First off I just LOVE this cover Okay actual review time I think this is the fifth book I ve read by this author so by now I know the drill Middle grade aged MC who runs into something speculative and has some really cool hard uestions raised I honestly love the formulaThis book was soooo much than that though and it s really hard to describe how I felt as I read it I was certainly gobsmacked by the rich depth of it The themes and the main character and everything made me feel so seen and echo es inside over and over Marin was such a relatable character never mind I m than twice her age Particularly her guilt over things said and unsaid and her trying not to be a burden during all the changes Her care for her baby brother and their adorable alliance and her love for her family were so amazing Her parents were honestly really adorable and real XD And I loved the long overdue fatherdaughter talk Also kudos for a portrayal of a positive church experience The speculative elements were there in this one though absolutely not in the way I was expecting The plot twists were ammmaaaazzzing and I did cry at the final message It s really such a hopeful book and one I needed methinks 3Just a note there are some mentions of a death view spoilerin a fire that happened several The Guitar Style of Jerry Reed years before the story hide spoiler I have been a fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix s works since reading Running Out of Time in the late 90searly 2000s Her sci fifantasy is simply fabulous having that perfect blend of future innovations and realism that really makesou believe that everything in the book could absolutely happen And I was getting that same sense of realistic fiction coupled with fantasy time travel in The Remarkables and then WHAM all of a sudden I was in tears as main characters Marin and Charley both confront their very real fears and dreams and the fantasy element brings them the hope that those dreams really could come true Summaries of the plot will abound so let me just discuss the excellent literary elements such as the strong characterization of Marin the insecure but insightful and gentle female lead and Charley the deeply troubled 12 ear old searching for redemption and healing for his parents and himself The long time ELA teacher in me sees potential lessons in theme conflictresolution characterization and modeling for truly outstanding descriptive writing especially in the area of creating clear settings As always I will excitedly promote this book with my 4th and 5th grade library patrons without any worry about objectionable content Highly recommended for not only fans of Haddix s action adventure and sci fi novels but for readers of sad happy heart warmers such as those written by Lisa Graff Cynthia Lord Joan Bauer and Barbara O Connor Thanks for the digital ARC Edelweiss E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusMarin and her family move from Indiana to Pennsylvania for her mother s new job as a professor of nursing Her father a physical education teacher is still looking for work so he is the at home parent for Mari. One minute they’re there laughing and having fun at the house next door The next minute the teens are gone Like magic Marin can’t believe her eyes Who are they Can anyone else see them.
N and her baby brother Owen Marin had two good friends in Indiana Ashlyn and Kenner but had fallen out with them because of typical friend drama She is concerned that she won t be able to find new friends in the new town so is intrigued when she sees high school age students at a house in the woods until they disappear She meets her neighbor s grandson Charley who has also seen these people whom he calls remarkables Charley and his two brothers are living with their grandmother because his parents are struggling with drug addiction The father s problems are tied to an incident twenty ears in the past that claimed the life of his friend At a party the father was cooking and took the batteries out of a smoke detector when it when off later a fire caused his friend s death Marin starts to understand that the remarkables are Charley s dad and his friends before the accident occurs and she tries to figure out how the two of them can change the past As she navigates her summer in her new town she starts to understand that changing the past could change good things as well Strengths Haddix certainly has a firm grasp of the magical realismcreepy supernatural niche and crafts an interesting story about changing the past My favorite part however was the strong family unit They are shown dealing with ordinary problems like a sleepless infant death of a friend and job insecurity with strength and good humor Just the topic of a tween having a baby sibling is a great and underserved one I also liked the inclusion of going to church and Vacation Bible School Although I figured out early on that church wasn t a good fit for me I spent a LOT of time in middle school and high school attending church functions and this also is underrepresented in middle grade literature This seems like it will be a stand alone Weaknesses This would have been effective as a realistic fiction story without the remarkables Their appearance is never well explained and didn t make much sense What I really think I will purchase because Haddix is a local author and circulates well but this wasn t my favorite Part of that might be because I started reading thinking this was the seuel to The Strangers Greystone Secrets 1 and it clearly wasn t Margaret Peterson Haddix is just such a gifted middle grade author She perfectly captures so much the emotions the difficulty of standing on the border between childhood and teenage hood the family dynamic the change in friendship But then on top of that she adds mysteries Magic Always a little bit spooky a lot thought provoking And so so good This is basically a perfect MG novel Love it From start to end this was a great book with well rounded interesting characters and a premise that I absolutely adored I loved the side conflicts and how the author touched on bullying family dynamics and something a bit literally magical than we usually see in life When Marin moves to a new town right before starting the 6th grade she struggles with thoughts of not fitting in Through flashbacks ou can tell that Marin. What makes them so happyMarin is lonely in this new town of hers and eager to figure out Then she meets Charley who reveals that he knows about them tooHe calls them the “Remarkables”
May have been victimized by bullies at her previous school and this has left a mark on herWhile wandering through the woods by her new house she comes across a group of teens They seem so alive laughing and having fun together then they mysteriously disappearShe soon finds out she s not the only person that can see them Her neighbor Charley a boy about her age can see them as well He has been watching them for a while now and has named them the remarkables But who are they really and why are Charley and Marin the only one who notice themTogether they come up with some theories why this could be and what they should do about it Not always agreeing but definitely both believing that it means something importantThis gripping Middle Grade story explores a lot of important topics bullying self confidence guilt grief and addiction I appreciate the conversations had by many of the characters within the story they were all age appropriate and overall I enjoyed reading itIn regards to the bullying I thought this was an interesting perspective on it Usually in novels where bullying is explored as a topic it is perpetuated by characters that would be assumed enemies of the character they are tormenting In this case the characters tormenting Marin were actually very close friends of hers She was scared to speak out against them and even scared to let her parents know she didn t want to be friends with them any This topic was explored in its entirety and brought to a conclusion I thought it was very well doneIt did get a little muddled for me towards the end but perhaps that was just where my head space was at while I was reading it I think if the synopsis sounds interesting for ou ou should definitely pick it up It delivered as far as serious conversations go than I anticipated and I truly appreciate it for that This title became available through my Overdrive library last week and it looked to have just enough spooky elements to work well for a pre Halloween read It was full of mystery and suspense and was just right for the upper middle grade audience Marin is new to town While exploring the woods behind her house she sees some older teenagers who suddenly disappear into thin air That s when Marin discovers that her new neighbor Charley has also been watching the teenagers She learns that he calls them Remarkables and that he believes what they are seeing are images from the past Charley intends to find a way in so that he can change the future But Marin is not so sure that s the best idea the present and the future are the only things ou can do anything about You can have a good futur I loved the way this one ended It didn t seem like magic to me although I didn t understand what it was and why Marin and Charley could see the Remarkables but the plot line was SO COOl and I really appreciated the way that it all tied up in the end Highly recommended for kids 11 17 I can always count on Margaret Peterson Haddix to draw me in and take me on an amazing journey no matter how bad my book hangover Very good boo. Harley warns her to stay away from the Remarkables and him Charley and Marin both have painful secrets they’re holding on to but could solving the mystery of the Remarkables help them bot.
Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House Ohio She graduated from Miami University of Ohio with degrees in Englishjournalism Englishcreative writing and history Before her first book was published she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danvil