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Remarkables

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One minute they’re there: laughing and having fun at the house next door. The next minute, the teens are gone. Like magic. Marin can’t believe her eyes. Who are they? Can anyone else see them? What makes them so happy? Marin is lonely in this new town of hers and eager to figure out more. Then she meets Charley, who reveals that he knows about them, too. He calls them the “ One minute they’re there: laughing and having fun at the house next door. The next minute, the teens are gone. Like magic. Marin can’t believe her eyes. Who are they? Can anyone else see them? What makes them so happy? Marin is lonely in this new town of hers and eager to figure out more. Then she meets Charley, who reveals that he knows about them, too. He calls them the “Remarkables.” Charley warns her to stay away from the Remarkables—and him. Charley and Marin both have painful secrets they’re holding on to, but could solving the mystery of the Remarkables help them both?


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One minute they’re there: laughing and having fun at the house next door. The next minute, the teens are gone. Like magic. Marin can’t believe her eyes. Who are they? Can anyone else see them? What makes them so happy? Marin is lonely in this new town of hers and eager to figure out more. Then she meets Charley, who reveals that he knows about them, too. He calls them the “ One minute they’re there: laughing and having fun at the house next door. The next minute, the teens are gone. Like magic. Marin can’t believe her eyes. Who are they? Can anyone else see them? What makes them so happy? Marin is lonely in this new town of hers and eager to figure out more. Then she meets Charley, who reveals that he knows about them, too. He calls them the “Remarkables.” Charley warns her to stay away from the Remarkables—and him. Charley and Marin both have painful secrets they’re holding on to, but could solving the mystery of the Remarkables help them both?

30 review for Remarkables

  1. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    When Marin moves to a new town, right before starting the 6th grade, she struggles with thoughts of not fitting in. Through flashbacks, you can tell that Marin may have been victimized by bullies at her previous school and this has left a mark on her. While wandering through the woods by her new house, she comes across a group of teens. They seem so alive, laughing and having fun together, then they mysteriously disappear. She soon finds out, she's not the only person that can see them. Her When Marin moves to a new town, right before starting the 6th grade, she struggles with thoughts of not fitting in. Through flashbacks, you can tell that Marin may have been victimized by bullies at her previous school and this has left a mark on her. While wandering through the woods by her new house, she comes across a group of teens. They seem so alive, laughing and having fun together, then they mysteriously disappear. She soon finds out, she's not the only person that can see them. Her neighbor, Charley, a boy about her age, can see them as well. He has been watching them for a while now and has named them 'the remarkables'. But who are they really and why are Charley and Marin the only one who notice them? Together they come up with some theories, why this could be and what they should do about it. Not always agreeing but definitely both believing that it means something important. This gripping Middle Grade story explores a lot of important topics: bullying, self confidence, guilt, grief and addiction. I appreciate the conversations had by many of the characters within the story, they were all age appropriate and overall, I enjoyed reading it. In regards to the 'bullying' - I thought this was an interesting perspective on it. Usually in novels where bullying is explored as a topic, it is perpetuated by characters that would be assumed enemies of the character they are tormenting. In this case, the characters tormenting Marin were actually very close friends of hers. She was scared to speak out against them and even scared to let her parents know she didn't want to be friends with them anymore. This topic was explored in its entirety and brought to a conclusion. I thought it was very well done! It did get a little muddled for me towards the end, but perhaps that was just where my head space was at while I was reading it. I think if the synopsis sounds interesting for you, you should definitely pick it up. It delivered more, as far as serious conversations go, than I anticipated and I truly appreciate it for that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Margaret Peterson Haddix is just such a gifted middle grade author. She perfectly captures so much: the emotions, the difficulty of standing on the border between childhood and teenage-hood, the family dynamic, the change in friendship. But then, on top of that, she adds mysteries. Magic. Always a little bit spooky, a lot thought-provoking. And so, so good!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate Willis

