cover image Remarkables


Margaret Peterson Haddix. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06283846-9

Marin, 11, is looking forward to a fresh start when she moves from Illinois to Pennsylvania with her parents and infant brother—and away from the friends with whom she’s abruptly fallen out. While exploring the woods behind the family’s new home, she becomes entranced by a group of nine teenagers in a nearby yard who seem to vanish as she watches. Marin doesn’t know what to think until she meets Charley, a neighbor being raised by his grandmother. Charley can also see the enigmatic group, which he calls “the Remarkables,” and theorizes that they are figments of the past from 20 years ago, just before the occurrence of a tragedy with personal ramifications for Charley’s family. As the mystery of the Remarkables deepens, Marin and Charley learn about the detrimental and far-reaching consequences of guilt and, slowly, with pain and joy, find a way to move forward. As ever, Haddix plots her satisfying mystery with careful touch points and reveals. But it is her smart exploration of the past’s legacy and sensitively painted family dynamics—from Marin’s exhausted but joyful parents to Charley’s difficult family story—that make this story remarkable. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. [em](Sept.) [/em] Correction: A previous version of this review misstated the state from which the family moved.