Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Well Wished

Well Wished

3.9 11
by Franny Billingsley, Leonid Gore (Illustrator)

See All Formats & Editions

One wish for a lifetime...
In the village of Bishop Mayne there is a magical Wishing Well where a person may make one wish in a lifetime. But the Well can create problems for those who use its power, for wishes often go wrong. It was just such a wish that took all the children in the town away. Only eleven-year-old Nuria, who lives with her grandfather


One wish for a lifetime...
In the village of Bishop Mayne there is a magical Wishing Well where a person may make one wish in a lifetime. But the Well can create problems for those who use its power, for wishes often go wrong. It was just such a wish that took all the children in the town away. Only eleven-year-old Nuria, who lives with her grandfather up on the mountain, remains.
Then one child returns — Catty Winter. Catty's legs are mysteriously crippled, and Catty desperately wants Nuria to make a wish so she can walk again. Nuria swears she will make the wish for her friend. But the Well has a mind of its own. What if Nuria's wish qoes wrong?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The old saying "Be careful of what you wish for" gets a bizarre twist in this first novel about a town where all the children have vanished. Nuria, new in town, begs her grandfather to use his one wish at the Wishing Well to bring the children back, but when he does, only one child shows up. Wheelchair-bound Catty is not exactly the kind of friend Nuria was wishing forshe's selfish and duplicitous. And when Nuria asks the Wishing Well, "I wish Catty had a body just like mine," the sneaky well simply switches the girls' bodies, leading Nuria to desperate measures to get someone to recognize her. Despite the interesting premise, Billingsley is not entirely successful in anchoring a logical fantasy world or in creating wholly compelling characters. Readers never know much about Nuria's grandfather, who appears to play a prominent role in the community, or why any of the residents bother to stay in such a cruel and arbitrary village. Nor does the author supply much of a picture of what kind of world this is, modern or medieval, ageless or mortal, wildly magical or commonplace. The language falls into stilted storybook cadence, neither contemporary nor ancient: "Oh, it was cold out there, bitter and cold. The wind screamed about her ears and tore inside her dress as though it would flay the flesh from her bones." There are some promising elements here, but not the passion and believability essential for good fantasy. Ages 8-12. (May)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Orphaned Nuria has recently moved to an unusual village to live with her grandfather, the Avy. The village is the home of a wishing well with an attitude. One wish is absolutely guaranteed each occupant, but the way that wish is interpreted is something else entirely. Thus far the well has made every other child in the village disappear, and Nuria is hungry for a friend. How the strong-minded heroine tries to trick the well into an honest wish, is foiled, and tries yet again is the meat of this nicely evocative fairy tale.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6An unusual first novel with folkloric overtones, this fast-moving story of friendship sought and found, and wishes gone awry captures readers' interest while retaining a will-o'-the-wisp sense of mystery. Characters are few, simply and clearly drawn, while plot twists are simultaneously surprising and believable. Nuria, a lonely orphan, has finally found a home with her beloved grandfather, known as the Avy. Wealthy, crippled Catty, whose disability occasionally makes her irritable and demanding, is the perfect foil for Nuria's sturdy charm. Her empathy for Catty, along with her strong will, self-confidence, and still fragile sense of belonging, lead Nuria to make a wish on the magical well despite the Avy's repeated warnings. Once the wish is made, Nuria finds herself trapped in Catty's body and forbidden by the well's workings to solicit help from her grandfather. Careful planning, determination, and intelligence are required for Nuria to reverse her own wish and help to sort out the tangled wishes previously made by Catty and the Avy. Billingsley's carefully constructed world is a convincing one that closely mirrors our own but finds room for a unique kind of mischievous magic. Young readers who like feisty orphans, matter-of-fact magic, literary references, and happy endings will enjoy this fantasy.Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Kirkus Reviews
The intersection of magic and reality is somewhat bumpy in this intriguing first novel. Nuria, 11, wishes she had a friend. Orphaned, she has come to live with her grandfather, the Avy, in the magical town of Bishop Mayne. The town's central feature is a wishing well, but wishes have a way of going dangerously awry: One wish went wrong and every child in town disappeared. The Avy attempts to wish them back but succeeds with only one child, Catty Winter, who is crippled. Nuria hasn't the knack for friendship; the Avy is the first person she's known who has really loved her, and she's jealous when he tries to include Catty. Defying his orders to stay away from the well, Nuria makes a wish—that Catty could have a body just like her own. That's exactly what Catty gets; Nuria, meanwhile, is left with Catty's damaged limbs. Lively, imaginative Nuria, with her very real insecurities, is an interesting character, as is the warm, eccentric Avy; Catty's own pressing agendas are both poignant and believable. The story stumbles only in the delineation of the magical apparatus, spelled out abruptly in the opening pages before readers have their bearings, and leaving little doubt as to the direction events will take.

For all the novelistic trimmings, Billingsley's debut is a fairy tale, elongated and embellished, but not necessarily improved.

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Leonid Gore moved to the US from his native Belarus in 1991. He has illustrated many beloved books for children and is also the author and illustrator of Danny’s First Snow. Mr. Gore lives in Oakland, New Jersey. Visit him online at LeonidGore.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Well Wished 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is exceptionally good especially from Franny Billingsley as this is her first book.You see a while ago somebody made a wish that away all the children,Nuria is the only one and begs her Grandfather to make a carefully worded wish for all the children to come back,but only one family does Catty Winter a 11 sleek black haired glowing green eyed girl but she is also disabled,Nuria befriends her even though Catty begs her every chance shes gets to make a wish that she was back to normal.In this story Nuria finds out that it was Catty's wish that started everything anyway ,but everything goes back to normal after Catty's father makes a wish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very interesting and tells u not to be tempted and has good romans
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is ok but at first non of it made since but tords the end it started to make sence so if you are desiding if you should buy this book i say save your money and if you read the book and like it no hard fealings its you opinon keep to it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is so good, i read this book so many times! But i recomend this book for fourth and fifth graders!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read this book.I couldn't put it down.Franny is my favorite auther.She realy out did herself on this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great because it has a nice story to it. Franny Billingsley, the author is great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i read this book years ago, and to this day, i still think it is a great book, and that it teaches good morales. even though it is not a very long book, in around 150 pgs, the author teaches you to be thankful for what you have and never try to be someone you arent. if you like books with a strong plot, a good lesson, and a frighteningly mysterious tale, read well wished!
firestar_00_ More than 1 year ago
This book is about a young girl named Nuria and a mysterious dangerous wishing well.You had to be careful making a wish to the well because it could twist your words and the outcome could be bad which is exactly how all the children in the town disappeared accept Nuria because she was out of town. Soon the Avy made a wish to bring back all the missing children and it began to work. A young girl named Catty came back but in a wheel chair. She soon becomes friends with Nuria and asked her to wish her for working legs. Now Nuria is faced with the hard decision whether to give Catty her wish or to listen to the Avy and not go near the well. To be honest i wouldn't recommend this book to a friend because it wasn't as interesting as i thought it would be. It was boring because their wasn't any suspense that made you want to keep reading. The characters were described poorly and at first it was very confusing to read because the story would just jump to different characters without telling you who they were. So at first i didn't even understand who was who and it was just a big mess. These are the reasons why i was disappointed in the book.