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by Tracy Trivas

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Jan. 26th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8725-3
Publisher: Aladdin

An upbeat Kansas girl finesses her own destiny when a bizarre curse turns her life into a nightmare. Sixth-grader Griffin Penshine “was always wishing” until a malevolent crone named Mariah tricks her into accepting 11 shiny pennies labeled with wishes stolen from a fountain decades earlier. Within an hour a horrible curse envelops Griffin. Witchy women cross her path. A tornado rips through town. As the new “wish stealer,” Griffin’s own good wishes never come true while her evil wishes flourish—unless she can reverse the curse by restoring the original wishes. Motivated to protect her family and friends, Griffin moves from victim to victor as she creatively transforms bad luck into good by sponsoring a successful “Pennies for the Planet” fundraiser. While Trivas’s reliance on supernatural devices and extreme meteorological events feels phony, subplots involving Griffin and her middle-school friends and foes prove credible. Inspirational aphorisms closing each chapter, some credited (“Follow your bliss,” from Joseph Campbell, for instance), reinforce the very pervasive wish theme. (Fantasy. 8-12)