The most recommended wish books

Who picked these books? Meet our 23 experts.

23 authors created a book list connected to wishes, and here are their favorite wish books.
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What type of wish book?


Book cover of Wishing Season

Kimberly Sabatini Author Of Touching the Surface

From Kimberly's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Mom Coach Chocolate connoisseur HSP

Kimberly's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Kimberly Sabatini Why did Kimberly love this book?

I am in love—heart and soul with this book. This touching middle-grade novel is stunning. It makes me want to be a kinder and more empathetic human.

Today, more than ever before, we need more books that bring out the best in us. We need stories that help us navigate the ups and downs of being human. We need to remember that loving others and being vulnerable is a strength and not a weakness. Wishing Season will break your heart and then it will show you how to mend it, so you’ll be stronger for having loved and lost.

Go read this story, my friends. ♥️ Some books are impossible not to share.

By Anica Mrose Rissi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wishing Season as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A moving middle grade story by Anica Mrose Rissi that will appeal to readers who loved The Thing about Jellyfish and Hello, Universe, about the enduring bond between twins: Anders, who has recently died, and Lily, who has to balance her grief and confusion with a brother who isn’t quite gone—and how to navigate a world that is moving forward without him.

Of course Anders wasn’t lonely in the afterlife. He still, like always, had Lily.

Lily doesn’t believe in making wishes. Not anymore. Not since Anders died.

Wishes can’t fix the terrible thing that happened. Wishing won’t change how…

Book cover of The Wish Granter

Vanessa Rasanen Author Of On These Black Sands

From my list on with characters you’d want in your crew.

Why am I passionate about this?

I once thought I was broken, because I became so invested in the characters I read about. I carried them with me out into the real world, where their struggles kept me from focusing on my own tasks. Then I learned this connection is a feature of reading, not a bug. While some people collect book boy/girl-friends–and I do enjoy swooning over a love interest–I am more drawn to those characters I’d want to share a rum with or meet for a beer. Authentic characters show us we’re not alone and inspire us to grow. They become so much more to us than mere words on the page.

Vanessa's book list on with characters you’d want in your crew

Vanessa Rasanen Why did Vanessa love this book?

Two words: Princess Ari. She loves butter as much as I do, but that is not why I love her. This character is far from perfect, but she doesn’t let that stop her. She embraces who she is and refuses to let others’ perceptions of her dictate her sense of self-worth. She is no victim, even when she literally is one. Ari would have your back at all times, and then bake you tasty pastries after your adventures.

By C. J. Redwine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wish Granter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored…

Book cover of Three Wishes

Staci Troilo Author Of Type and Cross

From my list on dysfunctional family drama to make you feel better.

Why am I passionate about this?

Misery loves company, right? While I never wish ill on someone, I find comfort in knowing I’m not the only one going through a loss, slight, or rejection. Family dysfunction novels remind me that the petty problems I get caught up in are nothing compared to what they could be. Sure, fiction frequently elevates these troubles from drama to melodrama, but I still experience relief—even though it may only be in the smallest way—focusing on someone else’s struggles. Sometimes I even find a solution to my own paltry issues. Who wouldn’t want that? And what writer wouldn’t want to help readers in that way?

Staci's book list on dysfunctional family drama to make you feel better

Staci Troilo Why did Staci love this book?

I love to explore all aspects of family drama and strife, but sometimes I prefer something with more light and hope rather than darkness and despair.

I thought this one would fit the bill. In many ways, it did. But that doesn’t mean there was a lack of tears and angst. Who wouldn’t want three wishes? And what would we do if we had them? This story explores that and more.

Moreover, it left an indelible stain on my heart while also proving all is not over after a loss. It’s an odd mix of sad and joyful… bittersweet, but elevated to another level. 

By Barbara Delinsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Wishes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a surprise October blizzard hits Panama, Vermont, blanketing the sleepy little town with several feet of snow, it creates a scene so tranquil no one suspects the tragedy to come, least of all Bree Miller. Slipping and sliding as she walks home from the diner where she works, she barely has time to notice the runaway truck skidding toward her until it is too late. Sbe awakens in the hospital, remembering little of the accident or the hours thereafter, except for a very bright light, a beatific smile, and a mystical nonvoice granting her three wishes.
Tom Gates is…

Book cover of Star Knights

Barbara Perez Marquez Author Of The Cardboard Kingdom

From my list on to send your kid on an unforgettable adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer, I strive to create stories that I wish I had found on shelves when I was younger. In that same way, every title on this list not only brings new ways to find adventures through reading, but will hopefully leave young readers with new skills to face the world around them. We often think just cause a story has fantastical elements that it makes them detached from reality, but give any of these a read and you'll find, the farther it is from real life, the brighter the common themes we all share shine through.

Barbara's book list on to send your kid on an unforgettable adventure

Barbara Perez Marquez Why did Barbara love this book?

