Well Wished by Frannie Billingsley

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Well Wished by Frannie Billingsley

Frannie Billingsley. Well Wished. Atheneum, 2000. ISBN 978-0689832550 176 pp. $

*****

The old adage “be careful what you wish for” comes true in this original body-swap fantasy that reads like a fairy tale. A magical wishing well twists the wisher’s words to bring misfortune; can Nuria, used to getting her way, trick the well into giving her what she wants after her own wish goes awry?

Billingsley creates vivid complex and dramatic characters. Her lyrical storytelling is slightly old-fashioned and reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen, though wordier.

The plot is a neat way for Billingsley to explore issues of identity, friendship, promise, and trust. This title makes a nice addition for fantasy fans; it may serve as a tie-in to folk and fairy tale units for older children, create an example for children who wish to write their own original fairy tales, or raise a discussion about differently-abled people.

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