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Remarkable Hardcover – April 12, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

STARRED REVIEW - KIRKUS REVIEWS
"A rich, unforgettable story that's quite simply - amazing." 


REVIEW - THE NEW YORK TIMES 
"...a lot of outlandish entertainment." 


STARRED REVIEW - BOOKLIST
"Filled with clever word play, wholly unique situations, outlandish characters...and short, plot-propelling chapters, Foley's novel is a remarkable, middle-grade gem." 


SUMMER READING RECOMMENDATION - THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE
"... the plot swirls together many strands with lots of characters, bringing it all together in a nicely controlled yet humorous fashion...The funny details sprinkled throughout and the clever wordplay and rhythmic prose make this a great choice for reading aloud."  

About the Author

Lizzie K. Foley (lizziekfoley.com) has an MA in education from Harvard and has taught women's studies at Northeastern University. She has also worked in story development in the film industry in LA. She currently lives in Montclair, NJ, with her husband and son and four poorly trained dogs.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (April 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803737068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803737068
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This review consists of two parts: 1. My daughter's review (she's 9) and 2. My review (the Mom). These are excerts. For the full review, please visit us at our website. **This book was provided to us free-of-charge through a First Reads Goodreads giveaway.**

DAUGHTER SAYS:

What I liked and disliked about it:

I liked that some people weren't really who they were and they were actually somebody else. That made the story more interesting. I liked the Lake Monster named Lucky because she was cute and it was cool that only some people could see her. I wouldn't like to be in Jane's family because everybody was always too busy and they all pretty much ignore her.

Even if it was a long book, it was not too hard to read it. I didn't like that Jane's Grandpa had to go to jail - that part of the story made me sad.

My bottom line:

I loved, loved, loved this book. I think girls and boys my age and older would also love, love, love this book.

MOM SAYS:

What I liked and disliked about it:

I knew once I read the preface to the book, that I was going to really enjoy reading it. In fact, I would say that the preface is necessary in setting the tone for the book: wry, quirky, and whimsical. Foley's descriptions of the people in Remarkable, their inner thought processes, and the dialogue between characters had me laughing out loud.

Outside of Jane who is largely ordinary, each of the characters is so over-the-top outrageous but Foley describes them in such a way that you can imagine the people in your life having those same characteristics in real life - only in this book, it would multiplied by 100.
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Format: Hardcover
As a mother who screens everything her 13-year-old daughter reads, I thought the book "Remarkable" was most worthy of mention when I came across it. Aside from the really attractive cover art, the story itself is a boon to anyone who's ever felt ... average. Written in a style similar to Ellen Potter's "Pish Posh", Leslie M. M. Blume's "Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters" and Gitty Daneshvari's "School of Fear" series, the book is peppered with quirky characters and loopy presumptions - but it all works, and makes for a really light-hearted, fun read, maybe by the pool with some cupcakes and lemonade. Older readers may also enjoy China Meiville's slightly more gritty, longer but (to me) even funnier book, "Un Lun Dun," in how the least remarkable character, most unlikely hero is never really quite that. For a quick pick-me-up on a day when your hair just isn't looking quite right, and when someone you just plucked up enough courage to say "Hi" to asks if you could set your best friend up with him (her) instead ... "Remarkable" is a cute reminder that those of us least noticed are very often those most deserving of note. Said daughter's review follows:

"'Remarkable' by Lizzie K. Foley is a very funny, interesting book.

"Have you ever wondered where remarkable people go to live? The musicians who rival Mozart, the scientists who win three Nobel Prizes, the artists and authors whose works are known all over the globe?

"They all live in Remarkable.

"In the quaint town of Remarkable, *everyone* is remarkable: they either have perfect pitch, a dog that's won 61 national dog shows, are able to make perfect pies or something else. Either way, they are all remarkable.

"Everyone, that is, except for Jane.
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Format: Hardcover
Everyone loves an underdog story, where the good if overlooked character triumphs over all the shallow more flashy characters. (See: Ugly Duckling vs. Swan) Lizzie Foley has written a lively, quirky, affectionate middle grade book (I promise in this review not to overuse the word remarkable) teeming with colorful characters with wonderful names (e.g.: Ludwig von Savage, Lucinda Wilhelmena Hinojosa, Anderson Brigby Bright, Captain Rojo Herring, Mrs. Zenforia Devorah Ffyff-Smithington) who all live in that rarified town known as Remarkable. Yes, Remarkable is the type of town where everyone answers to at least three names.

Our heroine has the misfortune of being an, on the surface, average girl born into a highly above average family, that lives in a town full of brilliant over-achievers...along with a few scallywags and math whizzes. "Now all babies are beautiful, but some babies are less beautiful than others, and then there are some babies who are just beautifully plain." Enter Jane Doe, a girl whose only crime is that she is average. In that town, Jane might as well be invisible, her only claim to fame being that she might be an authority on mediocrity, a condition no one else could possibly know anything about. Jane's grandpa is also under-degreed and un-sparkly, so they are fast friends and cohorts, strange allies who move through their days virtually invisible UNTIL suddenly they both find themselves up rubbing elbows with pirates, getting thrown in jail, (Grandpa John a real jail, Jane a birdcage) keeping secrets, and having something to do with a weather machine. The book is great fun and the dialogue a joy, where people say things like : "How dare you! As a prizewinning novelist, I order you to take those cuffs off immediately!
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