by John David Anderson
published by Walden Pond Press
Book Summary: Everyone who wishes upon a star, or a candle, or a penny thrown into a fountain knows that you’re not allowed to tell anyone what you’ve wished for. But even so, rest assured: There is someone out there who hears it.
Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets is no ordinary fairy – she is a Granter: one of the select few whose job it is to venture beyond the boundaries of the Haven and grant the wishes of unsuspecting humans every day. It’s the work of the Granters that generate the magic that allows the fairies to do what they do and to keep the Haven hidden and safe. But with worldwide magic levels at an all-time low, this is not as easy as it sounds. On a typical day, only a small fraction of the millions of potential wishes get granted. And even granting those promised few means navigating a human world fraught with danger.
Today, however, is anything but typical. Because today, Ophelia is going out on her first assignment. And she’s about to discover that getting what you truly want takes much more than a handful of fairy dust.
Sometimes the right book finds you at the right time. This is what happened for me as I fell into the pages of Granted. There were so many parts that felt right to me.
- Ophelia is a fairy, who lives in a fairy world, that has a fairy job of granting human wishes. She's supposed to stay out of sight from humans and not leave any traces of the fairy world in the human world. All the makings of a fantasy set in a fantasy world that feels like a fantasy, right? But then there are all of these realistic fiction parts - kids wanting real things, kids acting up and still getting what they want. Ophelia travels to Ohio and sees and feels and experiences real things. She drops f-words... well, not our f-words, but fairy world f-words like "fartfiddled" and "fishtickles". Although my favorite non f-word she used was "bumblebutts" :) Oh, and she sings "Crazy Train" to get herself out of a problem. Yup a fantasy novel with Ozzie in it....
- There's a dog... you're going to love Sam. He's a lovable dog who has not been loved in the past, but it hasn't changed his bright personality. Mangy and smelly, Ophelia and readers will look past that and let Sam right into your heart.
- The wishes just felt right too. I love the way Anderson handles each one. They surprised me and made me think, yes, this is how it should be.
Anderson describes wishes in many different ways throughout the book.
"A wish is a want. It's longing and bellyache and fantasy and desire. It's late nights spent wondering what if and passing fancies for new dresses spotted in store windows. A wish is 'Why not me?' and 'Just this once' and 'I swear I will never, ever do that again.' A wish could be any of these things, but above all it was hope." pg. 202
Each description was so right, so on, I know all readers will understand them and it will feel right. Wishes aren't one dimensional. They aren't full of one feeling. They are so much at once. And I love that it's recognized.
The other part of the book that I related to was the conflicting feeling of that's how it is, but what if that's not right. I loved this quote:
"'That's how it is,' she repeated. 'But it's not how it has to be.'" pg. 275
There is so much going on in the world right now that is leaving me with conflicting feelings. As I work through my own beliefs and figuring out my best way to figure things out, I love finding a mirror in a book. No, it's not the same issue, but it's conflict. Young readers will relate to this to on their own level.
But there were plenty of other parts in the book that made me laugh out loud, like....
- "'Thinking's overrated.... I prefer eating puff pastries and taking long naps in the sun.'" pg. 71
- "'I am not obstinate.... I just happen to be right all the time.'" pg. 292
More about John David Anderson:
John David Anderson is the author of Ms. Bixby's Last Day, Posted, Sidekicked, Minion, and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org.
I hope this book finds its way into the hands of many many readers.
Walden Pond Press is going to help make that happen by granting a reader with a copy of Granted (see what I did there....). Please fill out the google form for your chance to win a copy of this heartwarming and funny book. Giveaway will be open until Friday, March 9 at noon. Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada.