Download the teacher’s guides for these must-read realistic fantasy adventure books by Jess Redman, perfect for your classroom library!
The Miraculous by Jess Redman
In the tradition of heartwrenching and hopeful middle grade novels such as Bridge to Terabithia comes Jess Redman’s stunning debut about a young boy who must regain his faith in miracles after a tragedy changes his world.
Eleven-year-old Wunder Ellis is a miracologist. In a journal he calls The Miraculous, he records stories of the inexplicable and the extraordinary. And he believes every single one. But then his newborn sister dies, at only eight days old. If that can happen, then miracles can’t exist. So Wunder gets rid of The Miraculous. He stops believing.
Then he meets Faye—a cape-wearing, outspoken girl with losses of her own. Together, they find an abandoned house by the cemetery and a mysterious old woman who just might be a witch. The old woman asks them for their help. She asks them to believe. And they go on a journey that leads to friendship, to adventure, to healing—and to miracles.
The Miraculous is Jess Redman’s sparkling debut novel about facing grief, trusting the unknown, and finding brightness in the darkest moments.
Praise for The Miraculous:
“Redman explores faith, the intertwined nature of sorrow and joy, and the transformative process of grief through Wunder’s eyes in a part-fantasy, part-realistic adventure with genuinely humorous moments. . .Layered, engaging, and emotionally true.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Redman’s gorgeous debut uses a cozy world of bright characters to tackle themes of death, grief, and doubt with gentle compassion and a light touch. . .[A] moving lesson for young people learning to cope with both the good and the bad that life has to offer.” —Booklist
“The lesson that miracles can still exist in the midst of tragedy is especially powerful. . .This feel-good novel will have readers reflecting on events in their own lives (and very likely also reaching for a box of tissues).” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A stunning story expressing the complexities and mysteries of love and death in all of its light and darkness. A beautifully rendered and meaningful read for young readers asking deep questions.” —Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor–winning author of The Night Diary
“Filled with longing, love, hope, and wisdom, The Miraculous is a small miracle of a book.” —Alison McGhee, author of Shadow Baby and the #1 New York Times–bestseller Someday
“Exquisitely crafted, serious, yet woven through with wry humor, this story’s miracles are its fierce and tender characters. I loved this extraordinary debut.” —Leslie Connor, National Book Award Finalist author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
Quintessence by Jess Redman
Quintessence is an extraordinary story from Jess Redman about friendship, self-discovery, interconnectedness, and the inexplicable elements that make you you.
Find the Elements. Grow the Light. Save the Starling.
Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she’s told her parents that they have. She’s homesick and friendless and every day she feels less and less like herself.
But one day she finds a telescope in the town’s junk shop, and through its lens, she watches a star—a star that looks like a child—fall from the sky and into her backyard. Alma knows what it’s like to be lost and afraid, to long for home, and she knows that it’s up to her to save the star. And so, with the help of some unlikely new friends from Astronomy Club, she sets out on a quest that will take a little bit of science, a little bit of magic, and her whole self.
This title has Common Core connections.
Praise for Quintessence:
“A fanciful adventure with a rich emotional core and a fairy tale flair. An emphasis on Alma’s mental health and circular thought patterns proves an effective complement to the story’s magical elements, as her new endeavor and friends grant her the resilience to navigate her needs. Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, this is a clever, entertaining story with its own distinct identity.” —Publishers Weekly
“Redman’s writing shines [in] the portrayal of Alma’s mental health and its effect on her sense of self and on those around her. . .Reassuring, especially to kids struggling to articulate their own feelings in the face of lingering stigma about mental health.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A wildly imaginative tale full of wonder and hope that is grounded in our everyday world and the very real problems that today’s children face.” —Megan Frazer Blakemore, author of The Story Web
“A magical, wondrous book. . .The story is beautifully written and gave me chills almost constantly—with that magic-just-around-the-corner feeling.” —Gillian McDunn, author of Caterpillar Summer
“As bright and magical as a falling star, Quintessence is a beautifully told story that collided with my heart and set it aglow.” —Heather Kassner, author of The Bone Garden
“While firmly grounded in real-world issues, Quintessence shimmers with the perfect amount of magic. Redman’s deft, sympathetic portrayal of anxiety, a welcome and important addition to the middle grade canon, blends with scientific references to astronomy that are sure to engage young readers. Well-rounded, relatable, and resilient characters working together in a captivating setting make this the perfect read for fans of STEM and the stars.” —Sarah Baughman, author of The Light in the Lake
The Adventure Is Now by Jess Redman
A fun-filled, action-packed middle grade novel about a boy who learns about protecting the environment, finding real friends, and living in the now while spending the summer on a remote island.
Sometimes it’s hard to be Milton P. Greene. He says all the wrong things, his family is falling apart, and everyone at school avoids him because of the very embarrassing Bird Brain Incident. But when Milton plays his video game Isle of Wild, he becomes someone else—Sea Hawk, the brave and brilliant naturalist explorer who conquers danger at every turn. Then Milton’s parents ship him off to the remote Lone Island for the summer, where his uncle Evan is an environmentalist researcher. The island is chock-full of spectaculous species, and Milton realizes this is his chance to become the brave and brilliant naturalist he’s always wanted to be—and even meet some fellow explorers!
But as it turns out, the future of the Lone Island is in some pretty serious peril, and the only thing that can save it is a field guide full of cryptic clues. If Milton and his unexpected new friends are going to protect the island, they’ll have to trust each other, discover new truths, and embark on a wild and wondrous adventure all their own.
The Adventure is Now is a dazzling, fun-filled story from Jess Redman.
Praise for The Adventure Is Now:
A Bank Street Best Book of the Year
“A Roald Dahl-esque delight.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The remote island filled with Dr. Dolittle–style flora and fauna helps to keep this message-driven tale afloat, and readers will likely wish for even more scenes with the imaginative fancies.” —Booklist
“Redman (Quintessence) renders compassionate characters in Milton and crew, placing an emphasis on honesty and emotional directness that makes for an affirming adventure.” —Publishers Weekly
“A fun summer read perfect for fans of Kate Beasley’s Lions & Liars, and Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s Shouting at the Rain.” —School Library Journal
“Magic blooms as thick as Truth-Will-Out Vine on every page of this story. I adore Milton P. Greene, his wild adventure, his magical island, and his brave, daring heart.” —Natalie Lloyd, New York Times–bestselling author of A Snicker of Magic and The Problim Children series
“Vividly imagined and full of heart, The Adventure is Now is a delight! This story is just right for our current times, when we’re all yearning for a ‘spectaculous’ adventure.”—Gillian McDunn, author of Caterpillar Summer and These Unlucky Stars