Wished by Lissa Evans

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Wished by Lissa Evans

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Buy Wished by Lissa Evans at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: The message here is if you can't seize the day, help someone else do so. Everything is presented in a fabulous blend of the modern knockabout and the Olde Time lashings of pop and biscuits drama.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: April 2022
Publisher: David Fickling Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781788452021

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When things contrive to force Ed and his sister Roo (aka Lucy) to stay with the neighbourhood spinsterish old woman, Miss Filey, for a week of half-term, they're not looking forward to it. For one thing, she thinks Wi-Fi is a special brand of biscuit. They don't particularly take to Willard either, the new kid next door, who seems to ebulliently take over everything and everywhere. But things soon change when they find some tiny old birthday candles, and manage to work out that these candles, for as long as their flames last, make birthday wishes come true. How will things change for a second time when they realise that, having used up three of them, these should really be used for the wishes of someone two generations older than them?

Well, things will change into what Miss Filey's extremely smelly and very hard-done-by cat gets to call some kind of half-baked interdimensional junior rescue mission – although don't ask how. Just read the book – for I hope you get the sense this is an old-fashioned gung-ho adventure read, all biscuits and soda pop and things, teetering on becoming something much more knockabout, wacky and modern. Here the dated source of Miss Filey's dreams, and the unchanging decor in her home over the decades, and here the potato whisk that does this, and the surfing seal, the aforementioned chatty kitty, and so much more.

Not that the book labours over showing the differences between the old and the new, other than presenting the merits of both when in fine combination. And besides, the freshest thing here is something we learn once beyond the first short chapter – that Ed is a wheelchair user, due to ME or some such. So does the read become a worthy one, you know – Gasp at Disabled Kid Finally Able to Go on An Adventure? No – it retains its freshness and cloyingness-free state throughout, and the different ability of Ed is given through a really nice relationship with Roo.

Not even the cat, who took a chapter or two for me to take to, gets in the way of enjoyment here, and once you see he is a feline Marvin the Paranoid Android, and just a most reluctant hanger-on, you see this might be borrowing from more than one period in children's and adventure literature. Things are stuck in the olden times – the TV set is a black and white one that takes a month to warm up and shows two channels badly – but not the appeal of this story. No, antimacassars aren't exactly mentioned here, but even if they were they'd still be fresh-smelling, enveloping and quite charmingly done, much like the novel itself. And the carpe diem sentiment of the ending will definitely hit home with anyone nearer their second childhood than their first.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

Much more modern and wacky – and yet also with a talking cat – we find The Great Dream Robbery by Greg James and Chris Smith goes down a storm. For more Lissa Evans' children's literature, start with Small Change for Stuart.

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Buy Wished by Lissa Evans at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wished by Lissa Evans at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy Wished by Lissa Evans at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wished by Lissa Evans at Amazon.com.

Wished by Lissa Evans Check prices, read reviews or buy from Foyles. Foyles currently charges £2.99 (first class £3.99) for orders under £25, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Foyles bookshop at no charge.

Wished by Lissa Evans Check prices, read reviews or buy from Waterstones. Waterstones currently charges from £2.75 for orders under £20, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Waterstones bookshop at no charge.

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