    First off, I just LOVE this cover. ;) Okay, actual review time. I think this is the fifth book I’ve read by this author, so by now I know the drill. Middle-grade aged MC who runs into something speculative and has some really cool, hard questions raised. I honestly love the formula. This book was soooo much more than that, though, and it’s really hard to describe how I felt as I read it. I was certainly gobsmacked by the rich depth of it. The themes and the main character and everything made me First off, I just LOVE this cover. ;) Okay, actual review time. I think this is the fifth book I’ve read by this author, so by now I know the drill. Middle-grade aged MC who runs into something speculative and has some really cool, hard questions raised. I honestly love the formula. This book was soooo much more than that, though, and it’s really hard to describe how I felt as I read it. I was certainly gobsmacked by the rich depth of it. The themes and the main character and everything made me feel so seen and echo “yes” inside over and over. Marin was such a relatable character, never mind I’m more than twice her age. Particularly her guilt over things said and unsaid and her trying not to be a burden during all the changes. ;) Her care for her baby brother (and their adorable alliance) and her love for her family were so amazing. Her parents were honestly really adorable and real. XD (And I loved the long overdue father/daughter talk.) Also, kudos for a portrayal of a positive church experience. The speculative elements were there in this one, though absolutely not in the way I was expecting. The plot twists were ammmaaaazzzing, and I did cry at the final message. It’s really such a hopeful book, and one I needed, methinks. <3 Just a note, there are some mentions of a death (view spoiler)[in a fire that happened several years before the story (hide spoiler)] , and one character’s parents are addicts. I can’t choose a best quote because the entire book and all the prose is beautiful. Altogether, I really loved this book, and I think it’s the author’s best one yet.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shaye Miller

    This title became available through my Overdrive library last week and it looked to have just enough spooky elements to work well for a pre-Halloween read. It was full of mystery and suspense and was just right for the upper middle grade audience. Marin is new to town. While exploring the woods behind her house, she sees some older teenagers who suddenly disappear into thin air. That's when Marin discovers that her new neighbor, Charley, has also been watching the teenagers. She learns that he This title became available through my Overdrive library last week and it looked to have just enough spooky elements to work well for a pre-Halloween read. It was full of mystery and suspense and was just right for the upper middle grade audience. Marin is new to town. While exploring the woods behind her house, she sees some older teenagers who suddenly disappear into thin air. That's when Marin discovers that her new neighbor, Charley, has also been watching the teenagers. She learns that he calls them Remarkables and that he believes what they are seeing are images from the past. Charley intends to find a way in so that he can change the future. But Marin is not so sure that's the best idea. “...the present and the future are the only things you can do anything about. You can have a good future because the past is over. All you can do is learn from it.” There's a lot packed into this story ranging from friendship to bullies to depression to drug addiction to family relationships and some deep thoughts on time-travel and how it would change the future. It seemed a slightly more mature middle grade novel and will be especially great for a middle grader who appreciates the murky complications of relationship with both friends and family. For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Dust

    This is basically a perfect MG novel. Love it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Dulaney

