July 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

The Wish Stealers: A Book for Tweens and Dreamers of All Ages

Tracy TrivasBrentwood writer Tracy Trivas’ new book, written for the 8 to 12 set, reminds us all to keep our eyes on the prize and to persevere against all odds and odds-makers. The author took a few minutes off from a busy book tour that has taken her from the L.A. Times Festival of Books to Florida, San Diego and soon on to Chicago, to talk.

Moving to L.A. in her early 20s with visions of a creative career Trivas “slammed head first†into the dreaded reality mongers—folks all to happy to quote the stats for failure, “why back up plans should come first and being realistic was more important than dreaming.†The budding writer scrawled the words ‘wish stealers’ on a post-it note, underlined it three times and threw it in a drawer.

After directing a gifted and talent program at a private school where she created materials and booThe Wish Stealersks for the students, Trivas wrote 21 workbooks for McGraw Hill’s creative reading, writing and math series. The experience, which she describes as ‘writer’s boot camp,’ included coming up with 20 stories on demand and it taught her about discipline and deadlines. But there was always that post-it note.

“The concept of physically stealing wishes out of a fountain (the book’s premise) and the larger metaphor of people who shoot down a dream fascinated me. The idea for ‘The Wish Stealers’ was born. In my story the protagonist Griffin Penshine asks her grandma if she thinks Wish Stealers exist in the world.â€

Her grandma replies, “Yes. Wish Stealers are the worst kind of people in the world. They are the first people to spit on a dream. Wish Stealers make people ashamed for trying, eat up people’s courage, and stomThe Wish Stealers display, Diesel Booksp on their enthusiasm. Do you know why? Because they’re afraid. Jealous they can’t do it themselves. Wish Stealers are afraid to dream.â€

An evil woman tricks Griffin into accepting a box of pennies that are really people’s wishes stolen from a fountain. Now she has literally become ‘The Wish Stealer’. Griffin must fulfill the stolen wishes as best she can, because if she doesn’t, her own cherished wishes will never come true again.

The writer’s advice for handling Wish Stealers? “Send them good wishes. Underneath all the negativity are people who are afraid to try, people who lost some delight along the way. Remind them of the power of possibility.â€

Trivas’ research unearthed wishing customs around the world including an annual wish festival in Japan. She read biographies of Madame Curie and others who met with Wish Stealers and triumphed. Each chapter in the book ends with an inspirational quote. The author’s personal favorite, from Margaret Mead is especially apt for our challenging times, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.â€

Trivas directs young readers who believe in dreams to visit Together Green and Pennies for the Planet (a National Audubon Society effort) at www.togethergreen.org/p4p/.

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