In this Newbery Honor Award from the author who co-created The Spiderwick Chronicles, we follow Poppy, Zach, and Alice, who still play pretend even though all their peers have graduated to more age appropriate activities. Just when the reality of growing up begins to rip the group of friends from their world of pirates and battles, a real quest falls into their laps. Eager to hold onto their adolescence, and also find magic in the real world, these three set out to put to rest an earthbound spirit. This is a spine chilling, coming of age story that blurs the line between truth and fiction! I had a hard time reading this one before bed! It's definitely one for kids who don't mind some spookiness.
This book was so good, I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it. It’s loosely based on a few true stories. One storyline is drawn from the recent story about an all-girls school near Boston where students started having mysterious fits, and the other is drawn from the circumstances which led to the Salem Witch Trials. And as if that isn't enough, the author is a direct descendent of three of the women who were accused of being witches during the madness in Salem. This narrative is split between two main characters -- Coleen Rowley, who is a student at the school where girls start having fits, and Ann Putnam, one of the teenagers who claimed she was bewitched. It’s perfectly written -- all the teenage voices feel authentic. Even at the end of this book, I was left wondering about the cause of all the madness in both storylines.
Wunder’s Probability of Miracles is one of my favorite books of all time. Her ability to capture the fleeting, ephemeral quality of youth is both beautiful and devastating. Museum of Intangible Things focuses on Hannah and Zoe, two best friends who are complete opposites. Hannah is sensible, hard-working, and “average” in the looks department. She owns her own hot dog cart, peddling sausages by the highway or at soccer games to the locals. Her parents are divorced, her father is an alcoholic, and her mother is manic-depressive. Zoe is bipolar. She’s creative, beautiful, sensitive, carefree, and completely unstable. After something terrible happens to Zoe at a party, she drags Hannah on a road trip across the country. Along the way Zoe teaches Hannah how to truly live. Museum of Intangible Things is heartbreaking and real. I dare to say Wendy Wunder is my favorite contemporary author and she truly amazes me with everything she writes.