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Joplin, Wishing

Cover of Joplin, Wishing

Joplin, Wishing

A heartfelt and magical middle grade novel in the tradition of Tuck Everlasting and Bridge to Terabithia, about family, wishes, and the power of true friends to work magic.

While cleaning out her reclusive grandfather's house, Joplin discovers pieces of a broken platter in a cookie tin. After having the platter repaired, Joplin wishes that she could both find a friend at school, and befriend the girl pictured in the platter. The next day, Joplin befriends a boy named Barrett, and also notices a girl outside her apartment. A girl who looks remarkably like the girl in the platter...

The girl introduces herself as Sofie, and she has a terrible secret. Cursed to grant wishes for the owner of the platter for all of time, she has been trapped for centuries. Joplin and Barrett vow to help her, but freeing Sofie is more complicated than they could have imagined, and the three friends end up against a sinister foe who could put them all in terrible danger.

A heartfelt and magical middle grade novel in the tradition of Tuck Everlasting and Bridge to Terabithia, about family, wishes, and the power of true friends to work magic.

While cleaning out her reclusive grandfather's house, Joplin discovers pieces of a broken platter in a cookie tin. After having the platter repaired, Joplin wishes that she could both find a friend at school, and befriend the girl pictured in the platter. The next day, Joplin befriends a boy named Barrett, and also notices a girl outside her apartment. A girl who looks remarkably like the girl in the platter...

The girl introduces herself as Sofie, and she has a terrible secret. Cursed to grant wishes for the owner of the platter for all of time, she has been trapped for centuries. Joplin and Barrett vow to help her, but freeing Sofie is more complicated than they could have imagined, and the three friends end up against a sinister foe who could put them all in terrible danger.

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About the Author-
  • Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which received three starred reviews, was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections, and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. Well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture-book biographies, she is the recipient of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work.

    Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 17, 2017
    Stanley (The Chosen Prince) deftly infuses magic and mystery into this uplifting story about friendship and second chances. After the death of fifth-grader Joplin Danforth’s estranged grandfather, who was a famous author, Joplin and her mother trek from New York City to his remote cabin in Maine to salvage his final writing. There, Joplin finds a beautiful but broken antique platter. Once repaired, the platter reveals a lovely scene: a girl standing by a pond. Joplin, tired of constant ridicule by classmates, wishes for the girl in the image to be her friend, and is stunned to find Sofie sitting in her garden the next morning. Along with new friend Barrett, the children undertake the daunting task of getting Sofie back to her home—a small Dutch village 400 years in the past. Stanley’s clever premise will quickly capture the imaginations of young readers, but it’s Joplin, with her headstrong determination; Sofie, with her soft-spoken resolve; and Barrett, with his enthusiasm and logic, who make this story special, exemplifying true friendship and sacrifice. Ages 8–12. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from March 15, 2017
    Stanley's fantasy offers an enticing blend of suspense, an ancient curse, a lonely girl, a hint of romance, and a fairy-tale trope. When Joplin's estranged grandfather, a famous yet reclusive author, dies, her mother insists she take something of his to remember him by. Joplin chooses a broken, centuries-old delftware platter. Once mended and hanging on her wall, the lonely 11-year-old white girl, friendless and bullied at school, admires the painted girl in the platter's center and wishes for a friend. The next morning, the Dutch girl from the platter is sitting in the garden! Sofie is cursed, forced to grant any wishes made by the platter's owner. With the help of a new friend, fellow lunchtime-hider-in-the-library Barrett, a white boy who, like Joplin, has -just the right amount of geekiness,- Joplin attempts to free Sofie. After Sofie's kidnapping by the centuries-old, menacing alchemist who placed the curse, the kids devise a plan, with some adult help, to reverse the curse. First-person narrator Joplin is a likable, sensitive girl whose middle school travails will ring true with readers. The story of how the platter came to Joplin's grandfather nicely connects Sofie and Joplin's mother. An afterword revealing the book's connections to the author is moving. With magic and a bit of danger, and touching on themes of family, loss, friendship, misunderstandings, kindness, and second chances, Joplin and Sofie's story is not soon forgotten. (Fantasy. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2017

    Gr 4-6-Stanley's latest novel juxtaposes the life of Joplin, a somewhat privileged fifth grader living in present-day New York City, with magic and alchemy from the mid-17th century. Joplin's reclusive and famous grandfather has just died, and she and her family are dealing with notoriety and paparazzi. Joplin is painfully attacked by thoughtless classmates as a result. The pieces of an old Delft platter depicting a young girl from long ago is her chosen souvenir from her grandfather. Joplin wishes she could have a real friend, and the very next day a boy named Barrett befriends her-and the girl depicted on the platter, Sophie, comes to life. Sophie, like a genie in a bottle, is forced to grant wishes for the owner of the platter for all time. Joplin and Barrett vow to help free Sophie from the curse. The idea of casual wishing is examined thoughtfully. Stanley also addresses the cruelty of several classmates and the inability of trusted teachers to respond appropriately. The many threads of the plot unite into a satisfying if predictable ending. VERDICT A charming tale that is neither frothy nor profound.-Carol A. Edwards, formerly at Denver Public Library

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "With magic and a bit of danger, and touching on themes of family, loss, friendship, misunderstandings, kindness, and second chances, Joplin and Sofie's story is not soon forgotten."
  • Booklist (starred review) Joplin is a beautifully drawn character: capable, complex, prickly, and very aware of those around her, even while being bullied at school... Written with intelligence, verve, and polish, this unusual fantasy takes readers on a journey they won't want to miss.
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Diane Stanley
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