“The Wishing Game” by Meg Shaffer is a dream come true for book lovers who know the magic that words can deliver. The story is about a group of adults and the way a special series of books let them escape into a world of make-believe when they were children. To quote the novel, “The only wishes ever granted are the wishes of brave children who keep on wishing even when it seems no one is listening because someone always is’—”
Jack Masterson is a beloved, but reclusive author of the “Clock Island” book series. . . but he hasn’t written a word in six years. He lives on his own Clock Island, along with the illustrator of his books, Hugo Reese. But a new book has finally been written, and there will be a contest to determine who wins the rights to the new novel. Lucy Hart desperately wants to win this contest – it will change her life and the life of a little boy that she loves and wants to adopt. There are 3 other contestants and they have all been hand-chosen by Jack. The background subjects are serious – child neglect, foster homes, illness, death, etc. But the novel is not heavy at all – it is written with lightheartedness and hope. There are clues and riddles, hopes and fears, tragedy and so much love in this read! The characters are terrific and the storytelling kept me reading late into the night.
Many critics are comparing this to “Willy Wonka” or “Chronicles of Narnia.” I just loved it because it touched my heart, had a good mysterious story and left me feeling happy.