Posted on August 9th, 2016 by pajamapress
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.
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