    I have been a fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix's works since reading "Running Out of Time" in the late '90s/early 2000s. Her sci-fi/fantasy is simply fabulous, having that perfect blend of future innovations and realism that really makes you believe that everything in the book could absolutely happen. And I was getting that same sense of realistic fiction coupled with fantasy time travel in The Remarkables and then, WHAM, all of a sudden, I was in tears as main characters Marin and Charley both I have been a fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix's works since reading "Running Out of Time" in the late '90s/early 2000s. Her sci-fi/fantasy is simply fabulous, having that perfect blend of future innovations and realism that really makes you believe that everything in the book could absolutely happen. And I was getting that same sense of realistic fiction coupled with fantasy time travel in The Remarkables and then, WHAM, all of a sudden, I was in tears as main characters Marin and Charley both confront their very real fears and dreams and the fantasy element brings them the hope that those dreams really could come true. Summaries of the plot will abound so let me just discuss the excellent literary elements such as the strong characterization of Marin, the insecure but insightful and gentle female lead, and Charley, the deeply troubled 12 year old searching for redemption and healing for his parents and himself. The long-time ELA teacher in me sees potential lessons in theme, conflict/resolution, characterization and modeling for truly outstanding descriptive writing, especially in the area of creating clear settings. As always, I will excitedly promote this book with my 4th and 5th grade library patrons without any worry about objectionable content. Highly recommended for not only fans of Haddix's action-adventure and sci-fi novels, but for readers of sad-happy heart warmers such as those written by Lisa Graff, Cynthia Lord, Joan Bauer and Barbara O'Connor. Thanks for the digital ARC, Edelweiss.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. From start to end, this was a great book with well rounded, interesting characters and a premise that I absolutely adored. I loved the side conflicts and how the author touched on bullying, family dynamics, and something a bit more literally magical than we usually see in life.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    I can always count on Margaret Peterson Haddix to draw me in and take me on an amazing journey, no matter how bad my book hangover. Very good book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Marin and her family move from Indiana to Pennsylvania for her mother's new job as a professor of nursing. Her father, a physical education teacher, is still looking for work, so he is the at home parent for Marin and her baby brother Owen. Marin had two good friends in Indiana, Ashlyn and Kenner, but had fallen out with them because of typical friend drama. She is concerned that she won't be able to find new friends in the new town, so is intrigued when she sees E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Marin and her family move from Indiana to Pennsylvania for her mother's new job as a professor of nursing. Her father, a physical education teacher, is still looking for work, so he is the at home parent for Marin and her baby brother Owen. Marin had two good friends in Indiana, Ashlyn and Kenner, but had fallen out with them because of typical friend drama. She is concerned that she won't be able to find new friends in the new town, so is intrigued when she sees high school age students at a house in the woods... until they disappear! She meets her neighbor's grandson, Charley, who has also seen these people, whom he calls "remarkables". Charley and his two brothers are living with their grandmother because his parents are struggling with drug addiction. The father's problems are tied to an incident twenty years in the past that claimed the life of his friend. At a party, the father was cooking and took the batteries out of a smoke detector when it when off; later, a fire caused his friend's death. Marin starts to understand that the "remarkables" are Charley's dad and his friends before the accident occurs, and she tries to figure out how the two of them can change the past. As she navigates her summer in her new town, she starts to understand that changing the past could change good things as well. Strengths: Haddix certainly has a firm grasp of the magical realism/creepy supernatural niche, and crafts an interesting story about changing the past. My favorite part, however, was the strong family unit. They are shown dealing with ordinary problems like a sleepless infant, death of a friend, and job insecurity with strength and good humor. Just the topic of a tween having a baby sibling is a great, and underserved, one. I also liked the inclusion of going to church and Vacation Bible School. Although I figured out early on that church wasn't a good fit for me, I spent a LOT of time in middle school and high school attending church functions, and this also is underrepresented in middle grade literature. This seems like it will be a stand alone. Weaknesses: This would have been more effective as a realistic fiction story without the "remarkables". Their appearance is never well explained, and didn't make much sense. What I really think: I will purchase because Haddix is a local author and circulates well, but this wasn't my favorite. Part of that might be because I started reading thinking this was the sequel to The Strangers (Greystone Secrets #1), and it clearly wasn't!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Georgie

    I have read a lot of MPH books and this one was the best yet. Putting it on the fall order list for my school library!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karlie Schaefer

    "... are the only nice people in the world just nice because they haven't had any really bad things happen to them?" I love every book written by Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Remarkables is no exception. When Mirin and her family move to a new town, she's out exploring the woods in her backyard when she notices a group of teenagers from the neighborhood disappear in thin air, right in front of her eyes. Like Haddix's other stories, this one is unique and engaging with a bit of life's seriousness "... are the only nice people in the world just nice because they haven't had any really bad things happen to them?" I love every book written by Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Remarkables is no exception. When Mirin and her family move to a new town, she's out exploring the woods in her backyard when she notices a group of teenagers from the neighborhood disappear in thin air, right in front of her eyes.  Like Haddix's other stories, this one is unique and engaging with a bit of life's seriousness thrown in. She really is great at channeling the middle grader while not telling the same old story that readers have been told time and time again. I believe kids will love this book just as much as they've loved her others.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Hill

    Marin has just moved to Pennsylvania from Indiana. She has a baby brother, her dad is a teacher, and her mom just got a new job overseeing the nursing program at a college. As Marin explores the woods in her backyard, she sees some teenagers in the house behind hers. They seem to appear and disappear, weird. She encounters Charley, a neighbor, who is the same age as Marin. He sees the teenagers too. As they become friends, they solve the mystery surrounding they teenagers and the house. Wasn't Marin has just moved to Pennsylvania from Indiana. She has a baby brother, her dad is a teacher, and her mom just got a new job overseeing the nursing program at a college. As Marin explores the woods in her backyard, she sees some teenagers in the house behind hers. They seem to appear and disappear, weird. She encounters Charley, a neighbor, who is the same age as Marin. He sees the teenagers too. As they become friends, they solve the mystery surrounding they teenagers and the house. Wasn't super impressed with this one, although I normally LOVE all of Haddix's work.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Larry Plemmons

