A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Great vocabulary words include "kismet," "serendipity," and "obstinate." Shows importance of planning and adapting to unforeseen developments. Author's note urges interested readers to visit library to learn more about fairies in literature and legend.
Just because something's been done a certain way for a long time doesn't mean it's the only way it should be done. Everything comes at a price -- you can't just take what you want with no consequences. While it's important to respect rules, it's OK to question whether they're appropriate, effective, or outdated. When a plan goes awry, you may get back on track by trying different approaches, seeking help, or even reassessing the goal.
Positive Role Models
Ophelia is methodical and precise, taking pride in thorough, careful preparation for her work. When she finds herself in situations beyond her training, she's resourceful and adaptable. She's compassionate and empathetic. Loyal, caring friends Charlie and Sam go to great lengths to help Ophelia.
Violence & Scariness
Fairy in constant danger from predators, planes, vehicles, and humans and suffers serious injuries. Dog shows emotional effects of abuse by former owner. Reference to adult injured in military service.
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Some crude language ("butt," "pee"). No swearing, but fairies use their own versions of curse words like "mother-punching," "fartfiddled," and "flab-forkin."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Granted is a fantasy adventure by John David Anderson (Ms. Bixby's Last Day) about a fairy named Ophelia who's struggling mightily to fulfill her first wish-granting mission. She perseveres through daunting obstacles but comes to question the seemingly arbitrary rules that determine whose wishes get granted and why. Once Ophelia ventures outside the fairy home, she's in constant danger and is seriously injured. There are some references to alcohol, including fairies drinking wine, covering up tracks by letting a human think they'd gotten drunk, and using a beer case as a tool.
Is It Any Good?
Like a secret wish whispered into the world, John David Anderson's wistful story about a plucky young fairy trying to help keep magic alive is about hope and dreams of change against very long odds. Anderson (Posted, The Dungeoneers) writes with gentle compassion for his characters, from ambitious Ophelia to the wounded creatures she encounters on her quest. While granting a human's wish has long been Ophelia's own great wish, her unexpected adventures cause her to re-examine her beliefs about tradition, want, generosity, and kindness -- the rule-follower, imagining a better way, starts to rebel.
The story's beating heart is Sam, an abused and abandoned stray dog who helps Ophelia even when she tries to go it alone. He sticks by her with simple, straightforward loyalty: "Because you are broken and lost and I licked you, so now we are friends."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.