For any kids that are looking for their next space adventure. Davault's art style is welcoming and the story is a delight. I found Star Knights to hit that string of what it means to stand for our friends and how, as a kid, I too was looking for ways to connect with others. 

By Kay Davault,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Star Knights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A simple frog who wants to become a legendary knight finds himself on a magical journey. From the comic artist behind Oddity Woods comes a fantasy graphic novel with a lot of heart, adventure, and hijinks!

What makes a hero?

Brave Star Knights are heroes who go on adventures. But Tad is just a frog, and frogs can’t save the day. Can they? Determined to out-hop his mud-dweller fate and pursue his dream of being a knight, Tad finds himself on a quest with a surprise group of adventurers, including the Star King!

It’s a race against time as Tad…

Book cover of It's A Fabulous Life

Dana Hawkins Author Of Not in the Plan

From my list on swoony, sapphic RomComs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a contemporary romance writer, mom, queer, dog-lover, and coffee enthusiast. I have a deep love of the genre, particularly sparkly and swoony, sapphic romcoms, with a borderline obsession with happily-ever-afters. Knowing I will always have a happy ending while smiling through pages gives me the comforting hug I sometimes need. My goal is to spread queer joy in my writing and provide a safe, celebratory, and affirming space for my readers to escape reality.

Dana's book list on swoony, sapphic RomComs

Dana Hawkins Why did Dana love this book?

This book was like drinking a hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cold winter day.

I swoon over sweet stories and second-chance romances. And, any time you take an original story (especially a Christmas-ish story) and add in a drag queen instead of an angel, it becomes magic, right?

I’m also a huge sucker for dogs being in a book. The writing was cute and snappy, the feel-good story I was craving, and I left this book with a spring in my step.

By Kelly Farmer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It's A Fabulous Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perfect for fans of Alison Cochrun and Ashley Herring Blake, this sapphic retelling of It’s a Wonderful Life will make the yuletide gay.

After years of putting aside her dreams of travel and adventure, Bailey George is ready to leave Lanford Falls and her responsibilities behind on a long-awaited vacation to New York City. But when the volunteer who took over her leadership position for the town's Winter Wonderfest has a medical emergency, Bailey finds herself stuck in Lanford Falls. She gets roped into reassuming her old role, not wanting to let the town or her friends and family down.…

Book cover of The Thief of Always: A Fable

Katie Marie Author Of A Man in Winter

From my list on horror with child protagonists that are not for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

Horror is my passion and most things I read and everything I write fits neatly into the genre. But I am also passionate about telling stories from a unique perspective, or if not entirely unique then at least one that is underused. My novella A Man in Winter is told from the perspective of an elderly chap with dementia for instance. I have also found that many people think books with child protagonists must be children’s books and it makes me sad to think of all the wonderful work is being missed out on, I hope that my list has convinced you to try one of the above books.

Katie's book list on horror with child protagonists that are not for kids

Katie Marie Why did Katie love this book?

My mum read this book to me when I was little, so I think it will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason. 

But even re-reading it as an adult I can say that it is a marvellous story. The imagery is spectacular, Harvey’s night as a vampire especially stays with me due to the vivid imagery. As well as the ‘creatures in the pond’ (trying to not spoil anything too badly here). Overall, it’s a well written, imaginative story that sucks you in and holds you tightly right up to the end.

By Clive Barker,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Thief of Always as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The horror story your students have been asking you for! The only children's story by the master of horror.

Book cover of The Miraculous Sweetmakers #1: The Frost Fair

Jane McMorland Hunter Author Of Urban Nature Every Day: Discover the natural world on your doorstep

From my list on novels set by the River Thames in London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in London most of my life, and what I love most about it are the wild places, the spots where the city and nature rub shoulders. When reading fiction, ‘place’ matters a lot to me, and if I am familiar with the setting, I like it to be accurate. That said, I love a little fantasy to stretch the boundaries. As well as being a writer and editor, I have worked part-time in bookshops for over forty years, and during that time, I must have read hundreds of novels set in and around London. These are five of my absolute favourites.

Jane's book list on novels set by the River Thames in London

Jane McMorland Hunter Why did Jane love this book?

As a bookseller as well as a writer and editor, I believe strongly that good children’s books should also be read by adults.

The setting here is 1683, and the River Thames is frozen. I studied history, and I often stand on London Bridge and try to imagine the flowing water as a field of ice with stalls and side shows on the frozen surface. Embankments and new bridges mean the river no longer freezes, but this story brings historical London to life and allows us to feel what it would have been like.

A magic nocturnal Frost Fair, a lost boy, and a determined twin sister are at the heart of this bewitching story, which is dark yet uplifting–a perfect combination that had me gripped throughout. 

By Natasha Hastings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Miraculous Sweetmakers #1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

'Absolutely stunning... Real emotional depth alongside a fast-paced plot. Fantastic' A F Steadman

An amazing and captivating, curl-up-on-the-sofa debut about a magical frost fair and the lasting power of friendship, perfect for fans of Tamzin Merchant, Abi Elphinstone and Anna James.

The Great Frost of 1683 has London in its icy grip.

Thomasina and her best friend Anne sell sweets on the frozen Thames, amid rumours of the magical Frost Fair that awakens there at night. They say if you can find the fair, Father Winter himself will grant you any wish.

And Thomasina has an impossible wish: the return…

Book cover of Half Magic

Alice Duncan Author Of Domesticated Spirits

From my list on humanity and its often savage inhumanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been blessed (or cursed) with a vivid imagination since childhood. Add to that the fact that my first three years were spent on a farm in Maine with nobody around but my mother and my sister, and I grew into a person who is happy alone and making up stories. After my family moved to California, I went to school with all colors, races, and religions and my sense of inclusiveness is abundant. Most of my stories deal with unfairness imposed upon humans by other humans. Nearly all of my books are funny, too, even when I don’t mean them to be. Absurdity is my pal.

Alice's book list on humanity and its often savage inhumanity

Alice Duncan Why did Alice love this book?

This book taught me to love reading when I was in the third grade. Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha are suffering the summertime-boredom blues when they find a grimy old coin.

By accident they discover the coin is magic; however, it’s so old it only works part-way. The adventures they have while trying to figure out what’s going on are charming and hysterical. I always laugh when the cat tries to halfway express itself because the children forgot to double the wish they wished.

Anyone with a sense of humor, adventure, and who misses (or missed) the delights of childhood should read this book. It was published in the 1950s, is set in the 1920s, and is still in print! That’s the hallmark of an excellent book.

By Edward Eager, N. M. Bodecker (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Half Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Book one in the series called "truly magic in a reader's hands" by Jack Gantos, Newbery Medal winner for Dead End in Norvelt.

It all begins with a strange coin on a sun-warmed sidewalk. Jane finds the coin, and because she and her siblings are having the worst, most dreadfully boring summer ever, she idly wishes something exciting would happen.

And something does: Her wish is granted. Or not quite. Only half of her wish comes true. It turns out the coin grants wishes—but only by half, so that you must wish for twice as much as you want.


Book cover of The Seventh Wish

Anna Staniszewski Author Of The Wonder of Wildflowers

From my list on middle-grade with a sprinkle of magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in love with books that mix the real world with a bit of magic. I remember devouring novels like A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan and The Secret Garden and imagining what I would do if my life suddenly became a tiny bit magical. When I became an author, it turned out those were also the sorts of stories I most loved telling. I think for me, the fun part is imagining what “everyday magic” would look like and what problems/opportunities it would create in an otherwise ordinary world.

Anna's book list on middle-grade with a sprinkle of magic

Anna Staniszewski Why did Anna love this book?

Kate Messner’s story of a girl who catches a magical wish-granting fish beautifully shows the unintended—and often hilarious—consequences that can come from trying to fix problems with magic. But what I most love about this book is how it explores the types of real-world issues, such as addiction, that are hard to fix—with or without magic. This is a story of wishes gone wrong, but it’s also a story about family, healing, and hope.

By Kate Messner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Seventh Wish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

When Charlie Brennan goes ice fishing on her town's frozen lake, she's hoping the fish she reels in will help pay for her dream: a fancy Irish dancing dress for her upcoming competition. But when Charlie's first catch of the day happens to be a talking fish offering her a wish in exchange for its freedom, her world quickly turns upside down, as her wishes go terribly and hilariously wrong.

Just as Charlie is finally getting the hang of communicating with a magical wishing fish, a family crisis with her older sister brings reality into sharp focus. Charlie quickly learns…

Book cover of Hummingbird

Laura Renauld Author Of Porcupine's Pie

From Laura's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Moment miner Compost captain Library lover

Laura's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Laura Renauld Why did Laura love this book?

Natalie Lloyd is a master storyteller. If any writers are struggling with voice, look no further than Olive, the main character in Hummingbird, to give you a tutorial. It doesn’t get much better than “I love you all more than Taco Tuesday.”

She is not only the protagonist of this book but also the most joyful main character I have ever read. The supporting characters are delightful, quirky, and well-developed.

I especially love the magical realism-infused storyline that parallels Olive’s journey of self-discovery. I have already read it twice!

By Natalie Lloyd,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hummingbird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book

From the bestselling author of A Snicker of Magic comes a heartfelt story about a girl who -- armed with her trusty, snazzy wheelchair -- refuses to let her brittle bone disease stand in the way of adventure

Twelve-year-old homeschooled Olive is tired of being seen as “fragile” just because she has osteogenesis imperfecta (otherwise known as brittle bone disease) so she’s thrilled when she finally convinces her parents to let her attend Macklemore Elementary. Olive can’t wait to go to a traditional school and make the friends she’s always longed for, until…