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THE MAGICAL IMPERFECT

Chris Baron

Middle Grade, Feiwel and Friends, June 2021 

For fans of Wonder, an affecting story of two outcasts who become friends. 

Etan has stopped speaking since his mother left. His father and grandfather don’t know how to help him. His friends have given up on him. 

When Etan is asked to deliver a grocery order to the outskirts of town, he realizes he’s at the home of Malia Agbayani, also known as the Creature. Malia stopped going to school when her acute eczema spread to her face, and the bullying became too much. 

As the two become friends, other kids tease Etan for knowing the Creature. But he believes he might have a cure for Malia’s condition, if only he can convince his family and hers to believe it too. Even if it works, will these two outcasts find where they fit in? 

 

Advance Praise for The Magical Imperfect:

 

"The Magical Imperfect is brimming with beautiful language, bursting with heart, and chock-full of important truths. Chris Baron writes exactly the kind of books I needed as a kid.”—Jarrett Lerner, author of the Enginerds and Geeger the Robot series 

 

“I was so taken by Etan and Malia, two outcasts growing up in the 1980s, in a town between the sea and the redwood forests. As their friendship blossoms, they find courage and beauty in imperfection—and in each other. This tender, graceful book will deeply touch readers. It's simply lovely.”—Mae Respicio, award-winning author of The House That Lou Built

 

“I savored every word of this beautiful and moving story of family, friendship, and being comfortable in your own skin. Highly recommended!" – Adrianna Cuevas, author of The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez

 

“This novel in verse tells a heartfelt story of friendship, family, and community. The writing is absolutely beautiful, and I was rooting for Etan from on the very first page.

As much as I was wrapped up in the story and wanted to keep turning pages, I found myself purposely reading slowly just so I could savor the language. The above passage is one of my favorites in the book….Readers are going to love this one!” --Gillian McDunn, author of Caterpillar Summer and The Queen Bee and Me  

 

 

“Wise, gentle, and full of energy and fun, this is a story about community, friendship, traditions, immigration, mental health, chronic medical conditions, golems, earthquakes, baseball, finding your voice...and Cyndi Lauper. I will be singing “Time After Time” for the next week at least, and I’m not mad about it. Magically perfect.” – Jess Redman, author of The Miraculous, Quintessence and The Adventure is Now

 

“What a beautiful, magical book. … I loved the family, the community, the kindness, the traditions, the hope, the magic, and how the characters face their fears by supporting one another.⁠…Put this on your tbr, friends!⁠” – Jenni Walsh, author of the She Dared series; Hettie and the London Blitz; and I Am Defiance

“A powerhouse of a novel-in-verse. …Not only did this book capture the emotions and life-view of middle graders immensely well, it also had a lot of intrigue, mystery, excitement, and a dash of magic. I was sucked right in and smitten. It is definitely an "okay, just one more page before going to bed!" kind of book….Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, THE MAGICAL IMPERFECT is an inspirational story of optimism and hope.” – Ben Gartner, award-winning author of The Eye of Ra series

“A dreamy story that highlights friendship, family, and love. …Etan and Malia are selfless characters who give so much of themselves easily. I wish we all could learn from them!” – Reem Faruqi, author of Unsettled and Amira’s Picture Day