2019 Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book
“Original, brave, and addictive.”—Adam Gidwitz, bestselling author of the Newbery Honor Book The Inquisitor’s Tale
Fast-paced, witty, and riveting, this contemporary fantasy adventure has magic woven through every page. The Collectors begins an enchanting two-book series from Jacqueline West, the New York Times–bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere series. For fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak, The Isle of the Lost, and The Secret Keepers.
Van has always been an outsider. He’s hard of hearing, collects trinkets, and lives with his single mother—an opera singer with a huge personality. Then one day, Van notices a girl stealing pennies from a fountain, and everything changes. He follows the girl, Pebble, and uncovers an underground society full of wishes and the people who collect them. Not all wishes are good and even good wishes often have unintended consequences, and the Collectors have made it their duty to protect us. But they aren't the only ones who have their eyes on the world’s wishes—and they may not be the good guys, after all.
Jacqueline West spins a story about friendship, magic, and the gray area between good and evil. The Collectors is for fans of Cassie Beasley’s Circus Mirandus and Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener. Booklist calls it, “A brilliant fantasy adventure exploring the consequences of getting what you wish for.”
With an opera singer mother who performs around the world, 11-year-old Van Markson is used to being a new kid, and his taste in books and movies, along with "a tiny blue hearing aid behind each ear," sometimes set him apart at school. Van is also good at noticing things that other people overlook, and when he spots a girl, accompanied by an "almost silver, very bushy-tailed" squirrel, plunging face-first into a fountain, a series of events draw Van into a magical underground world where he is caught in the middle of a secret war. West (the Books of Elsewhere series) has created a captivating mythology around wishes, including cuddly-turned-dangerous Wish Eaters (not unlike gremlins) as well as thoughtful explorations of power and the unexpected, sometimes negative, consequences of good intentions. Van's realization that his skill of noticing is a valuable strength, especially when hearing challenges feel to him like a shortcoming, is a gentle, triumphant reminder that being different doesn't correspond to weakness. First in a planned duology, West's magical adventure offers humor and warmhearted adventure. Ages 8 12.