A dying girl gives a boy the strength to live in this lyrical novel that will break your heart and lift your spirit Peter Stone’s parents and siblings are extroverts musicians and yellers—and the louder they get the less Peter talks or even moves until he practically fits his last name When his family moves to the Texas Hill Country though Peter finds a tranuil natural valley where he can at last hear himself think There he meets a girl his age Annie Blythe Annie tells Peter she’s a “wish girl” But Annie isn’t just any wish girl; she’s a “Make A Wish Girl” And in two weeks she will begin a dangerous treatment to try and stop her cancer from spreading Left alone the disease will kill her But the treatment may cause serious lasting damage to her brain  Annie and Peter hatch a plan to escape into the valley which they begin to think is magical But the pair soon discovers that the valley—and life—may have other plans for them And sometimes wishes come true in ways they would never expect

10 thoughts on “Wish Girl

  1. says:

    Wish Girl is one of those special books that so clearly demonstrates the magic and agelessness of children's literature This third novel from Nikki Loftin is an incredibly beautiful novel filled with characters and prose that will undoubtedly wriggle deep into your heart “Turns out it's not running away when no one notices you're gone” Peter Stone is a uiet boy who feels perpetually adrift uiet and introspective he struggles to make friends and bullies find him an easy target Even at home Peter feels alienated; his family loud and extroverted struggle to understand and connect with him After his mother discovers dark and hopeless entries in his journal the family packs up and leaves the city behind hoping that escaping the bullies and negativity will allow Peter to start over Of course Peter can't outrun what's in his head The pressing need to be alone drives him out into the nearby tranuil valley where he finally feels like he has escaped and can be himself I love that it is through nature this beautiful but sometimes dangerous valley that Peter finally finds and accepts himself “'It's part of the art' she explained motioning toward the stream 'The bringing together of the pieces then the way they disappear when it time the wind or water or gravity whatever makes the art lose its hold It's not meant to stay forever Some people' and she paused 'Some people wouldn't get it They'd do all sorts of unnatural things to make it stay just like it was Glue it staple it cement it Even though that would ruin it'” When Peter first encounters Annie Blythe he's angry Finally finally he has found a place that is his where he can be alone and there she is But despite his initial reaction he finds he likes Annie Instead of cutting conversations short he can't help but ask her uestions and before he knows it he's aiding in her crazy artistic pursuits Much to Peter's surprise with Annie he finds companionable silence and reflective conversation She isn't like the people Peter wants to escape and she isn't uite like Peter either Instead she is just unapologetically herself Artistic opinionated bossy and devoted to living the fullest most artistic life she can in the time she has left The friendship between Peter and Annie is hands down one of my absolute favorites It's honest and deep and powerfulThe valley where Peter and Annie meet begins as a way for each of them to escape the 'real' world where they feel overwhelmed and unwelcome Readers soon realize however that the valley is than just a place it's a character in its own right a uniue stubborn magical character just like Peter and Annie 'No' she said again 'I don't want to die Not at all But don't you see I'm going to anyway?' She pointed at her chest 'What is death Peter? It's when you stop being you right? When that something that spark or whatever goes out And that's what's coming for me'” Because Annie is terminally ill and Peter struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts conversations of death do play an important part in this novel While Annie doesn't want to die she thinks it preferable to the brain damage and loss of self and autonomy her impending treatment will likely cause Peter's friendship with Annie seeing her fear and lack of choice forces him to confront his own depression and thoughts of self harm I often hear adults protesting to the inclusion of these themes and discussion in MG literature because they feel their young readers need something lighter or cannot handle talk of illness depression and death but I truly feel that younger readers need books like Wish Girl As much as these difficult and often taboo topics are uncomfortable and scary to talk about they are real and they affect people everyday Hiding from them choosing ignorance benefits no one “'Sometimes' she said after a few seconds of silence 'sometimes you got to act You can't wait You got to do what needs doing before the world makes the decision for you'” I know it's early but I feel this book is a likely 2015 Newbery contender It's one I'll be recommending for years to come award or no Highly recommended

  2. says:

    tried so hard not to crySimply lovely

  3. says:

    A magical valleyA wish girlA misunderstood boyAnd all you have to do is be still And listen

  4. says:

    Annie and Peter's friendship is as timeless as infinity but a terrible illness threatens to change all this Wish Girl takes the magic and nostalgia of childhood and mixes it with the unity of family the love of friends and the power to do anything; it was vibrantly written with loveable characters and vivid imagery with powerful obscure messages about the meaning of life and the meaning of love

