Book Review: The Incredible Magic of Being

2 Sep


Julian’s stressed out family affects him, but he remains ever optimistic that he’ll be able to name his very own comet and be able to live forever. He’s even more excited that the family is moving away from Washington DC’s light pollution, to Maine where his mom and Joan plan on opening a Bed & Breakfast and where Julian will be able see the stars and that potential comet even better.

But, with a teen sister who believes every decision the family makes is against her and a next door neighbor who could end the bed and breakfast dream, Julian believes he needs to show his family and neighbor the magic of the universe and all will work out.

What I loved most about this story is that Julian loves science, but also understands that there is still so much we don’t know and that there is a sort of magic that exists in tandem with science. Although Julian is anxious about a lot of things, you don’t truly understand why until you get deeper into the story and then it makes a lot more sense. His mom is stressed out, his sister is a pain and his mom’s partner is working extra hours to cover the cost of renovating the B&B, so Julian befriends the neighbor, Mr. X and through his own magic understands what Mr. X needs in his life and how it will help him move past his wife’s death. This story runs along the line of magical realism, where you’re not quite sure where the real world stops and the magic begins, and that’s my favorite type of story.

I won’t give too much away, but this is a story that would open up a lot of conversation with kids about family bonds, feelings, dealing with stress and anxiety and with a touch of fantasy that kids will just have to talk about.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Julian’s excited to name his own comet, but a stressed out mom, overworked partner and crank.y sister just don’t understand its importance

Title: The Incredible Magic of Being
Author: Kathryn Erskine
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Page Number: 256 pgs.


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