Granted, by John David Anderson

John David Anderson's latest middle grade book, continues a pattern--a pattern of not writing the same book twice; he's written sword and sorcery fantasy, superhero stories (with twists) realistic middle grade,  and realistic middle grade mixed with fantasy.  Granted isn't like any of those other books, though it is fantasy.  It is a book about fairies making wishes come true (the little magical type fairies with wings), and the problems (more like near disasters) that one fairy, Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets, encounters when she sets off into the human world to grant what seemed like a simple wish.

Sadly, it didn't work for me personally, although this is absolutely a matter of taste (Kirkus gave it a starred review), and I am absolutely certain that other grown-up readers of middle grade fantasy will love it, and that lots, though not all, kids will too.

The book begins by setting up the world of the fairies--they live separate from the human world, busily training themselves to go forth and grant wishes, or go into other fields such as making and healing and technology....It didn't break any particularly new ground for fairy enclaves, but it was fine.  And the problem facing the fairies--that there were fewer wishes every day for them to go forth and grant, and a worrying, interconnected decline in magic in general, was interesting.

The heroine fairy, Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets, did not appeal to me--she's a bossy pants perfectionist type, and although the edges of her sometimes abrasive personality soften during the course of the adventure to come, she's still not my favorite strong fictional girl character.

But the main reason the book wasn't one for me is that I do not like too much to go wrong.  When Ophelia is of on her mission to grant a wish, which should have been straightforward, and she should have had not trouble, it becomes a series of disasters one after another.  Too many times she got close to doing what she had to do, only for yet another thing to go wrong.  Not my personal cup of tea.

And finally,  I am not a dog person, and a large licky smelly dog plays an important roll in the story. Admitedly, the relationship between the fairy and the dog is the most powerful part of the story, so I was glad the dog was there, but still.

On the other hand, the ending is heartwarming, the story is memorable and even thought provoking, and Anderson's writing can be counted on to make clear pictures in the mind.  So basically, if it sounds at all interesting to you, and you love dogs--go for it.


  1. Ophelia was horrible, and I agree that more things should go right. I am a dog person, so did enjoy that part. I think this was in his slush pile for longer than the others. I normally love his stuff.

  2. I think I'll take a pass on this one. Thanks for the heads up.


Free Blog Counter

Button styles