  5. says:

    Nikki Loftin has realistic gritty plots with a touch of magic in her books Her first book Nightingale shows poverty and how it affects lives and decisions tied in with the Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale This book shows two kids that don't fit in with their peers and a protagonist that isn't accepted by his family The magic in this story is an oasis where nature soothes the soul and heals While entertaining this one doesn't come together particularly well in character development and plot Peter Stone's family has moved from the city to the countryside so Peter can get a fresh start Something terrible happened to him and while his family is supportive on the outside they keep trying to change him on the inside His mom and dad fight than is healthy and Peter has to get away from the noise While wandering the countryside he finds a peaceful valley that literally speaks to him through the animals and insects He meets Annie Blythe artist extraordinaire with a cancer riddled body Together they face their problems trying to overcome bullies and adults that subvert their voices Peter's family comes off as neglectful at first then overly protective later They don't communicate with Peter and the parents are having marital problems since his dad lost his job The beginning presents the parents as not really caring about Peter who goes off for hours and no one notices Then they suddenly notice and everyone is worried to the point he is grounded Peter is supposedly fragile but his internal voice seems awfully clear headed to me I didn't see him as having serious problems The author shows his fears and inability to speak but that is it I wanted The one dimensional bullies never really come to life either and while it is revealed their parents abuse them and one of them is not as cruel as the other I thought the accident would expose them and their parents with a telling scene That action is left hanging and unresolvedSometimes the plot is predictable and other times it is not The magic is conveniently used when the plot needs to move forward or the humans make a bad decision This made it feel contrived and at the end when Peter talks to his family he doesn't come across as a broken kid that has learned life lessons he comes across as a kid that has been wronged by the adults in his life who have misunderstood him and forced him to do things that he didn't want to do He says some mean things to Annie but I think the first person narrative worked against giving the reader a well rounded view of who Peter really was and what he had dealt with in the past He's not very melancholy or raw emotionally Instead he tells too much versus showing itThe artistic Annie has some interesting insights into art She tries to teach Peter that art transforms and he is transformed to some extent by their friendship At the end the resolution happens off the page and the wrap up was a bit anti climatic The bullying Annie endures doesn't make sense either Again I think the point of view worked against rounding out the characters in a sympathetic way or in a way that I could get sucked into the storyline As is I kept noticing the craft which kept me from magically disappearing into the story I kept thinking the story might be like The Fault in Our Stars but it does not look at cancer in the way that one does It does remind me of the Romantic writers of the 1800's such as Frances Hodgeson Burnett's The Secret Garden that uses nature to the extent where it is almost a religious experience for the characters in its power to heal While I like Loftin's word choices and voice I just couldn't get into this one like her other one

  6. says:

    I gave this book five stars only because there was no option to give it six WISH GIRL is a truly special book and I can’t say enough good things about it It’s about friendship it’s about self discovery but really it’s about two beautiful characters Peter and Annie who manage to be solidly real while maintaining than a hint of magic It is the kind of book you will think about for a good long time after you have read it Read it with a box of Kleenex and read it when you have some time to get truly lost in its pages because you will – but read it It will lift you up

  7. says:

    You have to learn to let go when it's timeYou've got to learn that sometimes you have to fight back If you don't your whole life is going to be one long series of losing maybe than just fistfightsHave you ever had the people around you make a decision for you? One they don't think you can make one they won't trust you to make? Not even the tiniest little part of it? They just tell you what's going to happen and expect you to fall in line?Soundtrack Wilderness by Jon Bryant

  8. says:

    This book should be a Newbery contender for 2015 I loved every magical word on the pageA tender story about a young boy's internal fight to be seen and understood by his family and the special wish girl who gives him thecourage to reveal who he is to himself and his family Peter Stone is bullied so horribly that his family relocates just outsideof Austin to give him a fresh start Unfortunately Peter's inner demons along with a new set of bullies follow him into the magical valley surrounding his hillside home But with the help of Annie the wish girl battling cancer he opens his heart and learns to trust himself andhis family again Loftin is a master at creating stories that tug at your heart and WISH GIRL is full of hope and promiseeven in the face of life's unfairness

  9. says:

    Oh my goodness I loved this book Such a beautiful story that shows the power of faith the magic of nature and the spirit of will This is a great book for all readers

  10. says:

    If I could spend my life in this valley I would Beautiful description and cute likable characters