Book Review: Secondhand Wishes

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Secondhand WishesSecondhand Wishes by Anna Staniszewski
Published by Scholastic Press on January 29, 2019
Pages: 256

Lexi has to keep the universe in balance. If she does enough good things, like being on time, then the bad things, like her little brother needing more surgery, won''t happen. It doesn't always work, but she has to keep trying. Just in case. On an extra bad day, Lexi finds a bag of four wishing stones in the antique shop in town, and wishes that her BFF Cassa and the new girl would stop talking to each other. That night, Cassa calls Lexi, crying over the end of her friendship with Marina. The wishes work!

Sort of. When she wishes on the Success stone for the courage to try out for dance club, Lexi wows the entire auditorium with...singing? And when she wishes on the Health stone, her little brother starts squeaking like a hamster. This isn't the first time those wishing stones have been wished on--and secondhand wishes come with unexpected consequences!

This sweet and funny story from Anna Staniszewski is perfect for anyone who's wished for a dash of magic in their day!


Lexi is a bit scared of change. When her best friend Cassa starts to want to have another girl join their group, Lexi feels like she is losing her best friend. After school they help at Cassa’s parents’ work which is an antique shop. One day Lexi finds wishing stones and she wishes that Marina and Cassa would stop hanging out and it works! Only not in the way she expected.. the girls literally cannot see each other, even when they are standing next to each other. Something is off about the wishing stones, but she keeps using them anyways. Her little brother becomes less sick but he starts acting like a pet gerbil instead, digressing and not even talking any more.

Lexi starts to become friends with a boy near her aunt’s house and she admits what has been going on. Together they try to find out who donated the wishing stones and what is going wrong with her wishes. I also love that her new friend has two moms, adding a twist of diversity to the story while making it feel like it’s just a part of every day life.

I like the way that this tackles a bit of mental health issues that come with having a chronically ill sibling – always trying to even out her luck, Lexi makes a deal with the universe, trying to do as much good so that in return maybe her brother will get better. I like that she starts to change as the book goes on, realizing that change is not always scary and it can be good to make new friends and try new things. I loved all the quirks of the characters and the story and the sprinkling of magic.



A great middle grade book that really emphasizes “be careful what you wish for”.

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