The Wish and the Peacock
By Wendy S. Swore
The wish and the peacock
By Wendy S. Swore
Paige’s favorite family tradition on the farm is the annual bonfire where everyone tosses in a stone and makes a wish. This time, Paige’s specific wish is one she’s not sure can come true: Don’t let Mom and Grandpa sell the farm.
When Paige’s younger brother finds a wounded peacock in the barn, Paige is sure it’s a sign that if she can keep the bird safe, she’ll keep the farm safe too. Peacocks, after all, are known to be fierce protectors of territory and family.
With determination and hard work, Paige tries to prove she can save the farm on her own, but when a real estate agent stakes a “For Sale” sign at the end of the driveway and threatens everything Paige loves, she calls on her younger brother and her best friends, Mateo and Kimana, to help battle this new menace. They may not have street smarts, but they have plenty of farm smarts, and some city lady who’s scared of spiders should be easy enough to drive away.
But even as the peacock gets healthier, the strain of holding all the pieces of Paige’s world together gets harder. Faced with a choice between home and family, she risks everything to make her wish come true, including the one thing that scares her the most: letting the farm go.
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Review by Melissa Dalton Martinez:
“The Wish and the Peacock” is a touching children’s novel about a 12-year-old girl named Paige who finds out her mother and grandfather are going to sell the family farm, and she is desperate to save it. Paige and her little brother, along with some recruited friends, work together to come up with zany schemes to save the farm from someone buying it.
With silly things like attack grasshoppers and jars of spiders, I found myself laughing out loud at the results of the children’s attempt to scare people off. But the book isn’t all fun and games, we see the characters experience difficult things. Though Paige’s eyes we see the grief she experienced while dealing with her father’s death, which happened before the book started. Watching the characters deal with difficult emotions, it gives the reader permission to feel our own pain when difficult things happen in our lives. And toward the end of the book, the characters have different realizations and understand how they can manage their grief and have happiness at the same time.
There are touching moments where the children and adults work together and find a way to make everyone happy. There are times when I read this book that I laughed out loud, and times when I cried. As a parent myself, I think this is a great book to read together with your children as it not only has fun but addresses difficult topics that open the lines of communication with our own children. I think parents and children alike will enjoy this book, regardless of if they have had any big situations in their life where they had to deal with grief. The fun on the farm alone makes this book a good read for kids.
By: Jennifer Hutchins
Just finished The Wish and the Peacock by Wendy S. Swore. There were things I loved about it and some things I didn’t love.
When you start reading about life on a farm for 12-year-old Paige, you REALLY feel like you are on that farm. I know nothing about farms, but after reading Wendy’s book I’m ready to pull on my boots and lay some pipe. The juxtaposition of a patchwork farm van with the touchscreen whiteboards at school really sold me on the underlying theme of mourning a dying way of life. I also live in a place where field after field is developed into cookie-cutter neighborhoods, and I felt my own struggle with this reality while reading about Paige.
There was one main thing I didn’t love—the adult characters. As a mother myself, I had a hard time watching all of the adults in Paige’s life ignore some pretty big signs that she is going through a bit of a mental health crisis after the death of her father. Paige is working so hard to try and run the farm herself that she is falling asleep in school, missing assignments, and at times alienating her friends. I found myself frustrated with her mother, grandfather, and teachers. No one seems to do anything proactive to help Paige cope with her loss, and it was hard to believe that all the adults were so blinded to what was happening with Paige.
Overall I’d definitely recommend the book. It’s a great story that young readers will connect to, especially if they’ve also had to go through tragedy.