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Credit: goodreads.com

Reviewer: Angela Livengood; age 31; teacher; Plano, Texas.

Angela’s assessment: Who among us hasn’t wished that she could instantly change her life? This story of magical realism reveals what happens when one family is given the power to do just that. Over three decades, each member of the family at the center of this book discovers that he or she has a superhuman ability. (One can become invisible; another can read others’ thoughts.) But as with many things in life, these abilities don’t yield the results the characters—or the readers—expect. Before reading What the Family Needed, I would have jumped at the opportunity to wave a magic wand and make some changes. But this book showed me that even minor alterations can have major, unintended consequences.

To buy: $27, amazon.com.