Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Orphanage of Miracles by Amy Neftzger

Title: The Orphanage of Miracles
Author: Amy Neftzger
Publication Date: May 28, 2013 (today!)
Length: about 204 pages (ebook)

Nicholas, along with his friends Maggie and Jovan, live in an orphanage where the kids don't receive any schooling, but instead spend their time trying to create miracles. But no one can tell them how to do it, and no one can remember anyone managing it in the recent past. Nicholas starts to wonder, if the orphanage's purpose is to create miracles to help the king in the way, why are the existing miracles kept locked away in a garden instead of sent where they're needed?

Meanwhile, Kelsey is on a journey in search of a miracle to help her struggling family. Along the way she is joined by a silent boy, a large leopard, and a lovable fox. Her new friends teach her about herself along the way.

This was such a fun story. The absurdity of the orphanage was great. Kids are sent to different jobs, all aimed at creating or catching miracles, but no one knows what they're doing at all. And they each have a plant that they have to take care of, or they'll mysteriously disappear. Maggie, a strong, opinionated girl, is terrible at taking care of her plant, but luckily has her nurturing friend Nicholas to swap plants with her and nurse hers back to health.

Kelsey was really annoying at first, but improves a lot over the course of the story. Silence (as she calls the boy who doesn't speak) is delightful all along, and Megan, the leopard, is cryptic but interesting.

Overall, there's more hunting than I (as a vegetarian) would want my kid to read about, but other than that this is a wonderful fantasy for kids.

4 stars.

Full disclosure: Free ebook copy received from the publisher through NetGalley.

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