    An excellent coming of age story for young and old alike! Well worth your time and expense!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katie Reilley

    Thank you to the author & publisher for sharing a copy with our #bookexpedition group. The summer before Marin starts 6th grade, her family makes the move from IL to PA due to an amazing job offer for her mom. Leaving IL after a big fight with her two best friends and being the new kid, Marin is lonely and begins exploring the area, entering the woods behind her house and climbing a tree. She hears high schoolers coming home from school, and she begins observing them. As she’s watching, the Thank you to the author & publisher for sharing a copy with our #bookexpedition group. The summer before Marin starts 6th grade, her family makes the move from IL to PA due to an amazing job offer for her mom. Leaving IL after a big fight with her two best friends and being the new kid, Marin is lonely and begins exploring the area, entering the woods behind her house and climbing a tree. She hears high schoolers coming home from school, and she begins observing them. As she’s watching, the group of kids suddenly...disappears. Poof. Gone. She’s determined to figure out what she saw. She meets a neighbor, Charley, who reveals that he knows about them, too. Charley calls them “The Remarkables” and warms Marin to stay away from them. With themes of family, friendship, and letting go of the past to focus on the present and future, this middle grade story is full of surprises and plot twists. Recommend for grades 4 and up, and publishes on 9/24/19.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Saloni

    Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books for providing a copy of this book at BEA 2019! While an interesting concept, two major aspects of this book drove my 2-star review. 1. The book is approximately 300 pages long, and the plot didn't actually pick up until 200 pages in. A lot of the story was about her reuniting with some friends and adjusting to her new life in Pennsylvania. The actual plot of the book seemed as an aside. 2. I was not a fan of the dialogue. This book has some pass since it is a Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books for providing a copy of this book at BEA 2019! While an interesting concept, two major aspects of this book drove my 2-star review. 1. The book is approximately 300 pages long, and the plot didn't actually pick up until 200 pages in. A lot of the story was about her reuniting with some friends and adjusting to her new life in Pennsylvania. The actual plot of the book seemed as an aside. 2. I was not a fan of the dialogue. This book has some pass since it is a children's book. But to me it read like a poor fanfiction rather than an actual novel. I absolutely love Margaret Peterson Haddix as an author. She has this incredible skill of incorporating intensity and action into children/ young adult books. Unfortunately, this book was probably one of her worse ones and fell a little flat for me.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ruth E. R.

    I came across this great new book at a Charlotte library after I had locked myself out of a car and was waiting to be rescued. After checking out my crochet pattern books, I found I had stranded myself for a while, so I wandered back in to the lower floor (which happened to be the juvenile department) and headed for the H stacks. I'm a major Margaret Peterson Haddix fan after being introduced to her years ago by a friend who's a Children's Librarian. Haddix is always a good choice if you're I came across this great new book at a Charlotte library after I had locked myself out of a car and was waiting to be rescued. After checking out my crochet pattern books, I found I had stranded myself for a while, so I wandered back in to the lower floor (which happened to be the juvenile department) and headed for the H stacks. I'm a major Margaret Peterson Haddix fan after being introduced to her years ago by a friend who's a Children's Librarian. Haddix is always a good choice if you're looking for a quick read or a suspense that will be reliably clean and thought-provoking. She brings up realistic problems and conflicts for her characters, whether they are preteens or teens, that young people reading her books could identify with, and sometimes, but not always, adds thrilling supernatural events into their lives! The major themes of the book are friendship and family dynamics. The plot revolves around an 11-year-old girl who just moved into a new town a few states away, where she discovers a mystery. There are discussions about transitioning from childhood to young adulthood, as well as theories about time travel. The characters are so lifelike and believable that I found the resolutions of the various conflicts to be almost therapeutic. I also appreciated the positive portrayal of a dad. Males typically are not major positive characters and usually are in the background, indifferent to kids, and often stereotypically immoral, even in kids' books (like in One For the Murphys). There are a lot of good men out there who genuinely care about kids and dream of having their own families to be involved in. There is no doubt in my mind that Haddix writes from an authentic faith in Christ, because she brings ordinary Christian kids into her stories who are like real kids you'd meet at church. Though lots of U. S. American kids of all colors attend church every week, you almost never find church or church figures mentioned in intermediate fiction published in the past few decades, even if it's about a nice family like the Penderwicks. Haddix doesn't need to have a special publisher or to spend chapters preaching at the reader to bring up this topic in her stories. It happens "organically," as they say. Regardless of whether you include a sermon or Bible verse, hope and positivity are valuable to all young readers, and you'll find that here, when you may not be expecting it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dee Dee G

