Title: Wish Stealers
Author: Tracy Trivas
Publication Date: January 26, 2010
The day before her first day in middle school, Griffin Penshine is tricked into accepting a box of lucky pennies from a mysterious old woman. A note in the box explains that the coins are all wishes stolen from a fountain more than 70 years ago. Griffin is now unwillingly a Wish Stealer, and in order to avoid the fate that accompanies that title, she must return the pennies to the original owners or to someone who has a similar desire. Short chapters keep the story moving, and an inspirational quote or adage, often about wishes or dreams, follows each one. Unfortunately, Griffin learns that she must return the wishes from a too-convenient chapter in a book that practically falls into her lap. More successful are her experiences as she navigates slights by the school's popular crowd and organizes a fundraiser to collect money for saving rainforests. While the wish-stealing theme is better developed in Frances Hardinge's Well Witched (HarperCollins, 2007), Trivas's accessible novel encourages readers to be proactive in following their dreams and in helping others to fulfill their wishes.
The Wish Stealers is an inspiring book that everbody would absolutely adore. Although it's middle grade, many will still find Wish Stealers to be a valuable book on lessons. The mere concept of Wish Stealers is extremely original and does pertain to the lesson in which Trivas tries to portray here.
Griffin is a unique protagonist that deals with a lot of issues here. Griffin has to deal with the 'bullies' that try to hurt her but she stands strong and makes her decisions. Trivas does really deliver different and meaningful messages in Wish Stealers; decision between right and wrong, being happy with who you are, and friendship. This, combined with the paranormal concept, makes for a beautiful, simplistic read that will hook many readers of all ages!
Trivas has written an inspiring novel that takes us on a journey of self-discovery and adventure. Wish Stealers is one book that people will never forget!
Who is your favorite character from Wish Stealers?
I love Grandma Penshine—she has lived such a good life and is so grounded, kind, cool, and wise. She’s an artist and “mixes paints as if mixing sacred medicine.” But of course I love Griffin—it’s her journey and she is brave and hangs tight and steady when things get tough. It’s a tie between Griffin and Grandma Penshine.
What motivated you to write Wish Stealers?
I wanted to write a book about those people in the world who are “Wish Stealers.” People who try to shoot down a dream, remind people of failure rates, and negative statistics. These “Wish Stealers” can even be family members or good friends, but at certain moments they project all their own fears of failure onto another people's delicate wishes. I wanted to remind people to protect their dreams and wishes and keep focusing on what is possible…
The premise of Wish Stealers seems really unique and interesting. What gave you the idea for it?
When I first moved to Los Angeles in my early 20’s filled with vague dreams of a fulfilling creative career, I slammed head first into something awful—WISH STEALERS–strangers, acquaintances, even friends who were thrilled to spout out how many people fail at creative careers. They stated what the odds are for failure, why back up plans should come first, and how being realistic was more important than dreaming. I scrawled on a Post-it note, after one particularly negative conversation: “Mr. Wunderkiller! Wish Stealer!” I underlined the words three times and threw the Post-it in a drawer. The idea of physically stealing coins out of a fountain, and the larger metaphor of people who shoot down a dream fascinated me. The idea for THE WISH STEAELRS was born.
What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses as an author?
Great question and a hard one too! I love creating characters and giving them quirks and personality. I also like to create books that move--that keep the reader interested. The thing I am working most on is “boy dialogue!” My husband helps me so much with this. In the acknowledgments I thank him for cutting “any and all of Garrett’s dialogue that sounded like a 47-year-old man in a tweed jacket!”
What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
I love to hear most what readers loved in my books or what didn’t work for them. Everybody is so different with such a huge range of opinions---I find a reader’s reaction fascinating, especially after spending so much time alone writing a book.
How is do you feel about being a 10'er debut?
I am happy and grateful. I think middle-grade fiction books have the power to make the most impact on a person’s life. When I was little I read the Anne of Green Gables series over and over again. Anne’s humor, bravery, and feminist spirit really influenced me in a positive way. Through her character I saw girls as being strong, smart, capable, fun, and adventurous. One of my greatest wishes for The Wish Stealers is for a reader to connect with Griffin and be inspired by her courage.
Book you've faked reading:
Thomas Pynchon’s Crying of Lot 49…We had a book club at our place and it turns out nobody finished it—!
Book you've bought for the cover:
Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words by Susan G. Wooldridge. It’s a book of poetry exercises and the cover is gothic, romantic, and dadaesque—I love it! I literally spotted the cover on a shelf in the bookstore and bought it—it turned out to be an amazing poetry book too.
Book you're an evangelist for:
The China Study—by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell III. It is the most comprehensive nutritional study ever done…by the end of the book you’ll want to sign legal papers to be a vegetarian forever—for your body and for the planet.
Anything else you'd like to add?
A big thank you--your blog is inspiring and fantastic! There are so many distractions out there, so a blog that connects people who love to read is a gift.
Hey guys, I've been given a chance to give away FIVE copies of Wish Stealers! This is a US only contest and my Contest Policy applies! Just comment below with your email address if you'd like a chance to win Wish Stealers!!!
This contest ends May 1st!