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4.5 31
by Lizzy K. Foley

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"A lot of outlandish entertainment." —The New York Times

Everyone in Remarkable is remarkable. Everyone except Jane, that is. While the rest of the town is busy being talented, gifted, or just plain extraordinary, she's never been anything but ordinary. Then Jane finds herself in school with the mischievous Grimlet twins, and her life suddenly


"A lot of outlandish entertainment." —The New York Times

Everyone in Remarkable is remarkable. Everyone except Jane, that is. While the rest of the town is busy being talented, gifted, or just plain extraordinary, she's never been anything but ordinary. Then Jane finds herself in school with the mischievous Grimlet twins, and her life suddenly gets a whole lot more interesting. And when a strange pirate captain appears in town, setting of a series of adventures that put the whole town in danger, it's up to Jane to save the day. Along the way, she might just find that she can be pretty remarkable after all.

* "A rich, unforgettable story that's quite simply - amazing." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Filled with clever word play, wholly unique situations, outlandish characters...Foley's novel is a remarkable, middle-grade gem."  —Booklist, starred review

Editorial Reviews

Ann Hulbert
Foley…has found a clever conceit in the cultural obsession with above-­averageness. But her readers, ages 8 to 12, will thank her for not straining to impress with an ambitious satire of the smugly brilliant. Nor does she aspire to heavy moralizing about the virtues of ordinariness. Instead, she sets herself the more modest goal of showing how even a self-­proclaimed former nobody can dream up a lot of outlandish entertainment.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Foley’s entertaining debut takes a long time to find its focus, but those who wade through the myriad subplots and engage with the host of characters will be rewarded. The town of Remarkable is peopled by precocious children, a psychic pizzeria owner, an “exceptionally proficient” but underutilized dentist, and even an underwater lake creature. It’s also “home to the world’s two tallest trees, a celebrated science fair, and the best organic jelly that anyone had ever tasted,” and its residents are “among the most terribly interesting and talented people in the whole wide world.” There are only two ordinary citizens, 10-year-old Jane Doe and her grandfather, John Doe; much of the tale is told from the point of view of Jane, who hopes to someday discover her extraordinary quality. Unusual events are set in motion by the arrival of pirates, as well as by the terrorizing 10-year-old Grimlet twins, who play a major role in tying up the various plot threads. The satisfying ending brings Jane her heart’s desire—though not necessarily what readers have been led to expect. Ages 8–12. Agent: Faye Bender, Faye Bender Literary Agency. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—The town of Remarkable is, well, remarkable. Everyone has an extraordinary talent—except for 10-year-old Jane Doe. Her family is exceptional, although forgetful of her existence, consisting of a math genius, an artist, an award-winning novelist, and a world-class architect. Jane's mother is designing an exceptional bell tower for the only unremarkable building in town: the post office. The bells are set to play a piece by the most famous composer in the world, who has since disappeared. Unfortunately, Jane's grandfather has stolen all the ropes in the tower. He has an extraordinary secret, though, involving the town's lake monster (of course, more remarkable than the Loch Ness Monster). Side stories of Jane's brother being in love, a pirate captain trying to be something she's not, a composer trying to be a pirate captain, three pirates on a mission, and a jelly crisis with a neighboring town coalesce around the bell tower and are resolved in the end. Jane realizes that she can contribute and that some people do remember her and understand her needs. There is much to chuckle at here. The antics of the Grimlet twins, whose mischief is so wicked that they get expelled from the school for the Remarkably Gifted, and the outlandishness of the residents' talents adds to the comedy, but with so many characters and their backstories, the book reads more like a far-fetched soap opera than a cohesive whole. Jane's coming to grips with her ordinariness and how being average has its advantages is also thrown into the mix. Ultimately, this story ends up being rather unremarkable.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
The title of this debut says it all. In the town of Remarkable, so named for its abundance of talented citizens, everyone lives up to its reputation. Well, almost everyone. With a famous architect mother, an award-winning–novelist father, a photorealistic-portrait–painter older brother and a math-genius younger sister, Jane should be just as remarkable. Instead, this average 10-year-old girl is usually overlooked. With clever wordplay, the third-person account paints a humorous and vivid depiction of this unusual community. While the rest of the town's children attend Remarkable's School for the Remarkably Gifted, Jane spends monotonous days as the public school's only attendee. Excitement suddenly enters her life when the mischievous Grimlet twins get expelled from the gifted school and sent to public school, not one but four pirates enter town and a search ensues for a missing composer. Mix in a rival town's dispute over jelly, hints of a Loch Ness Monster–like creature and a psychic pizzeria owner who sees the future in her reflective pizza pans, and this uproarious mystery becomes--if even possible--a whole lot funnier. With the help of her quiet Grandpa John, who's also forgotten most of the time, Jane learns to be true to herself and celebrate the ordinary in life. Foley tightly weaves the outlandish threads into a rich, unforgettable story that's quite simply--amazing. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.22(w) x 7.56(h) x 0.90(d)
950L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Lizzie K. Foley (www.lizziekfoley.com) has an MA in education from Harvard and has taught women's studies at Northeastern University. She has also worked in story development in the film industry in LA. She currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband and son and four poorly trained dogs.

