So, it’s no secret that I love Nikki Loftin’s books. I’ve featured them previously, as well as over on Operation Awesome. And I was lucky enough to get an ARC of her newest book, WISH GIRL, in the mail. WISH GIRL is completely un-put-down-able; the writing is superb, and the characters are beautifully unique. See for yourself:

A dying girl gives a boy the strength to live in this lyrical novel that will break your heart and lift your spirit. 

Peter Stone’s parents and siblings are extroverts, musicians, and yellers—and the louder they get, the less Peter talks, or even moves, until he practically fits his last name. When his family moves to the Texas Hill Country, though, Peter finds a tranquil, natural valley where he can, at last, hear himself think.

There, he meets a girl his age: Annie Blythe. Annie tells Peter she’s a “wish girl.” But Annie isn’t just any wish girl; she’s a “Make-A-Wish Girl.” And in two weeks she will begin a dangerous treatment to try and stop her cancer from spreading. Left alone, the disease will kill her.

But the treatment may cause serious, lasting damage to her brain.

Annie and Peter hatch a plan to escape into the valley, which they begin to think is magical. But the pair soon discovers that the valley—and life—may have other plans for them. And sometimes wishes come true in ways they would never expect.

Since two of Nikki’s books, NIGHTINGALE’S NESTand WISH GIRLhave both been labelled as magical realism (which is sort of an oddity in MG literature), here’s a list of five authors Nikki recommends for readers who pick up WISH GIRL and like it (I’m sure many people will!). Take it away, Nikki!

1. Pam Munoz Ryan. Her book Esperanza Rising is a classic, and uses magical realism in such a subtle way. The book deals with immigration, so it’s an important book for kids to read… and the magical realism gives it a feeling I don’t get from a lot of straight contemporary fiction. Magic, hope, a sense of deeper currents.

2. Kimberley Griffiths Little. Her books, like The Healing Spell, are set in Louisiana, and Little uses the creole magic of the bayou to create stories about families and friendships that stay with the reader.

3. Anne Ursu. Breadcrumbs, a wonderful blend of fairy tale re-telling and magical realism.

4. Laurel Snyder. Both Seven Stories Up and Bigger than a Breadbox are wonderful!

5. David Almond. His Skellig is still one of my favorite magical realism stories ever.

Thanks, Nikki! To grab a copy of WISH GIRL for yourself, click the link below.


And here are Nikki’s other books:


And here are the books Nikki recommended:


Happy reading, everyone!
0 replies
  1. Nikki
    Nikki says:

    Thanks so much for posting this, Karen! You're the best. I wish I'd remembered to list Natalie Lloyd's A Snicker of Magic, too! I loved it SO MUCH. I could go on for days about great MG books, though… 🙂

  2. KD James
    KD James says:

    I feel like I'm violating the biggest rule out there for writers: DO NOT comment on book reviews, even if it's not your book.

    But when JR says go forth and say hello to people, welp, here I am. So…

    Hi, Karen! Very nice review, BTW. Love your enthusiasm.

  3. Karen McCoy
    Karen McCoy says:

    Thanks so much for all the comments, everyone!

    Jenny: Not so much slush–a lot of great stuff in there!

    Nikki: Of course! Still loving WISH GIRL–and A Snicker of Magic sounds great!

    AJ: Thanks for stopping by!

    Donna: And I love all your stuff also–especially your comments on JR's blog!

    Angie: Thanks so much! I'm sure you'll love it. (And love that WISH Girl is on your WISH list :))

    KD: Some rules are meant to be broken! And thanks for your kind words.


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