Life is so much better when you believe in the power of the universe. For nine-year-old Julian, it means having a special “uni-sense” that connects him to the vast night skies, occasionally warning him before things go wrong. When his family suddenly decides to move to Maine and open a B&B, Julian knows that this will be the perfect opportunity for him to finally get them to observe the magic of the starry night. He might even get to name a comet after himself!
Unfortunately, no one believes in Julian’s powers or has time to spend with him. What’s worse, not even a day after moving in to their new home, problems arise between his family and their new neighbor, the widowed Mr. X. Suddenly it’s up to Julian set things right and show not only his family, but Mr. X, that the universe connects them in more ways than they believe.
If you love reading captivating novels that have a whole lot to do with space, then Kathryn Erskine’s The Incredible Magic of Being is perfect for you. This book grabs your attention from start to finish with its young narrator, Julian, who provides a perspective so unbelievably realistic that I felt as though I had just taken a jump into my younger brother’s mind. Julian’s quirky but straightforward character made me laugh so hard. The scenes between him and Mr. X really left an impression on me. This adorable character just wants to do what’s best for his family but has a hard time doing so with his two moms, one of whom is unbearably overprotective, and a “supernova”-like teenage sister who no longer seems to understand him.
The best part of this book are the F.A.R.T.s found all over. Yep, that’s right, there are F.A.R.T.s in this book, better known as “Facts and Random Thoughts.” These little tidbits of information inform the reader about celestial objects and occurrences, like the Messier Objects, or just Julian’s thoughts about space.
This book is a great read. It has a thrilling plot that made me laugh, and the twist at the end left me completely in shock. This book made me realize that there is more connecting us than we realize and that there truly is magic in the universe – we just have to believe in it. The seamless way this book portrays LGBTQ people was excellent. I would definitely recommend The Incredible Magic of Being to
everyone I know
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.