Monday, March 8, 2010

Review: The Wish Stealers by Tracy Trivas

Tags: juvenile fiction, middle grade, magic, wishes, witches

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


When an old woman presents young Griffin Penshine with a box full of eleven shiny 1897 Indian Head pennies, Griffin’s life is turned upside down when she discovers that the pennies are actually stolen wishes! Griffin must return the stolen wishes, or else her own wishes still never come true ever again. But how will she return the wishes when many of those original wish-makers are no longer alive?


THE WISH STEALERS is a quick and interesting read with important lessons about individual strength buried within an entertaining tale.

I found most remarkable the way with which Tracy Trivas infuses this admittedly far-fetched tales with the universal morals of taking responsibility and action for your own happiness, instead of relying on wishful thinking. The late elementary/early middle schoolers that are the target audience for this book might miss that, but the subconscious implications are clear and make this a great tale to share with parent and child.

Several elements of THE WISH STEALERS unfortunately didn’t quite ring true for me. Nearly all of the school scenes—hateful teachers, impossibly difficult workloads, quizzes in the first week of school—felt faked. Certain magical elements (such as the Macbeth witches) popped in and out of the story with seemingly no better reason than to add to the creepiness factor, while coincidences that help Griffin out with her task happen too serendipitously to be truly believable.

Nevertheless, young readers will be able to enjoy the seemingly challenging yet actually quite smooth way in which Griffin goes about righting other people’s wrongs. THE WISH STEALERS is ultimately a charming story with a great message about the importance of believing in yourself and taking charge of your own happiness.

Similar Authors
Gail Carson Levine
Julianna Baggott (The Ever Breath)

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Plot: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Cover discussion: 4 out of 5 - I think it's gorgeous. It was what attracted me to the book in the first place. Brilliant, colorful, fantastical... it even has a bit to do with the story!

Simon & Schuster / Jan. 26, 2010 / Hardcover / 288pp. / $16.99

Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks, V!

Check back soon for an author interview and giveaway!


  1. Good review. I really like how you rate the cover separately. To me the cover is a big selling point and I even refer to it when I am reading the book. I like to imagine that the cover or the people on it are the people from the book. I know from years of reading that is not always the case but that is a factor for me if they put a blond haired woman on the front, but the character in the book is a brunette.

  2. Great review!! I really loved the message of this book :)

  3. New Layout looks awesome!


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