Two of my favorite middle-grade novels are Ms. Bixby's Last Day and Posted by John David Anderson. I have had the pleasure of meeting John. My class from this past year was able to Skype with him. He is the real deal. I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of his upcoming novel called Granted. It will be released in February of 2018. The ARC arrived in the mail this past week and I finished the story last night. I couldn't stop reading once I started.
What It Is About: Magical. Inspiring. Whimsical. Heart-warming. We all have wishes. Some of those wishes come true. Some of them don't. Either way, most of us never stop wishing. Ophelia is a fairy that has been put on Earth to "grant" these wishes. The problem is she has never been chosen to venture out to the human land to make someone's wish come true. She has prepared her whole life for the day to come when she can actually change a human's life for the better. She and her friend Charlie aren't sure when this day will arrive for her; but they wait patiently. When Ophelia is called into the "office" she knows the moment has finally arrived. She has been given her first "assignment". All of her preparation, studying, and learning is going to be put to the test. Ophelia knows she can do it and do it well. Once she leaves the "haven" and enters the human world, her journey doesn't go according to her "plan". Encountering humans, machines, and animals all impact the job Ophelia has been sent to do. It is quite important to follow the "rules" of the fairies and the world they have established. There is a routine, a ritual, and a way to accomplish the "granting". When Ophelia meets a different human from the one she was sent to help; she isn't sure who to GRANT the wish to. This dilemma could not only cause problems for this fairy, but her entire community.
What I Thought Of It: I LOVED this story. I loved it from the first sentence until the very last word I read. The reading experience was a complete surprise because this particular plot is quite different from the other two novels that I've read by JDA. I'm always amazed when an author can create completely different stories. To me that is true talent. I'm not normally a reader who gravitates towards fantasy, but in this case it worked and it worked well. I feel in love with the character of Ophelia. She was spunky, quirky, and full of life. She made me smile, laugh, and just feel great inside. Ophelia also taught me some great life-lessons. Her "co-pilot" Charlie was awesome and added greatly to the story. This was pure fun to read. While it was a joy; the story also had some tender and important moments sprinkled throughout the pages. I'm so excited to share this book as a read aloud with my fourth graders upon its release in February.
Who Should Read It: The answer is that is easy - EVERYONE. I know this is going to be a beloved story of elementary school children. It could easily be shared with children in grades two through six. In my opinion, it would make for a tremendous read aloud, but of course should also be put in the hands of individual readers. Adult readers who enjoy beautiful and strong fantasy stories, need to put their on their TBR list now and get a copy as soon as it comes out in 2018. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars