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The Incredible Magic of Being

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  445 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Some might say Julian is sheltered. But he lives large, and his eternal optimism allows him to see infinite possibilities wherever he looks.

Despite his optimism, he is anxious about his stressed family falling apart. Even his ability to "uni-sense" what's happening with his sister is gone. If he can make his family focus on the magic in the universe, surely the
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  445 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Jolene Gutiérrez
Julian has become one of my all-time favorite main characters. His sense of curiosity and his observations about his family and his world made me want to keep reading—I needed to know how this amazing kid dealt with some of the craziness in his life. As Julian struggles to find his place in the universe, he’s constantly observing the magic of the world around him. His honest, open-eyed wonder, his trivia-filled brain, and his preoccupation with death make him special and made me want to better u ...more
Cameron Chaney
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Incredible Magic of Being is a contemporary middle-grade story about a boy named Julian who moves with his moms and sister to a new home that will be their bed and breakfast. It mostly revolves around Julian trying to bring his family back together again as well as make the grumpy next-door neighbor a little less grumpy. Julian is a very optimistic, upbeat character who has some health problems but tries to make the most of every minute.

I had to read this for my library book review gr
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I read this on recommendation from one of my librarian friends. Overall I thought this was an ok middle grade story. The ending almost pushed this to a 4 star read, but I can't overlook the rest of the story. I thought there were some good messages, but so many parts were overly dramatic. I was so tired of Julian's family members yelling at each other. I just wanted to see a greater attempt at real communication. I did think Julian and Pookie's sibling relationship was pretty authentic. As much ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Um, too much like "The Absolute Value of Mike" to appreciate since I read that so recently? Especially during the first third or so I was thinking that Erskine has a template/ Mad Libs thing going on.... Cute enough, heartwarming, and, yes, magical. I just can't get behind the magic aspect of it though so I can't give it four stars, nor can I recommend it. Some other aspects are just wrong, too, like all the lacks of communication... really, moms, you wouldn't make sure your kids would know that ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sometimes when reading middle grade fiction you come across characters that you truly love. They are quirky and/or challenging. They face obstacles and meet them in creative and unusual and occasionally unsuccessful ways. They are a type of character that I haven't met in books for grown-ups. Joey Pigza. India Opal Buloni. And all of the Robinson children from Dog Friday.

Julian is such a character. He is wise beyond his 9 years. He has a world view that makes sense to him, and, eventually, to those ar
Leah G.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Julian's character strength is perspective, because he is always thinking of others. For example, even when his sister is rude and teases him, he still sees the part of her that hurts and feels left out. He also sees his family's look on things, and never just thinks about himself.
Janae Easton
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
(Written by my 11 year old son) The Incredible Magic of Being by Kathryn Erskine created colorful characters that had funny and quirky personalities. The plot was charming and the twist at the end was amazing.

While the book was good, it did have some flaws. There were multiple instances of cheesy dialogue. The main character seemed to have an over exaggerated fear of water. I may be biased because of my love of swimming.

The ending of the book was memorable and increased my overall e
Ellen Dreyer
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful MG novel by a writer who I believemay really have magic powers! I adored Mockingbird, and this novel did not disappoint. There were some patches where the pacing lagged, and moments when I thought Julian's world view veered a little toward the treacly, but overall, I found him a sympathetic and fascinating main character. Excellent supporting characters as well. The science is terrific.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, owned
I experienced this book as an audiobook through Libro.Fm

The story was absolutely amazing. I loved the reader's tone, and believe he really brought Julian, the main character, to life. Julian himself is a unique individual and I loved listening to him mentally breaking down situations are trying to fix them. Getting to listen to his "farts" between chapters was great too.

A great book for middle graders and up, with adventure, some family drama, and a lot of science.
Matthew Archibald
A beautiful book, with a wonderfully sympathetic main character, with a beautiful view of the world. I know I'm a sap, but I cried while I read it. (It may be because I have a child with an unusual health condition, or just because I have children, or just that I'm an emotional person.)
Anyway, I highly recommend this book.
Padma Venkatraman
Aug 16, 2017 added it
Shelves: ya
Funny and serious this middle grade novel explores the magic of everyday life and the bonds that unite family and friends
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
I wish I saw the universe through the eyes of Julian.
Abi E.
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I think if you want to have a happy ending, and a parallel one. It will be a good one for you!!!!
Kristin Crouch
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Julian is a uni-sensor, which means he can sense other things going on in the universe. Not that he doesn't have enough to sense in his family: with a grumpy, teenage older sister, and a move to Maine where his moms will run a brand new B & B, he has plenty on his plate. Throughout the many changes, he remains a sweet and kind boy who just wants everyone around him to see the magic in the world. I enjoyed viewing the world from his point of view and was sad to see the story end, it was one o ...more
Sarah Ressler Wright
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous book- I loved that it is told from the perspective of a boy who is on the autism spectrum, and the fact that his parents are two mothers is not not the central plotline. Erskine's writing is superb and the characters are real and fully developed. I love the twists in the book, and I found it lovely for all students from late elementary through high school. I like to read the title as "The Incredible Magic of Being Kathryn Erskine" because she is such a magical storywriter.

