Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles
by Shari Green
Eleven-year-old Bailey believes in miracles. She has to; it will take a miracle to keep her warring parents together. This summer they are at a Marriage Counselling camp, leaving Bailey and her little brother Kevin with their estranged grandmother in the island town of Felicity Bay. There, an eccentric deposed minister makes a prophecy that a stranger from the sea will change everything. When Bailey discovers a mermaid-shaped piece of driftwood, she begins to believe that the mermaid is this stranger from the sea. Then, when a dolphin becomes stranded on the beach, Bailey forgets her own troubles and rouses the reluctant locals into action.
How can something so simple, so naive, so innocent put a dent to my heart? How can two utterly faultless kids see the world in a whole new light, while I can only see darkness and despair? How can miracles come true in the form of a mermaid? Or was it really the driftwood mermaid the stranger on the beach?
This book is tugging at my heartstrings. I feel so protective of the main characters, Bailey and Daniel. I love Bailey’s narration, I see the world in her eyes, I see the driftwood mermaid coming to life. It’s so relaxing and overwhelming getting into her thoughts. She’s a proof that miracles do exist.
I also want to hug Daniel and stop his hacking coughs. I want to remove the pain in his heart. And I cry for Jasper. That poor old man. Why are people cruel to a man with an ice cream & fudgsicle cart and his prophesies?
And Nana Marie? She was the biggest surprise in the book. Seriously! (wait, let me grab my favorite spoon and hide)…
This novel came as a surprise to me. I wasn’t sure how to go about it when I read the first few pages. When Bailey and her brother talked about magic, that’s when the tidal of emotions came rushing to me. And I couldn’t stop reading from thereon. This had been a really beautiful yet very simple story about a miracle that bound a broken family, a magic that reunited a estranged community, a love that never fade even when you think you’ve already lost it.
I read this to my kids and they both enjoyed the root beer candies and fudgsicles. And oh yeah, I saw some glimpse of misty eyes, too. Shari Green is amazing!