March Micro-Reviews


 

miracleThe Miraculous by Jess Redman

Books with a pronounced religious theme, especially if they are written for children, usually turn me off. However, I was attracted to this one because of the focus on miracles. I don’t know the author, and hadn’t heard about the book but the description pulled me in. I was not disappointed.

We meet protagonist Wunder as he and his family are immersed in tremendous grief after the death of his 8-day-old sister. His mother has retreated to her room and sent all the family away, leaving Wunder and his father to attend the funeral alone. Wunder is clearly in the midst of the most difficult time in his life which it seems he has to navigate on his own.

Wunder’s lifelong fascination with miracles is the core of the story, with him rejecting the concept because of his sister’s death. Making this even more heartbreaking is the name Wunder selected for the baby, which leads to him abandoning his lifelong “collecting” of miracles. While he’s trying to keep it together, Wunder meets Faye, a young girl dealing with loss herself, and they both meet a “witch” who helps Wunder rediscover and renew his faith in miracles.

The writing here is lovely and the story both heartbreaking and uplifting.

Recommended.

Publication Date: July 30, 2019
Published By: Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy

Grimoire

Grimoire Noir by Vera Greentea

As much as I try, I just cannot love graphic novels. I know that will make some of my readers gasp and I’m sorry for that.  I appreciate the artwork and the story, but put them together and I always feel like I’ve missed most of the story. Unfortunately, I had that experience here. There are the bones of a great story here and gorgeous artwork, but I am left feeling unfulfilled. The characters have so much potential – a Mom who makes it rain when she cries and the clever person who made that happen to aid an escape from some serious magic – I want to know more about this!

I expect that this will definitely appeal to graphic novel fans who gravitate to the paranormal. The artwork is luscious, and as I said above, the story is interesting. This is definitely a “it’s me, not you” situation. Not for for me, but certainly for those who enjoy graphic novels.

Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Published By: First Second Books
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy

singingThe Singing Rock and Other Brand-New Fairy Tales by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer

These new fairy tales are such fun! The stories are clever and witty, and the illustrations bright and joyous. I especially enjoyed the twists on standard tales, notably the clever relationship between the “genie in the lamp” and the frog – very funny and has tremendous potential for storytime activities. All the stories will appeal to the early grade set and can be made into fun and funny storytimes by children’s librarians and teachers. Highly recommended.

Publication Date: June 18, 2019
Published By: First Second Books
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy