Newbery Honor Book
The Beaumont family has a special secret. Every time one of them turns thirteen, a special power emerges that gives them the ability to do something extraordinary. When Mississippi’s (Mibs) older brother Fish turned thirteen, a powerful hurricane swept onto the coast and obliterated much of the property near their home. Now Mibs is twelve, and she’s about to turn thirteen, but her father gets into a terrible accident and is placed in a hospital in Salina. Mibs’s mother and oldest brother drive down to see him, leaving Mibs home without parents during what will be one of the most important days of her life.
On the morning of her thirteenth birthday, she awakes to believe that her new power is the ability to revive people from the dead. Convinced that she must get to her father to help, Mibs stows away on a bus headed for Salina with her brother and two other kids. On the way, the four have some incredible adventures that only kids of their caliber could have.
This was a fun and endearing book. Mibs was such a fun character to follow during her journey into discovering herself, her abilities and some surprising friends along the way. Although the ‘people with special powers’ story has been told over and over now, Law’s take on it is refreshing. Rather than creating heroes who have to save the world against deadly foes, the Beaumonts are simple people who want nothing more than to keep to themselves and have as normal of a life as possible. The best part of the book is watching Mibs’s bravery and her indomitable spirit throughout some of the most difficult circumstances, simply because of the love she has for her own father.
For the Classroom
Although there are many aspects of this text that are parallel to modern American life, it’s not a story that can really be used as a classroom companion. However, I highly recommend keeping it around the classroom for students to discover since it’s such a fun book.