A comfort read for all the former kids who were saved by books

by KJ in #AmReading

Oh, my. this one’s a snuggle..

My reading gift to you this week: The Wishing Game. In short: the author of a wildly beloved series of puzzle-filled children’s books, who loves with his illustrator/the son he never had on an island off the coast of Maine, had retired—but now he’s written one more book, and he’s giving the only copy to the winner of a contest he’s devised for four of his biggest kid fans (now adults), all of whom were, in some way, saved by the books he wrote.

Many, many adult readers can point to the books that saved us from one thing or another as kids. For me, it was a series of childhood moves that left me feeling unable to find friends in new schools and new places—but friends in books I could handle, and I hung out with those friends again and again, wearing out the covers of Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, Trixie Belden, the kids in Edward Eager and E. Nesbit’s books and many many more—mine would be the name that showed up on the little library check out card every third or fourth line.

If that was you, The Wishing Game will be a delight. At first, it feels like it’s only a comfort read, with all signs pointing to a happy ending—and then, like the children’s books it imagines, things take a turn, complications and hard choices ensue, and off we go. It’s atmospheric, its characters feel like friends, and the books-within-the-books give off Roald Dahl and Phantom Tollbooth vibes.

If you’re a BOTM person (I am, I have thoughts, I should share in another email), this was one of their July picks so you should be able to slip it into your August box; if not, this is worth a buy or—somehow this would really feel right—put it on the old library reserve list. Reading this with a plastic library cover would only add to the fun.

What childhood reads saved you? And does anything ever give you that same feeling now? I’d love to hear about it.

If you loved this—and love my recs—know that the email will always be free, but I’d still love your support! You can treat me right back by forwarding this to a reading friend and suggesting they subscribe, or by buying my books on Amazon or from your favorite indie.

Subscribe! Forward to a friend!

KJ on Amazon

Comments are closed.