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Kid Konnection: Remarkable

March 3, 2012

Everyone in the town of Remarkable is, well, remarkable, except for Jane Doe and her grandfather John.  No one has time for Jane because everyone’s so busy pursuing their talents.  All the students in Remarkable attend the gifted school, except for Jane. She is the lone student at Remarkable’s public school until the Grimlet twins are suspended from the gifted school and forced to join her there.  The twins’ schemes cause a lot of chaos, reveal long held secrets, and help Jane realize her strength.

I started Remarkable, by Lizzie K. Foley, with high hopes that were probably unrealistic, so I was a little disappointed.  I thought the premise sounded fun, and it is, for a while, but I got tired of some of the silliness about half way through.  At times, it felt like the book was trying too hard to be whimsical.  Young readers may not feel that way, though.

I think the thing that bothered me the most about the book was that while everyone was extraordinarily talented, they were also extraordinarily self absorbed and looked down on others who didn’t share their talent.  Maybe that was the point of the book – to show young readers that a lack of compassion isn’t attractive.  Jane does figure some things out, but it seemed to me that her talent wasn’t appreciated like it should have been.

Even though I didn’t love this book like I’d hoped to, I think it might appeal to young readers more than it did to me – I have a feeling I’m too old to really get it.  I did appreciate Foley’s writing and think she has a talent for whimsy, so I look forward to reading her next book.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Penguin. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2012 8:10 am

    This sounds a little like Savvy to me. My daughter liked that one more than me and perhaps this one would be the same.

  2. March 3, 2012 8:51 am

    I’m sure there is an opportunity to discuss some important issues but I’m not sure I’d appreciate the story in this one either.

  3. March 3, 2012 9:13 am

    I love the names – Jane and John Doe. Very funny in a meta way. Interesting comment comparing it to Savvy. I liked that one.

  4. March 4, 2012 8:44 am

    I know what you mean, sometimes I have trouble with MG books because I can’t quite channel my 6th-grade self.

  5. March 5, 2012 2:24 pm

    The concept sounds interesting but it doesn’t sound like it was pulled off too well.

  6. March 6, 2012 8:32 pm

    I wonder if maybe the message just missed its mark? I would love to have a middle schooler read this and tell us what they thought!

  7. boardinginmyforties permalink
    March 21, 2012 2:46 pm

    While I might skip this one I don’t think I would hesitate to recommend it for a younger reader. Thanks for a great review Kathy!

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