About the Book

Title: Remarkable
Published: 2012

Cover Story: Remarkable
BFF Charm:  Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 0
Talky Talk: Whimstastic
Bonus Factors: Pirates, Kickass Gram (and Gramps), Nessie, Tasty Business, Loyal Pet
Relationship Status: I’d Like To Buy The World This Book

Cover Story: Remarkable

Okay, okay, that’s the last time I’ll use that word, lest it lose potency. Seriously, though, I love this cover. From the humorous words to the Gary Baseman-esque artwork, this was a book I was proud to be seen around town with.

The Deal:

Jane Doe is the ordinary middle sister in a family full of extraordinary people. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she lives in the town of Remarkable — so named because everything and every one in the town is phenomenal. Everything and everyone, that is, except for Jane. Well, and her grandfather, but he’s so unexceptional that no one in the town can ever even remember he exists.

Nothing fun or exciting ever happens to Jane — that is, until the Grimlet twins (who are astonishingly good at being bad) purposefully get themselves kicked out of Remarkable’s School for the Remarkably Gifted, to join Jane at the town’s regular old public school (Before the Grimlet twins joined her, Jane had been the only student.). Then a strange pirate arrives in town, and before Jane knows it, she’s embroiled in a series of rather remarkable events. Will the town fall apart? Or will Jane, in a rather ordinary way, save everything?

BFF Charm: Yay!

Yay BFF Charm

Oh Jane! There’s nothing plain about you, my dear, and not only do I want to be your best friend, but I want to share you with the world. How could I be selfish with someone such as yourself?

Swoonworthy Scale: 0

Since this is aimed at middle-graders, you might have guessed correctly that it’s not a kissing book. And I’m glad. Because it’s perfect as it is.

Talky Talk: Whimstastic

This book. THIS BOOK!!!!! Is SO good!!!! I want everyone to go read it right now. I MEAN it. It is ridiculous and silly and fun and fantastic and heart-warming and I may have shed a tear up out my eye when I closed the back cover. I could pretty much just list a bunch of synonyms for whimsical, but I think you get the idea. This is the kind of book that you could enjoy reading out loud as a family, or chuckling over all of the hilarious tidbits by yourself.

Bonus Factor: Pirates

Captain Hook on his ship from Once Upon a Time

Captain Rojo Herring (oh, how I love that name) is just one of the pirates who shows up in town, and Foley’s descriptions of pirates — how they smell, the pirate code, and what pirates look for in a good captain — had me cheers-ing with “Arrghs!” all around.

Bonus Factor: Kickass Gram (and Gramps)

Jenifer Lewis as Ruby, a sassy Black grandmother on Black-ish

Mayor Grandmama Julietta Augustina is not easily impressed — since she’s surrounded by the stunning every day — and I loved her for her “hmphs” AND for the little-known secret of what actually amazes her.

Grandpa John is quite possibly one of the best role models I’ve ever read. Content with being himself — even though he’s overlooked by everyone else — it turns out that he might just be the most remarkable man in Remarkable.

Bonus Factor: Nessie

Well actually, the sea monster that lives in Lake Remarkable is called Lucky, and according to Grandmama Julietta Augustina, Lucky is bigger, better, and more beautiful than the creature in Loch Ness — a claim that has caused some trouble between Remarkable and Scotland. But much like her Scottish cousin, Lucky rarely comes out to substantiate these claims. Or does she?

Bonus Factor: Tasty Business

Pizza slice with stringy cheese still attached to the pie

Okay, so any book that has a chapter titled “A Bit About The Jelly” is a book I want to read. Also, if I could have a clairvoyant pizza delivery restaurant owner like Madame Gladiola in my town, that’d be great, thanks!

Bonus Factor: Loyal Pet

Golden retriever looking at camera while being hugged by a man

You might initially think that Salzburg the parrot is more of a disloyal pet, but all becomes clear later in the book. It’s also pretty obvious from the book and her author photos that Foley loves dogs, which automatically makes her one of my favorite people, ever.

Relationship Status: I’d Like To Buy The World This Book

This book was given to me by my good friend Lenore, and now I can’t wait to follow her actions. Essentially, I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world this book, and keep it company…

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Lenore Appelhans. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Remarkable is available now.

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.