Well Wished, Franny Billingsley

Don’t you love it when you re-encounter a book you’d completely forgotten about?  I found Well Wished at the book fair, and as soon as I opened it I felt like I had been flashed straight back to second grade.  I read Well Wished for the first time in the library of my elementary school, one afternoon when I was stuck there for what felt like forever.  I don’t remember why I felt stuck – I like the library – or why I was there at all after school hours, but I remember this book.  Well Wished is about a girl called Nuria who is the only child in her village of Bishop Mayne.  There is a wishing well in that town, and it always, always tries to get people to make wishes that will go completely wrong.  Some time ago, someone made a wish that caused all the children of Bishop Mayne to leave town forever; and Nuria’s guardian, the Avy, has just made a wish to bring them back.

But the only child who comes back is Catty, who is confined to a wheelchair ever since becoming very ill, around the same time that the children all left Bishop Mayne.  Nuria is thrilled to have a friend, if a little cranky about sharing all the things she considers to be hers.  Soon she discovers that Catty wants her to make a wish so that Catty won’t have to use a wheelchair anymore.  As you can imagine, this doesn’t work out as well as they are hoping.

Actually, this book isn’t that wonderful, now that I’m a grown-up.  It’s that sort of fairly obvious be-careful-what-you-wish-for type of book that you don’t need to read more than once, even if you are a kid.  And ordinarily I’d just post it on Paperbackswap, except that it’s actually from my elementary school library, all stamped and with the cards that I remember, and I feel too nostalgic for second grade to give it up.  I’ll probably cling to it for another few years, run out of bookshelf space, and end up listing it on Paperbackswap anyway – but for now, it’s staying with me.