Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations

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****Instead of Three Wishes

Magical Short Stories

by Megan Whalen Turner

Reviewed February 25, 2002.
Puffin Books, 1998 (First published in 1995).  132 pages.

This book proves my contention that all you have to do to get everything you’ve ever written appreciated is to win a Newbery!  This book, though, deserves the attention.  Megan Whalen Turner won a 1997 Newbery Honor Award with the fantastic book The Thief.  (I like the sequel, The Queen of Attolia, even better, though both are outstanding.)

This book impressed me.  Megan Whalen Turner isn’t only good at novels.  This is a collection of stories involving magic.  There are some traditional motifs, like leprechauns and three wishes.  However, I was amazed at the variety and the way each story involved a completely new idea.  In the title story, a woman rescues an elf prince.  She refuses his offer of three wishes, so he must figure out a way to give her something so as to pay his debt to her.  He’s not accustomed to modern ways of life.

“Leroy Roachbane” reminds me of “Seven in One Blow.”  A boy gets a chance to use his talent of slaying roaches to become a hero.  Another story involves a haunted factory, another a mysterious journey into a painting.  The stories are unexpected and fresh.  What an imagination!  Good fun!

Reviews of other books by Megan Whalen Turner:
The Thief
The Thief audiobook
The Queen of Attolia
The Queen of Attolia audiobook
The King of Attolia
The King of Attolia audiobook
A Conspiracy of Kings
A Conspiracy of Kings audiobook
Thick as Thieves

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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