The Wishing Seed by Alissa J. Zavalianos

Book Blurb:

Mona dislikes change. And with a recent move across the country and the prospect of new friends at a new school—seventh grade doesn’t sound promising. In fact, she’s determined not to go at all.

Mona begins to dream, hope, and wish for a way out. She’s grown up hearing stories of fairy tales and magical worlds—of beanstalks and transportable wardrobes—but do they really exist?

When she stumbles upon a strange seed and determines to plant it, hopeful it might grow into her means of escape, she realizes she may have planted more than she bargained for.

The Wishing Seed is a coming-of-age tale about two sisters, new friendships, love, and forgiveness—all the while exploring what it means to bear good fruit.

With just a little wish, trust, and silver dust, will Mona find what she’s looking for? Or will her secrets ruin everything she’s planned?

I received the book for free from the author. All comments and opinions are entirely my own and I am writing a voluntary review.

Renae’s Review

In The Wishing Seed, Mona and her family go through an experience most families in today’s world can connect with: moving! And to young Mona, nothing could be worse than having to start over again at a new school where she doesn’t know anyone. To escape this most dreadful fate, Mona desperately makes a wish on a strange little seed and plants it in the ground. What she finds rising from the soil the next day is not what she expects, but it might just be exactly what she needs! Join Mona, her little sister, and her friends is this charming and whimsical coming-of-age tale full of important life lessons!

“She fought against the expectation that growing up meant she needed to surrender her imagination.”

I found this story to be relatable in several ways, and therefore a great resource for parents to give to their preteens who may be struggling with change. When I was a preteen, my parents divorced and I had to move away from the place where I grew up, which turned my world upside down. I hated change and didn’t know how to handle it, just like Mona, so it would have been really helpful to have had this book around to give guidance and provide a relatable character.

In the beginning of the story, Mona handles her fear of change irresponsibly and digs herself deeper and deeper into a pit of lies she has told to protect herself. However, as the story progresses, Mona learns the importance of telling the truth. So, this story not only helps young people feel more comfortable with the idea of change, but it also teaches the value of honesty and taking responsibility for wrongdoing.

“[Mona] had learned it was better to face her fears rather than run away from them. There was strength in telling the truth, and there was also strength in numbers.”

Alissa J. Zavalianos crafted an exquisite moral tale disguised as a modern fairytale, combining the meaningfulness of parables with the prose of great classical authors. The overall effect was as charming as it was engaging, and I found myself flying through the pages. As an added treat, she managed to seamlessly intertwine a handful of characters from a well-known children’s story into the book (you’ll have to read it to find out which one), so be on the lookout for easter eggs throughout!

Without hesitation, I give The Wishing Seed a full five stars! Alissa did such a fantastic job writing it that I bought an autographed copy to give to my eleven-year-old brother for his birthday (shh, it’s a secret!). I can’t wait to read the sequel (*hint hint* Alissa!) and the other stories Alissa has shared (or will share) with the world, including The Earth-Treader and the upcoming Endlewood.

Physical Copies/Ebooks:
Audiobooks/CDs: Unavailable
Other books by Alissa Zavalianos

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