Review Detail

Kids Fiction 460
Be careful what you wish for
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Giovanni lives in New York City with his mother, who is an opera singer. His father was a set designer, and the one thing "Van" has kept through all of their moves to different cities is the maquette his father had- a small stage with curtains. He finds objects out on the street and uses them to reinact scenes on the stage. His frequent moves, as well as the fact that he is hard of hearing, occasionally makes it difficult for him to make friends, so when he runs into Pebble in the park, he feels a connection to her. She's a bit odd, wearing a long coat in the warm weather, but he follows her and eventually finds out that she is part of a group of Collectors who gather wishes and keeps them safe in an underground facility. He also meets Mr. Falborg, who collects a number of different things, including Wish Eaters. He claims that Pebble's group is trying to starve and abuse the Wish Eaters, who are little, tiny and cute, and he gives Van a Wish Eater of his own to keep. Since he needs to feed it wishes, he wishes for a number of things in order to feed it, but wishes are unpredictable. For example, his mother is dating the father of Peter Grey, who doesn't like Van very much, so he wishes that the two parents won't be together, and his mother gets a job at La Scala in Italy. When he then wishes to stay in New York, something happens to his mother to prevent her from traveling. The Collectors are after Van, and when they finally corral him, he finds out more information about what is going on, and decides which side he needs to be on.
Good Points
The world building in this was particularly engaging, and Van is able to travel back and forth and meet with inhabitants of both worlds easily, which makes it fun. New York, especially the part of it that operates underneath the buildings and streets, is always a fertile area for fantasy titles (think Mebus' God of Manhattan, Collins' Gregor the Overlander, or Fiedler's Mouseheart), and the Collector's building, especially the scary vault, is definitely a very vivid setting.

The story with Peter adds a nice dimension, since children whose parents are dating each other probably are very ambivalent about each other. Van's hearing loss is well portrayed, and his struggles with understanding speech are explained in a way that will help younger readers understand what it might be like. Having an opera singer as a mother is not something many children have, so that was interesting as well.

Readers who enjoy books where the good and evil sides aren't particularly clear cut, like Colfer's Artemis Fowl series of Delaney's The Last Apprentice will enjoy Van' confusion over whether he should believe Mr. Falbourg's take on the Wish Eaters or Pebble's and the Collector's. I'm still a little torn myself, since Mr. Folbourg is introduced as a kindly, crinkly-eyed older gentleman but at the end manages to disappear, much to Van's dismay. This could be a stand alone title, but I can see the series continuing as well.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Dinosnores (Boynton on Board)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
“Honk SHOOOOOO! Honk SHOOOOOO! . . .” ...
Good Day, Good Night
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Now in a sturdy board book format, perfect for little...
TBH, This May Be TMI (TBH, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Told entirely in text messages, the second book in this...
I've Loved You Since Forever
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times #1 Bestseller! ...
My Baby Loves Christmas
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the My Baby Loves Christmas board book, celebrate all...
Riverland
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When things go bad at home, sisters Eleanor and Mike...
All You Need Is a Pencil: The Totally Sick Sick-Day Activity Book
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A perfect, device-free remedy to what to do when the...
Animazes
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow fascinating journeys of animal migration in this beautiful book...
Christmas Cheer for The Grouchy Ladybug
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Hugs...
Baby Loves the Five Senses: Hearing!
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners. ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is...
Laugh-Out-Loud Halloween Jokes: Lift-the-Flap
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The #1 bestselling Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids series is bringing...

Latest Member Reviews

Dinosnores (Boynton on Board)
 
5.0
"DINOSNORES is another absolutely charming and delightfully ridiculous board book from Sandra Boynton. Here, the dinosaurs get ready for bed,..."
Good Day, Good Night
 
4.0
"GOOD DAY, GOOD NIGHT follows a bunny on his journey from sun-up to sunset, as he travels around town, plays..."
TBH, This May Be TMI (TBH, #2)
 
4.0
"TBH, THIS MAY BE TMI is the second in a contemporary middle grade series, though it can easily function as..."
I've Loved You Since Forever
 
5.0
"This gorgeous board book celebrates the parent-child bond in an absolutely stunning way. I'VE LOVED YOU SINCE FOREVER suggests that..."
My Baby Loves Christmas
 
5.0
"Babies and toddlers will love the colorful celebration of Christmas in this delightful board book. MY BABY LOVES CHRISTMAS is..."
Riverland
 
4.0
"RIVERLAND is a riveting and complex middle grade magical realism novel. Eleanor and her sister, Mike (nickname, everyone except their..."
All You Need Is a Pencil: The Totally Sick Sick-Day Activity Book
 
5.0
"THE TOTALLY SICK SICK-DAY ACTIVITY BOOK is exactly what the title describes. There are crossword puzzles, places to doodle, word..."
Animazes
 
5.0
"ANIMAZES shows the migration patterns of fourteen different creatures. It shows that there are several different paths these creatures can..."
Christmas Cheer for The Grouchy Ladybug
 
3.5
"CHRISTMAS CHEER FOR THE GROUCHY LADYBUG talks about everything exciting Christmas has to offer. There's snowflakes, fires, bells, presents, stockings,..."
Baby Loves the Five Senses: Hearing!
 
4.7
"BABY LOVES THE FIVE SENSES: HEARING teaches everything you need to know about how hearing, the ears, and sound all..."
 
5.0
"In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki is disgusted when he finds out that his pen-pal Charlie is a girl. Still, they..."
Under the Snow
 
5.0
"When you see snow, you think of how pretty it is or how cold it is. UNDER THE SNOW opens..."