Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Number of pages: 336 (hardcover)
Publishing: February 13th, 2018
Opening Line: "The last time you blew out your birthday candles, what did you wish for?"
Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets is the youngest fairy to graduate from the academy, a certified wish granter who is about to embark on her first assignment to Kettering, Ohio to grant 13-year-old Kasarah's wish for a purple bike to replace the one that was stolen. Ophelia is one of many fairies living hidden from the outside world in the Haven, a place infused with magic from wishes granted by the Great Tree at its center. The Great Tree is where wishes made in the human world on a wishbone, a blown out candle, or even a four leaf clover are received and then magically become the golden leaves dropped from the tree with the name and details of the person whose wish the fairies are to grant. The granting of wishes is what has kept the magic flowing in Haven, but lately, the number of wishes being granted has dramatically decreased. With fewer wishes being chosen the amount of magic the fairies have to grant a wish is being depleted, so no magic can be wasted and why Ophelia is so determined to complete her task. Ophelia has trained for this very moment, she's got all the right gear and already plotted the fastest route to get her to Ohio and back. It should be a simple mission to retrieve the coin that Kasarah made her wish for a bicycle on, say the magic words granting the wish and get back to Haven. Except, the human world is unpredictable, with many unexpected hazards and obstacles standing in her way. The first being a run-in with an airplane that causes her to get all turned around and to lose over half of her supplies, but that is nothing compared to the decision that awaits when she has to decide what makes a wish worthy of being granted.
Every since reading Ms. Bixby's Last Day, Posted and Dungeoneers, Anderson's books have been on my auto-buy list. His newest book, Granted is such a delight and wonderful addition. Ophelia is the lovely blue-haired fairy who desperately tries to complete her mission and help save the magic in Haven. And oh boy what a brutal mission it is, with odds that seem to be stacked against her, and everything that can possibly go wrong seems to happen. Not only does she have to contend with an airplane and truck barreling at her, she encounters humans who attack her with a broom, a newspaper, even a fire extinguisher, not to mention a flock of ill-tempered geese and a hawk that thinks she's dinner. Despite being battered and badly injured, Ophelia is a survivalist. She may have her moments where she doubts why she should've even bothered trying to grant Kasarah's wish or whether she should just give up and ask for reinforcements, but Ophelia's also resourceful and determined, and "a promise is a promise" after all. Luckily for Ophelia, she comes across an abandoned dog, who she names Sam and together they follow the elusive path of Kasarah's coin as it moves from the fountain she made her wish upon to a diner, a super pets store, ending at the lemonade stand of siblings Anna and Gabe, two kids desperately missing their dad who's away serving in Iraq. What really makes this story for me though is Sam, how he so clearly sounds like how a dog would speak. How Sam longs for a friend and is so enamored by Ophelia, he captured my heart. Especially when Sam starts to follow her and she asks, "Why are you following me?" and he responds, "Because you are broken and lost and I licked you, so now we are friends." Granted is a glimpse into how some wishes can be "impossible and others might be unsustainable." "A wish is many things. It is hope and desire and daydreams. It is impossibility and improbability and something in between. It is stardust and well water and spectrums of light in the sky. It is half-melted birthday candles and Christmas lists. It is broken turkey bones. It is the willing suspension of disbelief. And sometimes it is desperation. It is a hole in your heart that wants filling." Such a sweet heartwarming story with all the magical charm of wishing on a star.