by John David Anderson


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From the author of beloved novels Ms. Bixby’s Last Day and Posted comes a hilarious, heartfelt, and unforgettable novel about a fairy-in-training.

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, there is someone out there who hears it. 

In a magical land called the Haven lives a young fairy named Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets. Ophela is no ordinary fairy—she is a Granter: one of the select fairies whose job it is to venture out into the world and grant the wishes of unsuspecting humans every day.

It’s the work of the Granters that generates 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 gets granted.

Today, however, is anything but typical. Because today, Ophelia is going to get her very first wish-granting assignment.

And she’s about to discover that figuring out how to truly give someone what they want takes much more than a handful of fairy dust.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In a delightful fantasy about grappling with unforeseen challenges, a fairy embarks on a mission to grant her first wish. For an ambitious, type-A fairy like Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets, the task should be simple: find the coin her target wished on and use fairy dust to fulfill the wish (in this case, a 13-year-old Ohio girl’s request for a bike). She can’t afford to fail: fairy society relies on wish granting to maintain the flow of increasingly scarce magic. But a wing injury renders Ophelia unable to fly, and a series of circumstances keeps that all-important coin just out of reach. Anderson (Posted) maintains a careful balance between earnestness and whimsy as Ophelia bounces from one incident to the next, aided by her new friend, Sam, a scene-stealing stray mutt. For the most part, Anderson plays the concept of a small fairy coping with a big world straight, but some tongue-in-cheek observations and heartfelt moments make for a feel-good, optimistic story that finds the magic in everyday things. Ages 8–12. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Feb.)

ALA Booklist

Anderson shows his versatility in this original fantasy adventure.

School Library Journal

★ 02/01/2018
Gr 4–6—Magic isn't what it used to be. Though once upon a time, fairies could grant any wish they liked, today, owing to dwindling levels of magic, those decisions are the purview of the Great Tree. As a result, only a few of the humans wishing on shooting stars or birthday candles realize their heart's desire. Today, Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets, an untried young member of the Granter guild, has the chance to delight one human—and prove herself. Sent from the fairy realm to the human world with an arsenal of high-tech supplies and strict orders from her supervisor to adhere to regulations, she's tasked with making 13-year-old Kasarah Quinn's dream of a new bike a reality. But the mission becomes more complicated when the essential element (a nickel that Kasarah threw into a fountain when she made her wish) goes missing. This engrossing adventure moves quickly, plunging its heroine into one near-death scenario after another. Determined yet inexperienced Ophelia is a relatable underdog character, as is her sidekick, Sam, a dopey but enthusiastic canine. Interludes between chapters flesh out the fairy world, a hilarious blend of the magical and the bureaucratic. Anderson weaves in a subtle message about free will as earnest, by-the-book Ophelia's eyes open and she considers disobeying the rules and granting another wish. Her journey of self-discovery will resonate with young readers newly grappling with the idea that right and wrong aren't always clear-cut. VERDICT An enchanting addition to any middle grade collection.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2017-10-28
Wish-fulfillment can be hard work. On her first assignment as a Granter, a cobalt-blue-haired fairy finds the human world far more complicated than she expected. Granting a wish requires determination and a little help from friends. Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets is compulsively well-prepared, but book-learning in the Haven is not the same as action in the real, human world. There are unexpected dangers: airplanes, territorial geese, a broom, a hawk, a truck. And then there's the difficult choice. With the dwindling amount of magic available to them, generations of fairies have decreed that an impartial lottery is the fairest way to distribute the number of fulfilled wishes, but is it? Is a boy's longing for his father's return more important than a girl's wish for a purple bike to replace her stolen one? Anderson provides wonderfully convincing details about his imagined "world of waning wonder," where fairies struggle to keep magic alive. He creates appealing characters, especially careful Ophelia, her scruffy, pink-haired fairy friend, an abandoned but loving dog she names Sam, and the boy, Gabe Morales, sadly longing for his father, serving in Iraq. (Only his name suggests Latinx heritage.) The skillful tale-telling includes satisfying alliteration. "Honor no wish that would lead to misery, misfortune, or malefaction" is the fairies' first rule of wish-granting. A faithful dog, a good friend, and pinch of magic work wonders in this modern fairy tale. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062643865
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/13/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 548,593
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews