Sometimes a book comes along that is just perfect in every way. For me, ‘Miraculous Miranda’ is one of those books – and I really hope it gets read by a wider audience than its target group of upper primary-age children.
Miranda lives with her mum, dad, gran and older sister, Gemma. She is a rather precocious individual – though her confidence and sparkiness come across as enthusiasm and interest at this age – and I loved her fascination with words and their meanings. Her older sister has a condition that Miranda is not told much about, but it means Gemma is often taken to hospital.
As an adult reading this I was trying to piece together the background to the characters and their stories, but it really is not important within these pages that we don’t know all the details. We see events through Miranda’s eyes, and her reaction to what’s going on around her is touching.
We see Miranda trying to deal with what she can see is not an ordinary situation, without being told all the details. This does lead, inevitably, to some confusion – the incident with her classmates being very concerned for Gran because they haven’t understood a word Miranda used in her journal was a little sad, while being very humorous. There is. it seems, something to be said for talking to younger children about illness and not trying to hide the truth from them completely!
This is a book that I could see myself reading again and again, without tiring of Miranda and her imaginative perception of the world around her.
A huge thank you to NetGalley and publishers Hodder Childrens’ Books for the copy in advance of publication in exchange for sharing my honest thoughts.