    Nice surprise ending.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Megan Leprich

    *4.5 STARS*

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anna Storynerd

    Favorite Haddix book!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Yusko

    Good for upper Elem Haddix fans, or readers looking for reality with just a hint of supernatural or time travel.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sue Jackson

    A fun, twisty sci fi/mystery adventure with both supernatural and real-life challenges for the kids involved - engrossing! Read my full review and listen to a sample of the excellent audio book: https://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2020/...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This was an awesome stand alone story all about friends. It’s a great middle grade book but I really appreciated it even as an adult. In this story, an 11 year old girl named Marin moves far away from her friends. There was a painful secret between those friends though and Marin second guesses if she will even be able to make friends going to middle school for the first year in a brand new area. She has gone through a lot of changes recently, including going from an only child to having a This was an awesome stand alone story all about friends. It’s a great middle grade book but I really appreciated it even as an adult. In this story, an 11 year old girl named Marin moves far away from her friends. There was a painful secret between those friends though and Marin second guesses if she will even be able to make friends going to middle school for the first year in a brand new area. She has gone through a lot of changes recently, including going from an only child to having a newborn brother. Marin discovers some teenagers that don’t look quite right when she explores the wooded area behind her new home. She meets a boy who is also 11 that lives next door. Together they discover these teens are time travelers and a very sad story is uncovered about the boy’s, Charlie, father. He’s being raised (along with his two brothers) by his grandmother. I highly recommend this book. I especially loved that breastfeeding is mentioned and NORMAL. The parents also wear the baby brother in a baby carrier. The family attends church and God is mentioned in a very sweet and reverent way a few times. This book isn’t over the top Christian but has a very sweet theme of friendship and family bonds throughout.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    I downloaded this book on Edelweiss thinking it was going to be the second book in the Greystones Secrets series. What I found instead was a remarkable standalone novel with a time travel mystery. Marin is eleven and has been recently transplanted from Illionois to Pennsylvania. She climbs a tree in the woods that begin in her backyard and discovers a group of teens who seem to appear and vanish like magic. She soon runs into neighbor boy Charley in the woods and they begin referring to these I downloaded this book on Edelweiss thinking it was going to be the second book in the Greystones Secrets series. What I found instead was a remarkable standalone novel with a time travel mystery. Marin is eleven and has been recently transplanted from Illionois to Pennsylvania. She climbs a tree in the woods that begin in her backyard and discovers a group of teens who seem to appear and vanish like magic. She soon runs into neighbor boy Charley in the woods and they begin referring to these enigmatic teenagers as the Remarkables. In the midst of the mystery we live life with Marin as she recovers from bullying at her old school, helps care for her baby brother and attends church with her family. In fact, on their first Sunday in their new home Marin's sleep-starved mother declares she needs to attend church rather than get more sleep. Marin and her family also consider having her attend VBS, a regular summer activity for many of the kids I know. Charley's life is markedly different. He and his twin little brothers live with their grandmother while their parents try to shake of drug addiction. Both Marin and Charley believe the Remarkables are in their lives so that a past mistake made by Charley's dad can be made right. Charley is certain he has seen his dad among the Remarkables. If they are able to enter the time stream with these people from the past, how will they fix the problem? What will such a change in the past do to the future? Why don't all the kids they have seen have the same names as the group of friends that are in articles written about that past catastrophe? Meanwhile, Marin struggles with past relationships in Illinois where she felt bullied and friendless. Will she know how to make friends at her new school? This grace-filled and surprising book deftly deals with so many real-life situations while still providing an intriguing mystery and tugging at the heartstrings. A big thank you to Katherine Tegen books and Edelweiss for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Violet Sinclair

    DISCLAIMER: I received a digital review copy of REMARKABLES via Edelweiss Above the Treeline in exchange for an honest review WOAH I’ve been a fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix since I was about ten-years-old, and contrary to popular belief, I think her newer books are just as good as her older books. REMARKABLES may not have been as good as CHILDREN OF EXILE, SHADOW CHILDREN, or THE GREYSTONE SECRETS, but I definitely think it’s just as good as GAME CHANGER and THE HOUSE ON THE GULF. My only DISCLAIMER: I received a digital review copy of REMARKABLES via Edelweiss Above the Treeline in exchange for an honest review WOAH I’ve been a fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix since I was about ten-years-old, and contrary to popular belief, I think her newer books are just as good as her older books. REMARKABLES may not have been as good as CHILDREN OF EXILE, SHADOW CHILDREN, or THE GREYSTONE SECRETS, but I definitely think it’s just as good as GAME CHANGER and THE HOUSE ON THE GULF. My only complaint would be the fact that Haddix decided to throw in all kinds of crazy plot twists within the last four chapters and while they got kind of explained, I was still left wanting just a little more explanation. Overall though, very good. Would recommend for fans of Netflix’s STRANGER THINGS. Will I be purchasing in September? Yes.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deeann

    I am absolutely thrilled that I won an advanced reader copy of this book! Not only am I fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix but so is my adult daughter! I just finished this book and thought it was fabulous! The interesting thing is that I was the same age as Marin when my family moved to a new town and I also had a new sibling that was just a few months older than Owen, which changed my status in the family from being the only to being one of two! Without giving away any spoilers my introduction to I am absolutely thrilled that I won an advanced reader copy of this book! Not only am I fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix but so is my adult daughter! I just finished this book and thought it was fabulous! The interesting thing is that I was the same age as Marin when my family moved to a new town and I also had a new sibling that was just a few months older than Owen, which changed my status in the family from being the only to being one of two! Without giving away any spoilers my introduction to my new neighborhood and sixth grade was far less mysterious and exciting than Marin's! This book was a joy to read and is definitely a great addition to any library! Thanks Harper Childrens!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Platt

    This is a good mystery for level 4-6. The author included difficult subjects good for discussion such as chemical dependency, personality differences, diverse family dynamics. I'm so glad she wasn't afraid to add these important realistic themes. I'm giving 4 stars only because as an adult, it didn't sweep me; 4 stars however is very good. There's a twist too, you think it's time travel, but.... It's realistic fiction with a touch of fantasy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Valerie McEnroe

