The Question of Miracles

Finished The Question of Miracles by Elana K. Arnold.  I received a copy from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Following the death of her best friend, Iris and her family move to Oregon for a fresh start in this middle-grade story of miracles, magic, rain, hope, and a hairless cat named Charles.

Sixth-grader Iris Abernathy hates life in Corvallis, Oregon, where her family just moved. It’s always raining, and everything is so wet. Besides, nothing has felt right since Iris’s best friend, Sarah, died.

When Iris meets Boris, an awkward mouth-breather with a know-it-all personality, she’s not looking to make a new friend, but it beats eating lunch alone. Then she learns that Boris’s very existence is a medical mystery, maybe even a miracle, and Iris starts to wonder why some people get miracles and others don’t. And if one miracle is possible, can another one be too? Can she possibly communicate with Sarah again?”

I absolutely adored this MG novel.  Grieving is hard for everyone, of course, but I feel like it’s probably worse when you’re young and when you lose your best friend.  I felt so horrible for Iris, because you know probably nobody her age has any sort of experience with losing anyone.  (And even if they do, it’s probably a grandparent, not someone their own age.)

I loved the questions this book raises (are miracles possible? If they are, who does God give miracles to some but not to others? Are there ghosts? Can you talk to the dead?) and everything was handled in a respectful and authentic manner.  I never thought that Iris was behaving unrealistically.  She seemed like any sixth grader in the world, even though she was obviously dealing with things most sixth graders wouldn’t ever have to deal with.

I need to read her earlier books, and hope to make my way to them at some point this year.

Highly recommended.


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