Let me tell you, so much amazing happens in this middle grade novel by local author, Emily Blejwas. Reading the back blurb, I initially wondered if this book might be too sad for me with the death of a father (who suffered from PTSD) and the main character, seventh-grader Justin,who is trying to put his life back together. But Mrs. Blejwas is one of those glorious authors who finds the cracks of light in the darkness and opens it up for the rest of us.

This book is about the strength of community which is so important in our own lives right now. I was quickly absorbed into Justin’s world, interestingly set during the Gulf War era. The supporting characters are well-developed and fleshed out from his big brother, Murphy, who is refreshingly not a sulky teen but someone who is trying their best to be their own hero, Justin’s best friend Phuc (pronounced Fo) who has fabulous ideas on sunsets and string theory, to homeless-not-homeless Benny H and his stories of the Dakota, the Indigenous people who used to live in Wicapi, Minnesota—the small-town setting of this novel.

They all come together to create a beautiful story where amazing things happen when we look out for each other and not take the things around us at face value–to look deeper.

LIKE NOTHING AMAZING EVER HAPPENED releases today! Pick up your copy at our no-contact curb or have it delivered, either porch-side in select neighborhoods or shipped.

Need more books to tug on your community-love heartstrings while being socially responsible and staying home?

Other books of Mrs. Blejwas I highly recommend are ONCE YOU KNOW THIS, a middle grade story about going through hard times but having faith in your own strengths and dreams that things will get better by making a plan and sticking to it (even if it quickly goes to Plan B.)

And for adults, THE STORY OF ALABAMA IN FOURTEEN FOODS delves into the history and culture of Alabama by examining the foods, dishes, and beverages we love. It’s part travelogue, part cookbook, and part community and heritage celebration.