For Parents

Recommended books for readers who liked Miracle:

“What are your favorite books?” is one of the questions students ask all the time. Here are some recommendations in no particular order (that I also highlight in my presentations), mixing classics and contemporary books.

  • A Wish in the Dark, by Christina Soontornvat
  • Ghost Book, by Remy Lai
  • Monsterious: Escape from Grimstone Manor, by Matt McMann
  • Lightfall, by Tim Probert
  • Heroes of Havensong, by Megan Reyes
  • Three Rules for Everyday Magic, by Amanda Rawson Hill
  • Where the Watermelons Grow, by Cindy Baldwin
  • The Swifts, by Beth Lincoln
  • The Mystwick School of Musicraft, by Jessica Khoury
  • Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
  • Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery

Middle Grade @ Heart Book Club:

I’m part of a book club, Middle Grade @ Heart. It is a group of authors who love reading and writing middle grade literature. It formed in June 2017, and is an online book club all about MG lit in all its forms, as a resource for parents, librarians, teachers, writers, and everyone who loves the heart and hope of books for this age group.

We pick a great MG read every month and send out a newsletter. Each newsletter has discussion questions, extension activities, a recipe, and author interview! This way, not only can you get the benefits of being part of a dependable book club with thought-provoking discussion, but you can also use the ideas in our newsletter to start a book club with the middle graders in your life.

  1. Sign up for the MG@Heart newsletter.
  2. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @mgatheart, so you can get reminders and updates.
  3. I hope you’ll join us!

Here is our proposed book list for 2024:

June: FIBBED by Elizabeth Agyemang

July: FIG NEWTON AND THE SCIENCE OF PERSISTENCE by Sonja Thomas

August: NO MATTER THE DISTANCE by Cindy Baldwin

September: ETTA INVINCIBLE by Reese Eschmann

October: MIRACLE by Karen S. Chow

November: THE HOPE OF ELEPHANTS by Amanda Rawson Hill

Our past years’ picks are listed here.

Discussion Questions for Miracle:

  1. Summary and Comprehension How did Amie feel when she found her father was dying? What happened when Amie tried to make everyone else happy? What happened when Amie was honest about her feelings?
  2. Making Connections Write about a time when you heard of someone having trouble in their life (like a family member or friend getting sick). How did it make you—or others—feel?
  3. Critical Thinking Why is this story told with musical terms? Do the musical terms help you understand the emotions of the characters?
  4. Making Inferences Based off Amie’s references to being Harry in the Harry Potter trio, how would you describe Amie? Is she similar to Harry, like she thinks?
  5. Author’s Purpose In music, there are themes in a piece, just like in a book. What is the theme of this story?
  6. Making Predictions Do you think Amie would have found her sound again if Ms. Sato didn’t give her a violin to play? What do you think happened after the book ended? Do you think Amie would have been able to play “Rivers” with Rio? Do you think she would have tried composing? Did she and her friends finish playing Zelda?