cover image Miraculous


Caroline Starr Rose. Putnam, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-9848-1315-2

A small-town mystery unfolds with creeping dread in Rose’s (Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine) historical thriller. After months on the road, 13-year-old Jack, apprenticed to the traveling tonic salesman whose wares healed his infant sister, arrives in Oakdale, Ohio, a town that’s garnered a reputation of hostility toward outsiders since a fire burned a local barn 50 years ago (a formative event told in flashbacks throughout). Friendless when fellow assistant Isaac, 16, abruptly quits just as they arrive in Oakdale, Jack must suffer his employer’s anger, or convince the townsfolk that Dr. Kingsbury’s Miraculous Tonic will cure them of any possible affliction. Despite initial skepticism, Oakdale citizens soon begin to clamor for the curing tonic; meanwhile, Jack finds himself questioning the doctor’s motives when the details of Isaac’s disappearance don’t add up. With the help of newfound allies, Jack begins to uncover fragments of the doctor’s history and the town’s fire in a chilling adventure that serves as a cautionary tale against insular life. Most characters read as white; an author’s note contextualizes the story’s beginnings and the choice to use historical language when referencing Black characters. Ages 10–up. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (July)