Another Mark Twain 2019 2020 nominee The genre is fantasy The story line follows two little girls and their tight knit family Joplin has moved to a new town and there she finds an old platter hidden away in some boxes Before she knows it the little girl that was originally on the platter is sitting right in front of her She learns her back story and little does she know her mother also has a history with Sophie Sophie helps mend some wounds in Joplin s family but they also help Sophie get back to her precious life Sweet and very unique book I m thinking 3rd through 6th grade would enjoy While Cleaning Out Her Reclusive Grandfather S House, Joplin Discovers Pieces Of A Broken Platter In A Cookie Tin After Having The Platter Repaired, Joplin Wishes That She Could Both Find A Friend At School, And Befriend The Girl Pictured In The Platter The Next Day, Joplin Befriends A Boy Named Barrett, And Also Notices A Girl Outside Her Apartment A Girl Who Looks Remarkably Like The Girl In The Platter The Girl Introduces Herself As Sofie, And She Has A Terrible Secret Cursed To Grant Wishes For The Owner Of The Platter For All Of Time, She Has Been Trapped For Centuries Joplin And Barrett Vow To Help Her, But Freeing Sofie Is Complicated Than They Could Have Imagined, And The Three Friends End Up Against A Sinister Foe Who Could Put Them All In Terrible Danger Loved it I was mesmerized from the beginning of this book I fell in love with the story Childhood grief can leave someone with questions even years later I really like how this story comes full circle The ending is incredibly satisfying. ARC provided by Young Adult Books CentralJoplin never knew her grandfather, the much celebrated author Martin Camrath, but when he passes away, there is a media frenzy around her New York apartment, which she and her mother share with her mother s best friend Jen The death is hard for Joplin, but only because she must deal with her mother s sadness She was allowed to take one keepsake, and grabbed a Christmas tin with a broken platter in it She and Jen go to have it restored The first person to whom they talk creeps them both out, but the platter is put back together by someone else, and Joplin hangs it in her bedroom After the rumors that her grandfather had problems start to bother her at school, Joplin wishes that she had a friend and the girl on the platter comes to life Since the girl can t live in the garden, Joplin convinces her upstairs neighbor Chloe to pass Sofie off as her visiting cousin while she figures out what to do Joplin also meets Barrett Browning, a boy who shares many of her interests, and the two work to figure out the connection between her grandfather, Sofie, and the mysterious man who is following them around.My favorite part of this book was the fact that Joplin DID tell people about Sofie and they reluctantly believed her Granted, the best part of magical books is often keeping the secret from the adults who are around, but I appreciated the fact that Joplin s mother was sympathetic to her plight and was willing to help her out even though the circumstances were very odd indeed Joplin starts off as a rather underdeveloped character, so it is interesting to see her grow and start to stand up for herself Her relationship with Barrett is charming, and Chloe is an intriguing secondary character Sofie s past is filled with all sorts of people, including the creepy Lucius Doyle I especially appreciated the fact that Stanley brings a 21st century sensibility to Joplin s dealings with this man she tries to make sure that Joplin doesn t go meeting the suspect character on her own While I wish we had information about Sofie s world, the New York setting is very vivid, and the author s notes about her own childhood in a similar place imbue this with a charming nostalgic feeling that will resonate with readers.Stanley has done high fantasy novels in the past, but this is a book filled with magical realism and mystery that will resonate with fans of Ruth Chew, Liz Kessler, Laurel Snyder, Kimberly Griffiths Little and Kathryn Littlewood. When her famous, if eccentric, grandfather dies, the bullying at Joplin s school escalates unbearably Worse, Joplin s former best friend, Abby, is in on it Feeling and alone, Joplin finds herself drawn to the little Dutch girl etched into an old broken china platter she found in her grandfather s house After an idle wish that the girl could be her friend, Joplin awakes to find the girl sitting in their garden The girl is Sofie, from 17th century Holland, who was enchanted into the platter centuries ago and forced to grant any wish the owner makes As Joplin and her new friend Barrett learn about Sofie s past and debate the ethics of using the power that keeps her enslaved, they discover a greater menace the alchemist who cursed Sofie and created the platter is alive and well and will stop at nothing to get her back.Joplin Wishing is easily misperceived as historical fiction, then as a standard fantasy fairy tale ish tale In reality, it is a contemporary story about family, friendship and making the right choices when it s hardest, with a swirl of magic thrown into the mix Joplin is a wonderfully