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.
11/7/2022 03:57:06 am
So glad you liked this book so much. I'm super excited to read it and just got it from the library. Now you've got me really wanting to read it.
11/7/2022 12:19:45 pm
I can't wait to hear what you think of it, Natalie!
11/7/2022 06:29:01 am
I wished I had learned logic and rhetoric in school, and I agree with you, emotions seem to run far too high (I include myself too!). I love the theme of this book, and I must see if I can get hold of a copy. Thanks for sharing!
11/7/2022 04:52:18 pm
What a fascinating topic! Haven't seen any stories with this theme. Sounds like a lot of fun, a great mystery and some good lessons about logic. Thanks for sharing! Will check it out!
11/7/2022 06:33:34 pm
Miraculous is high on my future read stack, and I just have to move it up based on your critique. The characters and setting have me hooked. Thanks for presenting your review as a part of MMGM this week.
11/7/2022 07:16:22 pm
I didn't know Caroline had a new book out! Thanks, Faith, for such a glowing review. Must place an order at my library. It's got all the elements I enjoy--mystery, medicine, friendship, secrets.
11/8/2022 08:23:40 pm
I'm always up for a good adventure. This sounds like a fun one with some unexpected turns. Thanks for telling me about it.
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Hi! I'm Faith. I blog about books and creativity, family and faith. Welcome!