Looking up at the night sky always held the allure of possibility for me as a child. The possibility of a secret wish granted simply in exchange for a softly whispered “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…” rhyme. The magic of it lasted well past my young childhood, and I can’t deny trying it once or twice as an adult either. (You never know.) With these memories in mind, I approached the new middle grade novel The Wish Stealers with a smile on my face.
In Tracy Trivas’ first children’s novel, we encounter a world in which wishes are truly powerful, and it isn’t always a lucky thing. Griffin Penshine (really, the perfect name for this cute character) has a penchant for making wishes, and when she finds herself suddenly in possession of a “lucky penny” given by an old woman at a local shop she hopes for some good luck as her first day of sixth grade is approaching soon. However, when she discovers the package contains eleven shiny pennies that actually represent stolen wishes, her luck quickly turns sour. Her fortune rests upon her ability to reverse the curse placed on her with this “gift,” and she’s got her work cut out for her. Add to that the regular social challenges of middle school, innocent adolescent crushes, and school projects all vying for her attention, as well. In the end, can she reverse her own fortune, possibly even spreading some good luck to others as well?
If I could go back in time, I would bring this book back to my own 9-year-old self, because I’m confident this is the exact kind of story I was drawn to–a spunky and unique main character, a fun writing style, and an imaginative conflict that, of course, gets wrapped up with a bow by the end of the story. My own nine year old son read this book (in a morning!), and came away with a huge smile on his face and a declaration of “that was so cool!”
In conjunction with the release of The Wish Stealers, publisher Simon and Schuster is also working with Pennies for the Planet, “a successful nationwide campaign to help critical conservation projects, powered by kids collecting pennies (and nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars, too!) to help save wild places and wildlife in the United States. Working in classrooms, clubs, Scout troops, other groups, with their families, and on their own, kids have turned pennies into a gold mine for wild spaces and wild species needing protection,” according to the media release.
Are you wishing for a copy of The Wish Stealers for a young reader you know? Today just may be your lucky day, since we have FIVE copies to giveaway (U.S. only, please). Please leave one comment here to be entered. (Have a little wish to share??) We’ll announce the winner in next week’s column.
The winner of last week’s book, All Things at Once, is #7 Carolyn.
Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the review copy and giveaway copies.