The Magical Imperfect (Paperback)
For fans of Wonder, Chris Baron's The Magical Imperfect is an affecting middle grade 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?
About the Author
Chris Baron is a professor of English at San Diego City College. He's also the author of the (adult) poetry collection, Lantern Tree, which was published as part of a poetry anthology, Under the Broom Tree, winner of the San Diego Book Award. He lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and their three children. All of Me is his first novel.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Etan’s honest and lovable voice, and its growing strength, that carries this tender novel." — Publishers Weekly
Praise for All of Me:
A Southern California Independent Booksellers Association BESTSELLER!
BookRiot Best Children's Books about Kindness
Nerdy Book Club 2019 Award, Novels-in-Verse
A Literacious Favorite Middle-Grade Book of 2019
A National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Notable Book
"If you have ever felt lost in the world, betrayed by your body or buoyed by a glimmer of hope or the glow of friendship, then All of Me could be your story, too." —The Los Angeles Times
"All of Me is for anyone who has been in search of a tribe, in love with a friend or in need of answers to questions that they can’t bring themselves to ask. In other words, everybody." —San Diego Union Tribune
"Astute and stunning. All of Me is highly recommended and offers an eloquent and often-heartbreaking glimpse into the experiences of a layered, complex and relatable protagonist. Readers will surely root for Ari as his story unfolds." —Jewish Book Council
"[A] beautifully written and psychologically acute debut. Readers will be glad to accompany Ari on his journey to self-discovery." — Booklist magazine
"Any reader who has felt like an outsider will be drawn to Ari’s story, which means his audience should be legion." —The Horn Book Magazine
"Baron’s free-verse poetry is immediate and lyrical, allowing us access to Ari’s thoughts and feelings in a way that prose would not. Baron’s first-person narration allows the reader to experience Ari’s pain and revelations, both of which are balanced with moments of grace and beauty....highly recommended for readers of all ages." —Bookpage
"A unique perspective on weight loss and family told in beautiful, pitch perfect verse." —Happily Ever Elephants Blog
"Tackling such difficult subjects as anti-Semitism, self-harm, and family instability with heart-breaking honesty and grace, All of Me deftly explores the complex layers of what it means to come of age. Baron’s evocative verse beautifully expresses the depth of Ari’s feelings; he will be a lifeline to anyone unsure of how they fit in the world." —Joy McCullogh, National Book Award nominated author of Blood Water Paint
"I LOVE THIS BOOK. A moving and raw story that will stay with me." —Remy Lai, author of Pie in the Sky
"In page after page of gorgeous verse, Chris Baron tells a story of hard-won healing, self acceptance, and hope." —Jarrett Lerner, author of EngiNerds and the Geeger the Robot series
“Chris Baron’s gorgeous debut shines with strength, vulnerability, and humor. Ari’s journey to self-acceptance is hopeful and inspiring.” —Jen Petro-Roy, author of Good Enough:A Novel
"Ari's story of love and loss and learning to live life on his own terms broke my heart and put it back together again. Beautiful and necessary!" —Kelly deVos, author of Fat Girl on a Plane
"Baron’s writing is quick-witted and full of depth, allowing complicated characters to navigate growing up, identity and struggling with heavy things — not just body image and bullying but absent parents, self-harm, faith, first loves, interrupted friendships and more. The book is compelling, hopeful and a total page-turner." —The Voice of San Diego magazine
"A powerful story, beautifully told. Highly recommended." —Middle Grade Minded Blog