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Instead of Three Wishes: Magical Short Stories

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Overview

A leprechaun is sighted in small–town New Hampshire. A city boy becomes a hero in prehistoric Sweden. An elf prince tries to reward a girl who wishes he'd just leave her alone. In these and other delightful stories, magical adventure appears in the most unexpected places!

Instead of Three Wishes is a captivating collection of witty and sparkling fantasy stories from the Newbery Honor author of The Thief.

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Instead of Three Wishes: Magical Short Stories

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Overview

A leprechaun is sighted in small–town New Hampshire. A city boy becomes a hero in prehistoric Sweden. An elf prince tries to reward a girl who wishes he'd just leave her alone. In these and other delightful stories, magical adventure appears in the most unexpected places!

Instead of Three Wishes is a captivating collection of witty and sparkling fantasy stories from the Newbery Honor author of The Thief.

Ages 10+

A collection of seven stories featuring leprechauns, ghosts, time travel, and other extraordinary creatures and experiences.

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Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Turner employs an assortment of folk- and fairy-tale elements with freshness and ease.”
ALA Booklist (starred review)
“A refreshing first book, this introduces Turner as an entertaining, original storyteller with something to say.”
The Horn Book
“Deftly told. Combines a shrewd wit with an eye for the endearingly absurd. A fine debut.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Turner employs an assortment of folk- and fairy-tale elements with freshness and ease."
The New York Times Book Review
“An ebullient collection. Delightful.”
ALA Booklist
"A refreshing first book, this introduces Turner as an entertaining, original storyteller with something to say."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Turner employs an assortment of folk- and fairy-tale elements with freshness and ease.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Turner employs an assortment of folk- and fairy-tale elements with freshness and ease.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A gay teenager contemplates coming out and finds himself attracted to a French girl. "With its addictive combination of absorbing themes and glamorous setting, Kerr's newest stands up to the best of her oeuvre," said PW in a starred review. Ages 12-up. (May)
KLIATT - Sherry Hoy
New cover art adorns this reprint of Turner's set of seven short stories featuring leprechauns, a lost prince hiding under everyone's noses, and a magical painting that hides secrets to save a selkie. Kevin's bullying tendencies that are solved in "The Nightmare" may be an interesting start to a discussion on bullying and who actually suffers. Turner, known for The Thief (a Newbery winner), The Queen of Attolia, and recently, The King of Attolia, got her start with this slim collection. This new edition featuring the image of a leprechaun on a flying carpet may attract more readers than the previous version.
Children's Literature - Cheryl Peterson
This is a collection of seven magical stories by the Newbery Honor author. Each story is fresh and thought provoking with unexpected results: a teenage girl is surprised when she refuses three wishes offered by the elf prince; a young hoodlum harasses an old lady and creates his own nightmare; a young girl goes into an oil painting to help an old woman¾and much more. Young readers will be delighted at the way everyday life and fairy tales intersect in these stories.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Seven short stories in which fantasy mingles with the everyday lives of ordinary people. In the first, a leprechaun sighting brings an excess of tourists to a small New England village. In the next, a boy goes back in time and makes himself a hero by claiming to be a killer of roaches. In ``Aunt Charlotte and the NGA Portraits,'' a girl is sent into a painting to search for a missing object that turns out to be a selkie skin. In the title story, an elf owes three wishes to a girl who keeps rejecting his efforts. In ``The Baker King,'' a kingdom keeps waiting for its prince to return and finds that he is there all the time-but in a most unlikely place. Each selection has an unexpected twist at the end that will surprise readers but that logically fits the tale. Turner does a fine job of creating time and place and imbues the selections with a mild humor that will elicit gentle chuckles and smiles. Some of the stories are stronger than others, and not all of them will appeal to the same audience, but all are readable and the best are very good. Several would also make excellent choices for reading aloud.-Jane Gardner Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Carolyn Phelan
In this collection of seven short stories, magic crops up in unexpected places. A leprechaun roams the hills of New Hampshire; calling himself Leroy Roachbane, a black boy travels back in time to his spiritual home in prehistoric Sweden, where he rids the village lodge of roaches; a young factory worker finds his vision of heaven while working the high crane and chooses to become a ghost in the rafters; an elf prince has an unexpectedly hard time granting wishes to a young woman in Ontario. Each story varies in tone and setting from the one before it, and each illuminates our world with some light from past history or tradition. The real magic here is Turner's ability to convince readers that the realms of fairy tales can intersect with contemporary life. The result is no humorless blend of traditional elements with modern culture, but an often witty recognition of eternal truths spiced with temporal incongruities. A refreshing first book, this introduces Turner as an entertaining, original storyteller with something to say.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060842314
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/8/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 632,732
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Megan Whalen Turner is the author of the Newbery Honor Book The Thief and its companions, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. She lives with her family in Ohio.