    Adult rating: 3 stars Kid rating: 2 stars Disclaimer: I do not get time travel. It's confusing. When the same person exists as two people, at different ages, in the same time space, you lose me. So...this affects my rating. Marin's family has just arrived to a new life in Pennsylvania. Her mom has a prestigious new job at a college and her dad is Mr. Mom for now, taking care of baby Owen. While roaming around the woods, Marin discovers a home with a fun group of kids who appear and disappear. The Adult rating: 3 stars Kid rating: 2 stars Disclaimer: I do not get time travel. It's confusing. When the same person exists as two people, at different ages, in the same time space, you lose me. So...this affects my rating. Marin's family has just arrived to a new life in Pennsylvania. Her mom has a prestigious new job at a college and her dad is Mr. Mom for now, taking care of baby Owen. While roaming around the woods, Marin discovers a home with a fun group of kids who appear and disappear. The neighbor boy, Charley, claims they are a group of time-traveling high schoolers he calls "the remarkables." The main story with this group is that Charley's father may have inadvertently caused a girl to die in a house fire when he forgot to replace the smoke detector batteries he removed while attending her 17th birthday party. His guilt leads him to a life of drug addiction. Marin and Charley want to go back in time to prevent the death and hopefully save his dad too. The question you must always consider about changing one piece of history is what other changes will happen as a result. There's lots of interesting family and friend dynamics going on in this story. There's the newborn Owen and how he affects the family and the unfortunate incident that ruined Marin's relationship with her Illinois friends. These parts play out around the time-travel angle, and I really enjoyed them. I also appreciated that Marin and her family go to church which seems to be a taboo subject in books today, even though lots of kids go to church. My guess is that because of the confusing time travel stuff, kids aren't gonna go for this book. Some may give it a try because of the Haddix name, but my students have no patience. They have no qualms about abandoning books. I have students that get confused by far less confusing plots. Definitely passing on this one.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: Marin stared at the towering wall of cardboard boxes that ran down the middle of her family’s new living room. Premise/plot: Marin, our heroine, is nervous about making new friends in her new school in her new town in her new state. She left her old town, old school far behind her...and her old friends, well, she’s not sure they’re even friends now. Friendship is super complicated at this age—she is eleven. Owen, her brand new brother, is awesome. Her parents are incredibly First sentence: Marin stared at the towering wall of cardboard boxes that ran down the middle of her family’s new living room. Premise/plot: Marin, our heroine, is nervous about making new friends in her new school in her new town in her new state. She left her old town, old school far behind her...and her old friends, well, she’s not sure they’re even friends now. Friendship is super complicated at this age—she is eleven. Owen, her brand new brother, is awesome. Her parents are incredibly awesome. No conflicts in the home—as far as she’s concerned. All she really needs for life to be perfectly perfect are friends her own age. Something strange is going on in her neighborhood, near her yard, there are teens that appear and disappear. She watches them come and go on a fairly regular basis. The only other one who sees these Remarkables is her next door neighbor, Charley. Charley, unlike Marin, has a less than perfect life. He can’t decide if Marin is a bad intrusion or a good one. Charley shares with her his theory that these teens are time travelers from the past. My thoughts: I liked this one. I thought it was weird and thought-provoking. Weird because of the teens that appear and disappear and are only visible to Charley and Marin. If you’re looking for this whatever it is to actually be explained in a satisfying way to an adult, you’ll be disappointed. If you’ve read a description that makes it sound like a time travel adventure, you’ll really be disappointed. It is a coming of age novel that touches briefly on serious topics like bullying and drug addiction. S P O I L E R * * * A L E R T Thought-provoking because this novel asks the question...would it help to be able to see yourself happy and well seven years in the future. Would that take away the stress and anxiety of your current worries?!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Ellis

    When ten-year-old Marin moves from Illinois to Pennsylvania, she's sad. Friends are left behind, damaged friendships remain broken, and there is uncertainty with what the future holds. As she explores her new home, she discovers a house behind hers. A house that seems to be the center of activity where the teenagers are happy. But then the teenagers disappear. Are they ghosts from a tragedy that occurred twenty years in the past, or are they a glimpse into the future? Marin and her new friend, When ten-year-old Marin moves from Illinois to Pennsylvania, she's sad. Friends are left behind, damaged friendships remain broken, and there is uncertainty with what the future holds. As she explores her new home, she discovers a house behind hers. A house that seems to be the center of activity where the teenagers are happy. But then the teenagers disappear. Are they ghosts from a tragedy that occurred twenty years in the past, or are they a glimpse into the future? Marin and her new friend, Charley aim to find out. Remarkables is a complex story of hope. The main plot is the discovery of who the Remarkables are, but there are many other issues involved – the challenges of moving, dealing with bullies, friend relationships, and struggling with addictions in a family. Even though these topics are dark, ultimately, the story offers hope that things can and will get better. The story is well-written and intriguing with topics that are relate-able to many middle-grade readers.  

  30. 4 out of 5

    Yapha

    Can you ever go wrong with a book by Margaret Peterson Haddix? I don't think so! Marin and her family have just moved to a small town in Pennsylvania after a particularly rough 5th grade year. Her mom has a new job, her dad is looking for work and taking care of her brand new baby brother, and Marin is worried about making friends after what happened last year. When she spots the group of teenagers coming home from school, she is enthralled by what looks like their perfect and easy friendship. Can you ever go wrong with a book by Margaret Peterson Haddix? I don't think so! Marin and her family have just moved to a small town in Pennsylvania after a particularly rough 5th grade year. Her mom has a new job, her dad is looking for work and taking care of her brand new baby brother, and Marin is worried about making friends after what happened last year. When she spots the group of teenagers coming home from school, she is enthralled by what looks like their perfect and easy friendship. She stays hidden in the woods, watching them until they disappear instantly, as if by magic. Trying to solve the mystery of the teenagers takes Marin on a trip through town history and through her own fears about friendship as well. Highly recommended for grades 4 & up. eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss

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