The Wish Stealers by Tracy Trivas (2010) Find it on Bookshop.
This is a cute story about a girl named Griffin Penshine who loves to wish. That is until an evil wish stealer cons her into accepting a box of cursed pennies. Griffin has to return all of the stolen wish pennies or risk becoming a wish stealer herself.
I liked this story. The optimistic, small town vibe was charming and Griffin really is an adorable heroine. The story dragged a bit in the middle as Griffin flounders with how, exactly, to return wishes that were stolen years and years ago. There is a lot going on in the story between Griffin adjusting to her new school and the sixth grade (both of which were handled realistically), waiting for her mom to have Griffin’s baby brother or sister, worrying about her sick grandmother, AND working on a science project with the cutest boy in the sixth grade. Everything is handled well but the sheer amount of plot prevents anything from being looked at too thoroughly.
This is probably just me, but I also wasn’t totally comfortable with Griffin trying to reunite her friend Garrett with his absent father. As a child of a single parent I was uncomfortable with Griffin seeing Garrett’s lack of a dad as something to “fix” even if she had the best intentions and totally meant well.
That said this is a charming story with a great message. Who doesn’t love a book about the power of wishing?