9781772780079_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $11.95
category: Children's Fiction
published: Sep 2016
publisher: Pajama Press Inc.

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles

by Shari Green

tagged: multigenerational, marriage & divorce, friendship

Eleven-year-old Bailey believes in miracles. She has to; it will take a miracle to keep her warring parents together. This summer they are at a Marriage Counselling camp, leaving Bailey and her little brother Kevin with their estranged grandmother in the island town of Felicity Bay. There, an eccentric deposed minister makes a prophecy that a stranger from the sea will change everything. When Bailey discovers a mermaid-shaped piece of driftwood, she begins to believe that the mermaid is this stranger from the sea. Then, when a dolphin becomes stranded on the beach, Bailey forgets her own troubles and rouses the reluctant locals into action. Written in light and lyrical free verse, Shari Green’s warm and wistful novel brings Bailey face to face with both hard and beautiful truths about growing up and growing into her own ability to shape the world.

About the Author
Shari Green spent a large portion of her childhood summers reading stacks of library books, and she's still in love with stories today. In 2016 she published Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, a stirring middle-grade novel in free verse. Shari lives in Campbell River, British Columbia, with her husband, kids, and the worst watchdog ever.
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
8 to 12
3 to 7
  • Long-listed, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award
  • Short-listed, Chocolate Lily Book Award: Novels
  • Long-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection
  • Short-listed, SCBWI Crystal Kite Award
  • Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"
Editorial Reviews

Told in verse-novel form, Green’s writing is captivatingly visual, with seamless inclusions of figurative language. As with many other verse-novels, a first-person narrative, told from the present tense, makes the story immediate and compelling.

— CM Magazine

Writing in verse, Green aptly captures the journey of a girl faced with her first real heartbreak—the likely dissolution of her family. Bailey’s openness to confronting her reality while still believing in the extraordinary adds to her charm, as does her growing realization that heartache affects many others in her life as well.

— Canadian Children's Book News

Heart-wrenching, powerful, memorable! This book is sure to win its way into the hearts of so many young readers.

— Literary Locker

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles by Shari Green is just delightful....Green’s writing has whimsy and heart...Whimsical, hopeful and at times bittersweet, I highly recommend Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles.

— Bookish Notions

This book is a delight from start to finish.

— The Crimson Review of Children's and YA LIterature

What I Loved: Well, lots of things! In no particular order, I loved the language....I loved how all the conflicts were not favorably resolved....I loved how island life was a natural part of the story. Highly recommended for the middle grader in your life.

— Barrie Summy

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles is Shari Green’s debut novel but it is an accomplished story in form and content worthy of a seasoned writer....Balancing structure with plot is complicated. Yet Shari Green dives right in, creating characters and circumstances that effortlessly carry the reader from beginning to end on waves of sentiments, some fearful, most benevolent, all heartfelt. Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles is in itself a miracle...

— CanLit for LittleCanadians

This title is written in free verse, with dialogue written in italics and spacing used to indicate new voices. All of these techniques enhance the rich descriptions of the ocean setting and present a realistic story to the reader. Recommended.

— School Library Connection

I was impressed at how easily the author developed such unforgettable characters using free verse, all while building a great plot with excellent pacing. I know I would have loved this book as a tween, and I highly recommend it. It’s delightful and poignant and one of my favorite books so far of 2017.

— Library of Clean Reads

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles tackles some serious problems common among kids today….Not everything can be fixed, but sharing a problem with someone who loves us makes it easier to bear….[A]n excellent choice for thoughtful middle-grade readers and would make a valuable addition to a school or classroom library. It's also a fine complement to the verse novels of K.A. Holt, and a stepping stone to the work of authors like Sonya Sones, Virginia Euwer Wolff, and Martine Leavitt.

— Resource Links

[I]t is a way to gently explore some of the changes many children face today.

— Moon Shine Art Spot

Dialogue written in italics, along with spacing between speakers, renders the narrative accessible and immediate to readers... Recommend this lovely and poignant novel to middle grade readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories.

— School Library Journal

This novel in verse is beautifully written. It is sure to find many fans in the middle grades, and would make a terrific read-aloud for the first few weeks of school while teachers are trying to inspire community spirit within their own classrooms.

— Sal's Fiction Addiction

[A] wonderful, poignant book...I strongly recommend this to all who love the sea, and families, and miracles....Five stars out of five!

— My Comfy Chair

This lovely book deserves a far wider readership than the middle-grade audience to which it is being marketed. Don't miss this one.

— The Write Stuff


Top  Grade
Librarian review

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles

Many middle grade readers will identify and/or sympathize with Bailey’s story of living with two parents at war. Root Beer Candy is a story about hope, setting priorities, and growing up.: The West Coast Canadian island setting, Felicity Bay, provides a geography lesson and gives insight into life by the sea. The free verse format of the novel is an excellent example of narrative writing using a poetic format.

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Diversity Collection Selection 2017.

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