cover image The Probability of Miracles

The Probability of Miracles

Wendy Wunder. Razorbill, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-59514-368-6

Wunder gracefully balances comedy and tragedy in this debut novel about jaded 16-year-old Campbell, who is battling terminal cancer. After five years of treatment, her doctor tells her, “Science is not enough this time.... What you need is a miracle.” Though no-nonsense Campbell scorns the idea of miracles, her mother and younger sister refuse to give up, and her mother relocates them from their Disney-centric life in Florida to Promise, Maine—a hard-to-find town reputed to have mystical healing powers. As Cam fulfills her “Flamingo List” (her version of a bucket list), which includes such goals as “Have my heart broken by an asshole” and “Experiment with petty shoplifting,” she confronts unexpected joys and disappointments and abandons some of her defenses and detachment. Wunder creates a large, memorable supporting cast to bolster Cam, including her friend and fellow cancer patient, Lily; love interest Asher; and unconventional family. The surreal proceedings—along with some potential miracles, depending on one’s belief in such things—explore the subjects of death and life with sensitively honed humor, examining what it means to live. Ages 14–up. (Dec.)■