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The Incredible Magic of Being Hardcover – October 10, 2017
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From the Inside Flap
Despite his optimism, he is anxious about many things: nightmares, drownin
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Katherine Erskine has created memorable, engaging characters. Fascinated by science and astronomy, Julian’s observations about life and others are pithy and amusing – particularly since he is only nine-years old. His “Facts and Random Thoughts” [designated throughout the text by an acronym using the first letter of each of the words] are scattered throughout the book, typically there is one per chapter. In these, Julian provides a look at his life – his hopes and fears - while incorporating science and psychology, as he discusses the future. His quirky personality and his coping mechanisms are delightfully appealing. The compassion he displays toward others, his vivid imagination, and his unique abilities are, in Pookie’s words, “…the magic of Julian …”
The curmudgeonly neighbor, Mr. X provides a nice contrast to Julian’s optimism. Pookie’s struggle with the move and her parentage highlight some of the angst with which those in their early teens must deal. Michelle and Joan, Julian’s two mothers, are minor influences in the overall novel; they seem more to be individuals who fill placeholder roles than major actors. Nevertheless, their concern always focuses on their children’s welfare and their best interests.
“The Incredible Magic of Being” is a book for every reader and not just those in the targeted group – readers ages 8 – 12 years old. Language and situations are appropriate for even those at the lower end of the target readership group. Katherine Erskine has created a book that involves family, friendship, and the courage to overcome fear. It is truly a “magical” read!
This is an enthralling book to all elementary kids and middle schoolers, especially captivates astronomy lovers. I liked the way the author relates various perplexing phenomenon that happens in space to everyday events in life to explain it in an understandable way. This helped me understand the latest discoveries in space. A fascinating twist at the end of the novel left me surprised and amazed. I give this book 5 stars because it aptly portrays the challenges, feelings, and unique abilities of a gifted child, the tension between a brother and a sister, and a family falling apart due to lack of communication. This book renders the readers with a gifted child’s perspective on hardships in life and family matters. The Incredible Magic of Being opens the reader’s mind to see the universe with a new perspective at the end, making it a new beginning and an awesome read!
Reviewed by Sonika M, 12
Metropolitan Washington Mensa