Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles Reviews

School Library JournalRootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website

“Eleven-year-old Bailey keeps her eyes open for miracles. She and her younger brother, Kevin, are spending the summer with their grandmother while their parents are in a marriage counseling program. Bailey’s fear that her parents may separate along with concern about her new friend, Daniel, who has cystic fibrosis, leads her to look for magic in many forms—including a mermaid-shaped piece of driftwood that Bailey refers to as a ‘gift from the ocean.’ Told in verse, Green’s writing captures the hopes of a young girl who is starting to recognize the complexity of relationships. Among Bailey’s new friends in Felicity Bay, a seaside Canadian town, is Jasper, a retired preacher who foresees that ‘a stranger from the sea will change everything.’ Things do begin to change, most of all in Bailey’s life. When a chalice from the church goes missing and many of the townspeople suspect Jasper is the culprit, Bailey is determined to discover the truth. Along the way, Bailey learns important lessons about Felicity Bay that lead to healing between family members and friends and within herself. Dialogue written in italics, along with spacing between speakers, renders the narrative accessible and immediate to readers. Ultimately, Bailey makes peace with life’s inevitable challenges, and she recognizes that her time in Felicity Bay was indeed magical. VERDICT Recommend this lovely and poignant novel to middle grade readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories.”

School Library Connection

“Eleven-year-old Bailey and her brother Kevin are spending the summer with grandma Nana Marie while their parents go to Marriage Repair camp….After rescuing a beached dolphin, Bailey realizes that she can resolve some situations by her own actions, but must accept those she has no control over. This title is written in free verse, with dialogue written in italics and spacing used to indicate new voices. All of these techniques enhance the rich descriptions of the ocean setting and present a realistic story to the reader. Recommended.”
—Josie Stanmyre

Read the full review in the January/February 2017 issue of School Library Connection

Resource Links

…Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles tackles some serious problems common among kids today. Its resolution is gentle and hopeful, but also realistic. When Bailey asks for help, people – even people she believes dislike her – come to her aid….Not everything can be fixed, but sharing a problem with someone who loves us makes it easier to bear. This is a message middle-graders cannot hear too often.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s an excellent choice for thoughtful middle-grade readers and would make a valuable addition to a school or classroom library. It’s also a fine complement to the verse novels of K.A. Holt, and a stepping stone to the work of authors like Sonya Sones, Virginia Euwer Wolff, and Martine Leavitt.

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles is also a physically beautiful book, generously designed and appealing in the hand. Watch for this one!”
—Leslie Vermeer

Read the entire review in Resource Links October 2016 issue, page 15

CM Magazine

“Told in verse-novel form, Green’s writing is captivatingly visual, with seamless inclusions of figurative language. As with many other verse-novels, a first-person narrative, told from the present tense, makes the story immediate and compelling, versatile as independent reading or as an engaging read-aloud.

Choices in formatting add to the text’s readability, extending it to a wider than typical age and ability range. The varied line lengths support comprehension, with wide indenting and use of italics to identify dialogue, as well as extra spacing between speakers. Onomatopoeia is flush left and italicized. In addition to these helpful cues, imagined speeches between Bailey and a piece of driftwood she has personified occur in playscript style.

Highly Recommended.”
—Bev Brenna, literacy professor at the University of Saskatchewan

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Children’s Book News

“In Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles by Shari Green, 11-year-old Bailey knows spending her first summer with Nana Marie is just one more sign of many that her parents’ marriage is in trouble. While they go on a retreat to try and salvage their relationship, Bailey and her younger brother, Kevin, are left to deal with the tension and fear of a possibly imminent divorce. Life in Felicity Bay challenges Bailey to look outside herself, however, when the local ice cream man, Jasper, makes a series of startling prophecies. Finding herself drawn into the heart of a town steeped in misery, Bailey keeps her faith in the goodness of others and looks for miracles to help heal the wounds of the past.

Writing in verse, Green aptly captures the journey of a girl faced with her first real heartbreak—the likely dissolution of her family. Bailey’s openness to confronting her reality while still believing in the extraordinary adds to her charm, as does her growing realization that heartache affects many others in her life as well. The colourful and mysterious small town of Felicity Bay and the ocean it borders offer the perfect backdrop for Bailey’s awakening to the larger world around her. With a renewed sense of connectedness and a greater understanding of family, Bailey emerges from her summer of change hopeful for the future.”

CanLit for LittleCanadians

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles is Shari Green’s debut novel but it is an accomplished story in form and content worthy of a seasoned writer….Balancing structure with plot is complicated. Yet Shari Green dives right in, creating characters and circumstances that effortlessly carry the reader from beginning to end on waves of sentiments, some fearful, most benevolent, all heartfelt. Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles is in itself a miracle…”

Click here to read the full review

Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“This novel in verse is beautifully written. It is sure to find many fans in the middle grades, and would make a terrific read-aloud for the first few weeks of school while teachers are trying to inspire community spirit within their own classrooms.”

Click here to read the full review

Barrie Summy

“What I Loved: Well, lots of things! In no particular order, I loved the language….I loved how all the conflicts were not favorably resolved….I loved how island life was a natural part of the story. Highly recommended for the middle grader in your life.”

Click here to read the full review

Bookish Notions

“Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles by Shari Green is just delightful….Green’s writing has whimsy and heart…Whimsical, hopeful and at times bittersweet, I highly recommend Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles.”

Click here to read the full review

Library of Clean Reads

“…Written in light and lyrical free verse, Shari Green’s warm and wistful novel brings Bailey face to face with both hard and beautiful truths about growing up and growing into her own ability to shape the world.

…This is the first time I read a book in verse and I simply loved it. Although I no longer read middle grade fiction with my kids (they’re teens now) I will read a middle grade book from time to time if it catches my interest. This one did right from the start….

…I was impressed at how easily the author developed such unforgettable characters using free verse, all while building a great plot with excellent pacing.

I know I would have loved this book as a tween, and I highly recommend it. It’s delightful and poignant and one of my favorite books so far of 2017.”

Click here to read the full review

Moon Shine Art Spot

“My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book offers a peak inside a child’s mind. The questions a child must have about parents and a failing marriage. Still young enough to believe in magic and miracles, but too young to fully understand marriage, the reality of divorce, or the ailments of the human body.

A dream for better things and hope of understanding that “leaving” doesn’t mean someone doesn’t still love you.

I loved the cover art. I chose the book based solely on the title and cover art. I was surprised by the story when I started reading it. I was expecting summer fun, beaches, candy, and all things happy-happy. That’s not this book. It had everything except the happy-happy.

For any child reading the story, it is a way to gently explore some of the changes many children face today. I think the author did a great job with the story….”
—Aunt Meanie

Click here to read the full review

Save