5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Pirates! Sea monsters! Not-so-evil twins! Welcome to the world of Remarkable....,
This review is from: Remarkable (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!" And of course there is a lot of entertaining pirate-speak. As Grandpa says: "It's the problem with Remarkable, you know. Everyone is so busy being talented, or special, or gifted, or wonderful at something that sometimes they forget to be happy." But don't worry, Remarkable is also a place where there are only happy endings.