drawn character in a story that dives much deeper into responsible choices and friendship than readers may expect While the bad guy is a bit two dimensional and some of his methods seem unnecessarily extreme in order to add shock value, the story is full of twists and surprises that will keep readers intrigued through the end A sweet, touching read with a little bit of bite to it. This was a really nice bit of middle grade magical realism. I didn t want it to end 10 year old reviewer. So refreshing to read something that is so assured and does just what it needs to I am not sure whether it will get awards buzz, because it is so straightforward and not obviously ambitious or in the zeitgeist, but it d be hard to name a expert book this year. Joplin never knew her grandfather but when he dies she and her mom still have to clean out his house Her grandfather was a famous author and all her mom wants are his papers, but she does let Joplin have one keepsake Joplin takes a broken platter in a tin When she gets it home her mom s friend Jen helps her get it restored The first person they take it to is Lucius Doyle who creeps them both out Once the platter is repaired Joplin notices the young girl on it and wishes she had a friend like that The next day the girl in in the garden waiting for her Turns out Sophie s soul was trapped in the platter by a magician and she can grant wishes Joplin and her friend Barrett resolve to help Sophie and get her returned to her own time and family I enjoyed this story even though there were certain elements that I didn t think worked as well as others I liked the friendship that evolves between Joplin, Sophie and Barrett I liked that Joplin tells her mom and Jen the truth about Sophie and they believe her I really liked the twist about Sophie and mom s connection in the past What I didn t think worked as well was Lucius Doyle For a villain he wasn t very villiany I also didn t really like how the situation was resolved Seemed like a strange resolution for a middle grade novel I will also admit that when I read that Jen was mom s best friend and had been their roommate I assumed there was a romantic relationship and was actually a bit disappointed when that turned out to be a wrong assumption. This was a fun little story to read which had a little bit of everything in it, like time travel, magic, suspense, bullying, friendship, parental bonding and a puzzle to solve The plot of the story is very unique, and the author has paced the story well in such a way that people of any age group would enjoy reading The character development progresses nicely in the book, and you can see Joplin becoming confident with the help of her friends I especially liked the character of Barrett and the friendship formed between him and Joplin and Sophie I also liked the fact that Joplin gets her mom and Aunt Jen involved in Sophie s predicament and they all get together to find a way to help Sophie While a lot of these kind of books deal with the kids solving the mysteries by themselves, it was refreshing to see the whole family get together to help Sophie The following paragraph has SPOILERS However, while I enjoyed reading this book, I always felt like it was missing something to make it stick out of the crowd For one thing, I wish the villain of the story, Lucius Doyle was dastardly For someone who knows alchemy and the magical arts, I thought he would use his powers to get possession of Sophie in sinister ways Add to the fact that Sophie also has magical powers to grant any wish, I was expecting a grandeur showdown between the two Instead what we got was the two parties resolving each other s issues through a lawyer s contract Is the author trying to establish that feuds can be resolved only by hiring a lawyer to create bulletproof contracts This seemed like a very unsatisfactory end.Also, I felt like the book did touch upon the subject of bullying but did not really focus much to resolve it When the story starts, we see how Joplin is bullied in school by the other classmates, so I thought that she would use Sophie s help to get over the bullies But once Sophie enters the picture, the entire focus of the book changes on how to help Sophie, and the bullies are just pushed out of the story Speaking on unresolved, what happens to Chloe in the end It would have been interesting to read how she reacted to Sophie s disappearance once the whole matter was sorted, considering the fact that Sophie was living in her apartment Overall, I felt like this story had a lot of potential, but because of the loopholes mentioned above, it fails on being a memorable read It has a good story, interesting continuation but a rather boring ending.
Diane Stanley is an American children s author and illustrator, a former medical illustrator, and a former art director for the publisher G.P Putnam s Sons Born in 1943 in Abilene, Texas, she was educated at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and at Johns Hopkins University She is perhaps best known for her many picture book biographies, some of which were co authored by her husband, Peter
- 272 pages
- Joplin, Wishing
- Diane Stanley
- 19 April 2017 Diane Stanley