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Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous owner's name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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The Wish Stealers Hardcover – January 26, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—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.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Given a box of old pennies by an elderly crone, sixth-grader Griffin Penshine very nearly becomes a wish stealer (someone who tramples on other’s dreams and whose own evil thoughts come true). Only by returning the wishes to their owners or someone else in need can Griffin avoid becoming evil herself. Juggling her need to pass on the coins with more normal concerns—friendship, a science-fair project, and her music—Griffin also worries about the baby her mother carries and her beloved, ailing grandmother. This witch’s brew of premise and complications is stirred up with chapter-ending quotations about everything from wishes and dreams to saving the world. Earnest and basically good, Griffin is an appealing protagonist; readers will sympathize with her efforts and cheer her hard-won ability to ignore the taunts of a trio of stereotypical mean girls. The author’s good intentions are evident in the too-frequent adult advice and the happy ending, which includes raising money to save rain forests; but middle-graders may enjoy the concoction. Grades 4-7. --Kathleen Isaacs
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416987258
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416987253
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,480,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ohio Mom VINE VOICE on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I work with elementary kids so I like to read newly published books to keep up with what's likely to be in the classrooms next. This book is most likely to appeal to 9-11 year old girls.

Other reviews do a nice job of telling you what the story is about so I'll take a different approach.

I like the aspect of the book that the author explores the choices that Griffin could make. The magic of the pennies give Griffin a power which she can choose to use for good or evil. At first Griffin does a good job of making decisions to help people. Later, she tires of being bullied by a girl who thinks too highly of herself. Griffin loses control and makes a wish to have something bad happen to her nemesis. Griffin realizes that she has made a bad choice and she stops using her power irresponsibly.

Overall, the book has a nice message. It is rather basic and not too in depth, but that is age appropriate.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a well written and researched story about a young talented girl named Griffin Penshine ("Griff"), living in the Kansas town of Dadesville, who enjoys playing bass guitar and making wishes but unwittingly becomes the recipient of a box of eleven stolen Indian Head pennies from a 92 year old woman named Mariah Weatherby Schmidt, the visiting great-aunt of an antique store owner. Mariah stole these pennies as a young girl at the end of the 19th century from a wishing fountain in the center courtyard of an inn at the crossroads of Topeka, thereby becoming a "wish stealer", and placed a written label on each penny (except one) to identify the wishes she heard the wishers make.

Possession of these stolen wishes means that one's good wishes will not come true, but it also comes with the evil power of guaranteeing that one's bad wishes against others will come true. How Griffin seeks at the beginning of her 6th grade school year to not only overcome this unwanted inheritance of a "wish stealer" but also to overcome the temptations to use the evil power (especially against that stuck-up Samantha Sloane!) in her attempts to instead become a "wish giver" drive the story.

As the story is told, one is introduced to many interesting characters, including Griff's pregnant mom who is an astronomer as well as her dad, her best friend Libby ("Libbs"), her English and Science teachers Mrs. Gideon and Mr. Luckner, her science partner Garrett Forester ("the cutest boy in sixth grade"), and her wonderful and wise Grandma Penshine. One is also introduced to the literary witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth, historical alchemy and alchemists, Madame Curie, and the Pennies for the Planet organization.
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Format: Paperback
My fourth-grade daughter brought this book home to read, but I picked it up and could not put it down!

I like books that make me think about them later, and this one fits the bill. It is packed with mystery, a sinister character, and a huge lesson on making good choices, not only in what you say and do, but in what you think. I loved that Griffin, the 12 year old girl who has been "gifted" a set of lucky pennies, really struggles with how to use those pennies. Will she use them to wish bad luck on the girls at school who are bullying her, or will she refuse to sink to their level and focus on fulfilling the wishes of the people she loves, and even of strangers she has never met but comes to care for? Well, like many of us, she does both! She makes mistakes, learns from her mistakes, gains some control of her inner "wishes," and determines what type of person she ultimately wants to be.

As a person who didn't quite measure up to the "popular" girls at school, I wish I had had Griffin to look up to. She decides not to focus on hating the cool crowd, but on being a positive influence in her own world. Hooray for Griffin!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I chose this book to read aloud to the class (I am a middle school special education teacher). They are really enjoying it. It is full of colorful adjectives, which is perfect since we are working on adding adjectives to our writing. We are also working on being able to read what the author has written and form pictures in our minds. This book help emphasize this from it's use of descriptive language. The book is also full of suspense, which middle school students love. I am very pleased with this book and would recommend it for 5 - 7 grades.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been wishing for a good book and a think my wish came true!!! This was the best book EVER! I will definitely read more of Tracy Trivas's books! That baby boys name was so cute definitely recommend this book to everybody!This book tought me to never stop wishing!! :-)
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was read by my 4th grader in preparation for using it as a book report. I have noticed in the past that if she gets through the first 2 or 3 chapters, then the book is a winner for her and she will finish it. Some books in the past have not caught on with her and don't get finished. From the beginning of the Wish Stealers, she was interested and eager to read the story. It went with her on car rides and I would frequently ask her to tell me what was going on in the story to see if it was making sense to her. From her telling me what it was about and telling me that she was enjoying the book, I think it is safe to say it is a good book. Sometimes books in her age range are too complicated with too many characters and story lines, but this one did not suffer from that problem.

She wavered between giving the book 4 or 5 stars, but stuck with 5. She says there are some sad parts, a creepy character, some people that were nice to Griffin, and some that weren't. She says some parts of the story left you hanging and you just HAD to read the next chapter to see what would happen. The main character, Griffin, is a nice girl that tries to do the right thing. I much prefer my daughter reading these type of books, rather than books with mean or cliquish girls.
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