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“The Wishing Game” by Meg Shaffer

--Staff Picks General

The Wishing Game

Meg Shaffer
Published: 2023
Age Range: Teen, New Adult, & Adult

As a lonely child, Lucy Hart tried to run away to Clock Island, the made-up world created by her favorite author Jack Masterson.  As a struggling grown-up, Lucy is facing the hard truth that everything doesn’t always work out in the end, and even working hard and wishing with all her might will not get her what she longs for – to adopt a boy that attends the school where she works.  However, when the reclusive author comes out of retirement and announces not only the first new book in the Clock Island series in years but also that a lucky few will be invited to his island to compete for a grand prize, she has hope that all her wishes will finally be granted.  Lucy must deal with tricky puzzles, underhanded competitors, and broody artists, but she is determined to see things through to the end.  Despite the grim realities the characters have lived through, kindness and hope are embedded throughout the story and will leave you with a warm sense that everything will turn out alright in the end (spoiler: it will).  Part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and part fairy tale, this is for readers who have always wanted to escape into their books.