Parents' Guide to

The Miraculous

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Mysterious story struggles to deal with death and religion.

Book Jess Redman Fantasy 2019
The Miraculous Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (2 ):

Pursuit of miracles and exploration of death punctuate a story that feels forced. The Miraculous tries to connect with the mysterious and the magical by conjuring a mystical house with spinning wooden walls and a witch who waves at people as they are leaving the cemetery. But it feels like he main character, Wunder, is being written about, as if he were part of a fairy tale. His struggles and challenges are catalogued rather than lovingly revealed. Because Wunder is such a key player in the book, this deficiency affects the entire story, making it feel wooden and plodding. The descriptions of religion, church, faith and yes, miracles, aren't subtle either, which is disappointing.

Thank goodness for Wunder's new friend Faye, whose weirdness and passion for the occult add zest to an otherwise sad story. She serves to make the plot move forward and to ask hard questions, such as, why the dead sister's crib is still in Wunder's room --"That's awful!" she cries. (Whether her portrayal as being screechy and bossy is tied to her Korean-American identity is up to readers, but the stereotype raises questions.) Dealing with death as it relates to children, no matter how shrouded in mystery and adventure, requires tact and skill. Unfortunately, The Miraculous falls a little short of its title.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate