SECONDHAND WISHES by Anna Staniszewski


Age Range: 9 - 12
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Be careful what you wish on.

Lexi Block has tried to bargain with the universe: She hopes that doing everything right will keep her sickly younger brother well. But things are going wrong. Previously a model student, seventh-grader Lexi struggles with new ways of doing math and earns several surprising detentions. Worse, 4-year-old Austin has had to have another stomach surgery. To top it off, Lexi’s longtime best friend, Cassa, seems to be paying more attention to new student Marina, who’s traveled to places Cassa only dreams about. It’s no wonder Lexi, who helps in Cassa’s mom’s antiques store after school because she enjoys the process of putting things in order, turns to the wishing stones she finds in a bag of donations. These wishes have unpredictable consequences. Lexi is a believable seventh-grader with some interesting quirks. Cassa, who wants to spend time with her father overseas, realizes her routine-loving friend would have difficulty with that major change, so she tries to make some minor ones, but Lexi is predictably hurt. Communication between the two girls breaks down just as Lexi begins to spend more time with a previously distant aunt. When the four-leaf clovers Lexi has been buying from another classmate turn out to have been frauds, she begins to try to make her own luck, just as he had suggested. These characters are assumed white.

In spite of some improbable coincidences, this will satisfy middle-grade readers who want to believe that wishes can come true. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-338-28017-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2018


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