Book Review by Debbie Winkler
Author: Tracy Trivas
Publisher: Aladdin (January 2010)
ISBN: 1416987258, EAN: 9781416987253
Page Count: 288 pages
Target Age Group: children ages 9 – 12
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
*provided for free for review purposes
Griffin Penshine is always making wishes. She believes that her wishes come true and that there is a lot of good in the world. Her faith in wishes is shaken, however, when she is tricked into accepting a box of 11 “lucky” Indian Head pennies. After Griffin takes the box, she discovers that each of the 11 pennies represent a wish that has been stolen out of a fountain. So long as these stolen wishes stay in Griffin’s possession, the opposite of what she wishes for will come true. If Griffin tells anyone about the curse she is under, none of their wishes will ever come true. With labels such as “puppy,” “most beautiful,” “dad,” and “world peace” how can Griffin get rid of the pennies?
On top of having a box of stolen wishes, Griffin must struggle with a new school (she starts 6th grade at a new middle school), a popular girl who hates her at first sight, a potential first boyfriend, a new baby brother or sister and a sick, elderly grandma. While she deals with normal life, Griffin soon realizes that her bad wishes are coming true, a creepy group of Shakespearean witches are following her and her eyes are slowly turning yellow. Can Griffin find the strength within to become a Wish Giver instead of a Wish Stealer and change her luck – and her life – for the better?
This is an absolutely charming little book! I was excited to read it when I first received it and I was not disappointed! Griffin is such a wonderful character and was so fun to get to know. She comes from an independent, quirky family so she is a little different and marches to the beat of her own drum, but in a great way. I really felt like I got to know her while I was reading the book and would have loved to have a friend like her while I was in middle school. The other characters in the book were fun to get to know, too, and the world that I was reading about really felt real. I also loved learning about all of the subjects that Griffin was learning about in school as she is very interested in science and the Earth. As Griffin learns about people and helps them make their wishes come true, Griffin matures and develops and starts taking on larger causes – like saving the Earth! This will be a great message for children and will hopefully help teach them that anyone can make a change – no matter how young they are!
This book is a quick, easy read for adults, but will also be a really fun read for children. There are 50 chapters, but most of them are pretty short and there is always something exciting going on. I think that this would be a great book to read out loud in a classroom or to your children at home. Treat yourself and get a copy of this book! There are a cute little quotes about wishes at the end of every chapter and I found the book to be very motivating with a positive message. I found myself smiling through most of the book and was so proud of Griffin and the choices she made to help make the whole world a better place. I think that we should all learn to be Wish Givers! I loved that even though Griffin struggles with a pretty serious problem and with some negativity in her life, she makes a conscious decision to be a better person and to reach out and help others. If you are looking for a book that has a touch of the supernatural, but is upbeat, fun and has a great message, look no further than this book!
This book contains scenes of tween rivalry, jealousy, wishing evil upon your enemies, crushing on a popular boy, fights between friends and pretty normal life events for a 6th grader. Recommended for readers ages 8 and up.