known to man or beast, Dr. Kingsbury’s potion can cure everything from pimples to hearing loss to a broken heart, and Jack himself is a witness to the miraculous results and the doctor’s kindness. When he had no money, the doctor didn’t turn him away but gave him the tonic for free along with a job—to travel with him from city to city selling his cure-all elixir.
When Dr. Kingsbury and Jack arrive in Oakdale, the town at first feels like any other they’ve been to. But it’s clear Oakdale is a town with secrets, and its citizens are slow to trust strangers.
Then Jack meets Cora, and a friendship neither expected starts to bloom. Together they uncover something else they didn’t expect—not only secrets about the town but also Dr. Kingsbury. As they race to discover the truth, they’ll have to decide who and what to believe before it’s too late.
Besides being a fun read, Miraculous felt particularly timely, in a day and age where so many people seem to get caught up by what “everyone” is saying, by the “miracle cures” and the “science.” (And I’ll happily apply this to folks on both sides of recent arguments; no matter how outrageous the claims, everyone seemed to have science AND personal anecdotes on their side.) I’ve never been so focused on teaching my children logic, because I’ve never noticed such a lack of it before. Miraculous was a great way to show them the consequences when logic is abandoned and a sweeping, emotional idea is given free reign.
Hand this one off to any readers who love a good adventure story—I’m putting it on my list for “hard to please boy readers” in particular! You can purchase it from your local bookstore through this link.
For more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday recommendations, visit Always in the Middle.
Hi! I'm Faith. I blog about books and creativity, family and faith. Welcome!