cover image Remarkable


Lizzie K. Foley. Dial, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3706-8

Foley’s entertaining debut takes a long time to find its focus, but those who wade through the myriad subplots and engage with the host of characters will be rewarded. The town of Remarkable is peopled by precocious children, a psychic pizzeria owner, an “exceptionally proficient” but underutilized dentist, and even an underwater lake creature. It’s also “home to the world’s two tallest trees, a celebrated science fair, and the best organic jelly that anyone had ever tasted,” and its residents are “among the most terribly interesting and talented people in the whole wide world.” There are only two ordinary citizens, 10-year-old Jane Doe and her grandfather, John Doe; much of the tale is told from the point of view of Jane, who hopes to someday discover her extraordinary quality. Unusual events are set in motion by the arrival of pirates, as well as by the terrorizing 10-year-old Grimlet twins, who play a major role in tying up the various plot threads. The satisfying ending brings Jane her heart’s desire—though not necessarily what readers have been led to expect. Ages 8–12. Agent: Faye Bender, Faye Bender Literary Agency. (Apr.)