When Mama was in the kitchen, Isabel grabbed a handful of the baby's wispy brown hair and yanked. It felt good. Good to hear the baby screaming and wailing. Good to see it screwing up its face ... Miracle Baby, the sick ladies called it, because Mama had been sick before she got pregnant. But it screamed like any old baby. Isabel hid under her bed with Clyde the frog and waited for Mama's running footsteps. They went straight to the crib. —from the book

Isabel and the Miracle Baby
Emily Smith Pearce
For ages 8 and up
Front Street, $15.95 (126p)
ISBN 978-1-932425-44-4

“The tantrum-prone protagonist of this multi-layered debut novel seems a smidge spoiled at first glance, but underneath eight-year-old Isabel’s fits-and-starts temper lies a very ordinary need for attention. [T]he novel . . . becomes more noteworthy for Pearce’s graceful weaving of a larger and more difficult subject into the narrative: Isabel’s mother has had cancer . . . Pearce stays true to Isabel’s young perspective even as she conveys the character’s complicated discoveries about growing up.”

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This story . . . perfectly captures her fierce desire to be independent and to disobey her mother’s rules while still wanting to be held and cuddled like her new sister. Isabel is a real girl.”
—School Library Journal

"My heart is warm and full after reading this wonderful book. The world is a better place with Isabel in it—readers will want to hug her!"
--Lauren Myracle, author of Eleven

"With sensitivity, grace and a rascally sense of humor, Emily Smith Pearce creates a moving portrait of a young girl coping with hard changes. I cheered and laughed and cried as Isabel confronted her fears about her mother's cancer and the changes in the family dynamics due to the addition of the "miracle" baby, not to mention, navigating the social cliques at school. But most of all, I yearned for Isabel to find the truth. The truth that was buried deep in her heart; she was loved."
—An Na, author of A Step from Heaven

Discussion Guide

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