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Remarkable 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
TaraSD More than 1 year ago
I tore through REMARKABLE in a couple of days and found myself laughing out loud constantly. I think that anyone who likes clever, quirky, funny middle-grade will love this book! I was impressed with how many distinct characters populated the world of Remarkable and how many different subplots the author was able to keep rolling at once. I also really enjoyed the satire inherent in situations like the great rivalry between Remarkable's boutique organic jelly company and the nearby town's mass-produced, super-unhealthy jelly (which everyone in Remarkable secretly eats because it tastes better). There are plenty of tidbits like that in the book that adult readers will really appreciate. Plus there are pirates. Who doesn't appreciate pirates? =) I'm eager to see what Lizzie K. Foley comes up with next.
STagh More than 1 year ago
This aptly named book is remarkably hilarious, remarkably clever and a remarkable joy to read. The town of Remarkable is filled with the most wonderful quirky characters that had me literally laughing out loud from start to finish and unexpectedly touching my heart at just the right moments. A wonderful story for kids and adults alike!
ShannonODonnell More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It is funny, witty, insightful, and full of wonderfully visual imagery and loveable characters. Jane and her grandfather are a joy to get to know and their relationship is enviable. The Grimlet twins are awesome, and the pirates . . . gotta love pirates! I enjoyed the originality of Foley's jam battles and crazy-odd adventures. The best part, though, is the message that you don't have to be remarkable to be happy. I highly recommend this, especially for younger middle grade readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesomendjdksjndjdkendjsjsndndjejdndjeidndkejdndjdidjdjdndndjdiejdndjdidjenejdidnbdhcyywbnekdoeyfbiaoxn-38%* 3;-%73663;%7%83-%/%6hehdbeudneujendjdidndidnrnfidn
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is very crestive and unique. I dont belive have ever read nor seen any book quite like this one. I don't know what it is but this was an eye catching book to me. Maybe its because I'm only twelve, maybe its because of the much beautiful drawings on the front cover or maybe espesilly the extended sight of long lasting color that even if your not looking at the cover ,and your just thinking about what is going to happen next in the book you can maybe even atempt to geuss just by sering the pictuers and colors used by the illistrator to explsin the fellings this book might have. I will tell you that just by looking at the front cover I can tell that the book would and is filled with happiness ,exitment and an interesting movie that everyone pictures a little bit diffrent in there heads. Another thing that I really liked about this book is that it does not leave you with a gap and what I mean by this is that this story gets right to the point and I like that because books that leaving hanging and nothing exiting or thrilling happens till the end get really boring. I know this because I don't nessecerelly like to read so right when a book gets boring I would put it down and never pick it back up. This was not the same situation. With this book I never wanted to put it down I just kept reading and reading and reading. It was really such a page turner for me. So I thank you for letting me experience a good, well written, exiting book because if it wasn't for the book "Remarkable" I would have kept on picking up diffrent books and at least try to read them so once again thank you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unexpecting, did the storyline say anything about pirates? Read it and see what i mean Anyway, i loved this fantastic, heartfelt, book. A great read, i tore through it. Definetly worth the money. BUY!!! Youll be happy with the results!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel like I can really relate to Jane. We have all had times where we have felt UNremarkable, and times where we felt like everyone around us was much more remarkable than us. But in the end, everyone is truly remarkable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Remarkable is definitly REMARKABLE! I love how they really make you think. That town is definly not real cause everyone has flaws. Even the popular people of the world. That is what I honestly think.
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I really think you should read if you have not. I wish i could be jane or one of the characters.
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I think its pretty okay.
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I love that there's pirates in it it makes the book so much more interesting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Remarkable! It surely is remarkable!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book sooooooooo much! I want to read it over and over and over again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great fanticy book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its not the best book ever but it is fun to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago