May 19, 2015

Recent Reads: The Question of Miracles by Elena Arnold

The Question of MiraclesThe Question of Miracles by Elena Arnold
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  February 3, 2015


Format: Paperback ARC
Source: From HMH Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review




Goodreads Synopsis: 
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?
The Question of Miracles is an emotionally deep Middle Grade read about loss, acceptance, and change. Iris is an eleven year old who recently moved from sunny, sandy California, to rainy dreary Oregon soon after the tragic death of her best friend Sarah. Now in Oregon she has to accept so many new things: that Sarah is not there, or anywhere for that matter, that she may have to make new friends, and that Oregon might not be as horrible as she is making it out to be.

This whole book is very character driven, so if you are looking for an adventurous plot, this one is not for you; but if you are looking for an inquisitive, charming book about loss, this is perfect. Even as an adult this book was a wonderful read - it made me think about moving when I was young and learning to accept certain things as they happened - and here with Iris, I think young readers will learn a lot.

Iris is a sad, young, little girl, looking to figure out why her friend had to die and if she can communicate with her spirit - the book questions miracles and why some people get them and some don't, the existence of a god, and even the existence of souls. Really the underlying message that I saw while reading was that everything happens for a reason and maybe your friend did move on but there are so many other things you should be thankful for.

This was a beautifully written book and all the characters were easy to follow and even made me laugh at times. I really enjoyed this one even through its somber back-story.


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