Miss Filey is really old and dull. It seems that Ed and Roo know her only to acknowledge and pass by quickly, so when she steps into the breach to care for them each day of the half term, they’re horrified. What’s more, she’s never heard of Wi-fi and lives in a house that seems stuck in a time warp, with a disgustingly old, smelly cat.

The torpid fury that resonates with Ed and Roo is only broken by the unexpected arrival of Willard, the new neighbour to Miss Filey. He’s keen to join in with them. However, none of them know what this week will involve. Therefore, when Willard shares his leftover birthday cake, and Roo adds the discarded candle stumps she’s found, they’re in for a huge surprise.

It seems that these insignificant candle leftovers, hold magic. Somehow,  many years of childhood birthday wishes are stored in these candles. What’s more, these wishes align to the adventures Miss Filey read so as to know by heart. Somehow, the three children, and then Miss Filey, and Atticus, the cat, are caught up in the adventures so as to really experience them. Might it be that Miss Filey could actually leave her house? Then again, that Ed might leave his wheelchair, Roo her sense of responsibility, Willard his loneliness, and Atticus his tumbling decline?

Bookwagon loves the characters, the way their relationship develops, how the children build an appreciation for Miss Filey, and the clever, imaginative adventure telling too. Altogether, Wished is a really satisfying, unique and stirring story that we love.

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Lissa Evans

(David Fickling Books)

Imagine if you were a child who wished to experience the adventures you read? It seems Miss Filey was such a child. However, Ed and Roo know none of this. They’re annoyed at staying with her during the half term holiday, while their parents work, and their home is renovated. It seems t renovations are to support Ed’s needs. These might explain his attitude for he’s sharp and sarcastic, not only with Roo, but with Willard, a neighbour who seeks to join them.
While the children expect a dull week of biscuits and lemonade, it seems this is not to be the case. What’s more, the aged, stinking cat is not what the children expect. How might saved birthday candles offer the children, and then Miss Filey a portal to adventures  read and loved so many years before? Then again, what might happen if these candles burn to stumps, meaning adventures are limited, and returns, precarious? Furthermore, how would you keep track of your adventures if they were unexpected and you were unfamiliar with their plot line, or the main character decided to change the story?
Lissa Evans offers a really rich, imaginative and confident adventure story with Wished. While we’re aware that there are problems for each child, we understand and care. What’s more, Miss Filey is fleshed out sympathetically, and we enjoy the growing appreciation the characters build for each other. It means that like her other works, including Wed Wabbit, Lissa Evans has written a splendid middle grade adventure that Bookwagon recommends heartily.


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