The Incredible Magic of Being

The Incredible Magic of Being

In a nutshell:  Like Mockingbird, but a much lighter subject, and more humor.

 

Julian's family moves to Maine to open a bed and breakfast, but the cranky next door neighbor is trying to stop them. Julian knows Mr. X is just lonely so decides to be his friend, whether Mr. X wants that or not. Julian tries to show him the wonders of the universe through his telescope but, like his family, Mr. X is too distracted. He does eventually make a bargain with Julian: I'll help you get a dog if you get over your fear of the water. Easier said than done. With his anxiety, Julian worries about A LOT, including drowning, which is why he wears a life jacket around the clock. But in the end, Julian has to -- at least, partially -- get over his fear to hang onto the people he loves.

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Reviews:

"Julian's distinctive narration, awash in supernatural perceptions as well as a nine-year-old's natural misconceptions, is a tour de force... Touching contemporary magical realism, with a final twist that truly surprises."

School Library Journal

"His relationships with Mr. X and his tempestuous older sister, Pookie, are sensitively depicted, showcasing the growing understanding among these memorable characters."

Publishers Weekly

"A timeless and affecting, slightly paranormal exploration of familial attachments."

Kirkus