Sharon Kalman
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The year for stargazers. moving story about magic, family and the cosmos.
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
A very quiet middle grade novel with a likable and optimistic protagonist. This was a slow read for me, but I appreciated the science, and there is a surprising twist at the end.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gosh, this book took me by such surprise. I expected a lovely middle grades story (it IS Katherine Erskine) but was caught by these characters and the hope and possibility they help us see. We need this book.
Laurène Poret
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
So much feels. Julian is the sweetest kid, my heart swelled a few times
Caroline Fosse
The Incredible Magic of Being follows Julian, a nine year old boy obsessed with astronomy, living with his two moms and grumpy older sister. He has uni-sensory perception, which means that he often has a sense that something is going to happen before it does. As their family arrives in Maine, his moms’ plan of opening a bed and breakfast starts becoming a problem because of their neighbor «Mr. X». Julian then becomes convinced that he can solve their problems, and help everyone.

Is it just
Carol Royce Owen
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Don't delay, pre-order this book today. I had the privilege of reading an uncorrected proof. I guess it doesn't come out until October 10th, but you'll want this book, and teachers, you'll want this as a read aloud for your class.

The story centers around a rather dysfunctional functional family. Functional in that there are two parents who love and strive to give their children what is best, but dysfunctional because one of those is a teenage girl, Pookie, often referred to as the Princess of D
Emily Dorffer
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg, magical-realism
Real Rating: 4.5/5

This book was an absolute joy to read. The main character, Julian, is incredibly endearing and sweet. He reminds me a lot of the show Young Sheldon, although Julian generally understands people much better than Sheldon ever does. My favorite part of the book was Julian's bond with his sister, Pookie. Even though they get on each other's nerves every now and again, they clearly care for each other. I especially like Julian's memories of the fun he used to have with h
Ms. Yingling
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Nine year old Julian and his teenage sister Pookie move from the city to run and bed and breakfast by a lake in Maine with their mother and her wife, Joan. Julian, who is a quirky kid with unexplained health concerns that require regular use of antibiotics, is so afraid of drowning that he wears a life jacket everywhere. When a lawyer representing their neighbor, Mr. X, tells them that they will have to take down the addition they are building f
American Mensa
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing

The Incredible Magic of Being is a fiction story about a 9-year-old boy, Julian, who is a science enthusiast, emotionally gifted with a uni-sensing ability of feeling the universe in a magical way and an imaginative mind with no bounds. His family suddenly moves from Washington DC to Maine over the summer. There they learn that their plan to earn an income by opening a bed-and-breakfast in the house is stalled by a violation lawsuit from their neighbor, the old man Mr. X. One of Julian’s greates
Klaudia Janek
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libres
Julian and his family have just moved to Main to run a B & B. Julian has two moms and a sister is always grouchy. Julian is nine years old and wise beyond his years. He has quite the vocabulary and consistently posts his FARTs (Facts and random thoughts) throughout the book. Julian loves astronomy and part of the reason he was ok with the move is that Maine has a lot more space where he can look at the sky. His mother is very over protective, so it’s hard for Julian to do what he wants. His ...more
Julian (9.62), an empath described as a "uni-sensor," who also has a congenital structural heart defect, wants to fix everything and make sure his family can find him in the Dog Star (Sirius) when he dies; however, no one wants to take the time to look in his telescope and learn how to find the Dog Star in one season, let alone all of them. Julian's biological mother is severely over-protective, and his other mother has a different approach but can only do so much. The family is under a lot of s ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Julian, a highly gifted 9-year-old, loves learning about outer space and physics, looking for comets through a telescope, quoting Carl Sagan, and thinking about how people become stars after they die. He also practices meditation and dabbles in spirituality, fancying himself a “unisensor” who keeps in touch with the universe.

In every chapter, Julian interrupts the story for FARTs - Facts And Random Thoughts - about science and the universe.

Pookie is Julian’s teen sister who goes “su
9-year-old Julian has a special gift: a unique connection to the universe and those around him that enables him to intuitively know what others are thinking and feeling. Julian also has a congenital heart condition (tetralogy of Fallot) and loves contemplating astronomical marvels. After moving from Washington D.C. to rural Maine with his angsty teen sister (Pookie) and two moms, Julian is tasked with the job of befriending their grumpy new neighbor (Mr. X) in the hopes of convincing him to halt ...more
Deborah Prum
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is how much I enjoyed Kathryn Erskine’s The Incredible Magic of Being: the day after I finished reading the delightful book, I picked it up and read it again. I never do that.
Julian is a 9.63 year-old boy (his calculation) who loves physics and astronomy. He empathizes so fully with the people around him that he actually senses their thoughts and feelings. Oh, and one more thing…from the sound of things, it seems as if Julian’s death might be imminent.
Julian and his family move
Andy Starowicz
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everything about Kathryn Erskine’s newest novel is magical. The B&B setting, the supporting characters, and the humorous banter between the characters is wonderful, but the main character, Julian, will be the one to steal the reader’s heart. Middle school readers (and teachers☺) will adore this odd little boy that has so much to offer the universe through his love of the cosmic world, his passion for making people happy, his humor, and he relentless effort to understand everything and everyo ...more
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The Bee's Bookshelf: What did you think of the book? 6 10 Oct 15, 2018 09:40AM  

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Kathryn Erskine spent many years as a lawyer before realizing that she'd rather write things that people might actually enjoy reading.
She grew up mostly overseas and attended eight different schools, her favorite being the Hogwarts-type castle in Scotland.
The faculty, of course, did not consist of wizards, although... how did the headmistress know that it was the wee redhead who led the campaign to fre