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Read an Excerpt

Instead of Three Wishes

Magical Short Stories
By Megan Turner

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Megan Turner
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060842318

Chapter One

A Plague of Leprechaun

Tuesday morning, the North Twicking Times of North Twicking, New Hampshire, ran a story on a leprechaun recently sighted by James Fairsidle on his way down to his south field. North Twicking was a town of Irish descent and Fairsidle was a man who'd always longed to see a leprechaun, certain that he could bully the little beggar into releasing his treasure. Now he had seen one, and he had the broken wrist to prove it, having fallen over a stone in his hurry to catch hold of the little green man. As a result, he'd be hiring Patrick Whelan to do his spring plowing for him. He came into Mrs. Malleaster's tavern very grumpy about the whole business and claimed that the leprechaun had magicked the stone under his feet. As this contravened the well-ordered rules of leprechauns, he found very little sympathy among the other midday tavern-goers.

"You'd have done better to keep you mouth shut about the whole business instead of letting the entire world in on what a fool you were," said Mag Malleaster. "I don't know why you did such a silly thing."

"Because Rob down at the paper gives a pretty good fee to anyone who brings in a story, that's why," said Fairsidle. "That money is theonly good thing to come out of this business."

"Wouldn't surprise me if it was," muttered Mag, wiping down the bar. "This time tomorrow we'll be overrun."

"I thought you'd like the business, Mag."

"I would if they would come one after another like decent tourists. I've only got six rooms in the inn, haven't I? Mark my words, they'll all be here together, and just as we've ordered in enough beer to keep 'em, they'll all be gone and leave nothing behind but the undrunk Guinness I have to pay for."

North Twicking did its best to prepare, but by the next afternoon there were more leprechaun hunters than you could shake a stick at. They came from near and from far. A cowboy came all the way from Kingsville, Texas. There were old ones and young ones and single ones and ones that brought along their entire families. Mag's inn was filled. The only empty room she had was one that had been reserved several weeks earlier, and she'd been offered a great deal of money by a number of people if she would just cancel that reservation and let them have the room. Each time she'd said no, but it made her hot under the collar to turn down money, and as the day passed, she got more and more snappish. The regulars in the tavern looked carefully into their beers and only spoke when ordering a new round.

"But, madam," one of the visitors pointed out, "leprechauns are good luck."

"No," said Mag, "leprechauns are lucky. You don't get good luck without bad, and I'll tell you which kind those little men like to hand out."

Right she was. By the end of the week, all the milk in the county was running sour. The cows closest to North Twicking were the worst. Saturday afternoon the water main in town burst, and folks had to carry their water from the town well. Sunday the Holbins' barn caught fire, and they were lucky to get the animals safely out before it burned to the ground. These were just the larger disasters. Marjorie Sities turned her ankle, Caleb Bates's car got flats in all its tires one right after the other, and Jamie Walsh woke up Monday morning to find that his prize black Angus were scattered all over the Twicking Hills. Mixed in with these events were the six or seven search parties that had to be organized to hunt down missing tourists and their children, all of whom claimed to have been led off by the leprechaun.

Monday afternoon, a young man with a knapsack and a black briefcase walked into the tavern and asked if Mrs. Malleaster was the proprietress of the hotel.

Mag finished pouring the pint she was working on and stared at the bar a moment before she answered. She was, in general, fair-minded, congenial, and kind. Her customers liked her and she made a reasonable living with her tavern. Still, North Twicking got very few out-of-town visitors, it being much less accessible than South Twicking, located on the highway fifteen miles down the valley. It fairly made her blood boil to have so many potential customers and to have to turn them away. She reached for a slip of paper and slid it across the bar to the young man.

"We're all full up here. That's a list of families who will rent space to visitors, but I'll warn you that the town water main is burst and you won't be able to get a bath at any of 'em. You can use my phone to call around and see who's got room." She turned back to the tap and began filling the next pint.

The young man looked a little stunned, as well he might. He lowered his briefcase to the floor and sidled closer to the bar. "Uh, I don't mean to be rude, but my name is Roger Otterly, and I think I have a room here. I did make a reservation and, uh, I did pay in advance."

"Oh, good heavens!" Mag put the mug down on the bar half full. "What must you think of us? Yes, of course I have your room." She called over her one waitress and said, "Jen, keep an eye on the bar. I'm going to take this young man up to his room. It's right this way, sir."

As she preceded him up the narrow stairs to the second floor, she explained that it was the only room left in the hotel since the leprechaun sighting had brought so many people to town, and she'd had . . .

Continues...


Excerpted from Instead of Three Wishes by Megan Turner Copyright © 2006 by Megan Turner. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2000

    MOMs GET THIS FOR YOUR DAUGHTERS

    FABULOUS BOOK!!! Highly reccommend it for mom's to give their daughters since the protagonists are largely female and GREAT role models for the 10-13 year old women in Generation Y.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 18, 2013

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