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Secondhand Wishes

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Lexi has to keep the universe in balance. If she does enough good things, like being on time, then the bad things, like her little brother needing more surgery, won''t happen. It doesn't always work, but she has to keep trying. Just in case. On an extra bad day, Lexi finds a bag of four wishing stones in the antique shop in town, and wishes that her BFF Cassa and the new g ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  66 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I really enjoyed this! The story was heartwarming, and thoughtful. My one complaint is that I felt the ending could of been a couple pages longer. Everything ended a little too neatly and a little too quickly.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Kidlit Exchange and Scholastic for the Advance Review Copy of SECONDHAND WISHES by Anna Staniszewski, released January 29, 2019 from Scholastic.

As long as she does everything perfectly, stays organized, and never messes up, loveable perfectionist Lexi Block can keep the universe in balance and her chronically ill little brother Austin from needing more surgeries.

When she finds a probably incomplete bag of four (everybody knows real magic involves an uneven number) wishing stones at a f
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Lexi has to stick to a schedule and do everything exactly right and in exactly the right order. If she does so, everything will work out. Her brother will stay healthy, her BFF will remain her BFF... But if she messes up, everything will fall apart and it will be her fault. Unfortunately, Lex wasn't able to stick to her schedule and, coincidentally, life threw her a few curve balls. This is when she finds a set of Wishing Stones at a local consignment shop. She uses them to try and set her world ...more
Karen McKenna
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lexi believes that if she keeps the universe in balance, if she follows her routine, if she is good enough, she can keep her little brother well. The only problem is she is finding it difficult to keep things from changing in middle school. Her best friend won't stop talking about another girl, her math teacher has changed how they learn math, and her little brother is back in the hospital. So when Lexi finds some magic wishing stones at the antique store she helps at after school, she can't hel ...more
Lexi Block has figured everything out. In order to keep her little brother, Austin, safe, and the universe in order, she just has to follow certain routines and follow the rules. If she does, she's sure that her little brother won't suffer from the digestive issues that keep him having to go back to the doctor and hospital. But perfectionism can be a hard thing to achieve or maintain, and when Lexi starts noticing signs that her best friend, Cassa, is slipping away from her and branching out in ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grades
The author's main character, Lexi, works hard to keep the universe in balance by being perfect and good. Staniszewski captures the thinking and emotions of a child trying to understand complex family issues. Lexi's young brother has a rare disease. This is stressful enough but the financial drains are also taking a toll on family life. She's also coping with friend changes as any young adolescent does at this age.
She stumbles on some wishing stones and decides to make a wish. It works but also h
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had the opportunity to read an ARC of this book and then share it with my #BookRelays reading group. This is a fun book that kind of reminds me of The 11:11 Wish by Kim Tomsic. Both books have a main character that is having a difficult time navigating all of the stress of being a middle schooler these days. In this book, Lexi has to deal with her younger brother's chronic digestive disorder that has him in the hospital frequently, her parents' financial difficulties as they struggle to make e ...more
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
Lexi needs everything to stay the same and be just perfect. She is worried about her little brother's health, her parents' finances, and her friendship with Cassa. It's so hard for her to keep everything exactly right. She worries that every little thing out of place means that something bad will happen. When she find the box of wishing stones, Lexi hopes it means that her luck has changed. It certainly seems like it has when her first wish comes true. And the second wish, too. As time passes, t ...more
Julie Overpeck aka Mrs. O's Library
Thank you to the Kid Lit Exchange for a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Lexi has burdened herself with the belief that she can control things that are obviously way beyond her capabilities by being good. This is irritating to her friends (and occasionally the reader), but it is believable because kids do it all the time. The friend drama is also authentic. The old and new wishes tie together in interesting ways and make for a good ending.
Fans of Lizzy and the Good Luck
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I gave this book four stars. I was immediately drawn into Lexi’s personality and how focused she was on “balancing” the universe. I can really relate to her worries and beliefs on luck. There were moments where it felt really serious and I had all the emotions for Lexi, then the next page I would be giggling at some of her mishaps. This is a wonderful book that would be great for readers who might struggle with fantasy books full of magical worlds and beasts. It is fantasy, but only slightly so. ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was good. I think it was a great look at how one girl, Lexi, coped with her brother's illness. I think we can all relate to change being scary and sticking to a normal routine. As Lexi makes her wishes and we see the results it's a reminder of how the grass isn't always greener. Seeing Lexi able to grow to accept change and be more flexible really drives the story. Good things can come when we accept change so that we can grow. Definitely a quick good read.
Caitlin Zonder
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read an ARC that was shared with #bookhike. Adorable story about a girl named Lexi who is constantly trying to make the universe happy so that her brother won’t get sick again. She finds a bag of wishing stones. What would you wish for if you had the chance? Lexi thinks she is making good wishes, but what will happen when they don’t turn out exactly like she wanted?
Claire P.
So I thought this book was really just okay. It wasn’t the best thing I have ever read though. I guess that’s why the book fair I got my copy at priced it only $2. There just wasn’t much to it in my opinion. It was a nice idea but it could be better.
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very cute. Well-written. Very relate-able character, especially for tween girls who tend to worry a lot about things, and are resistant to change. I love the concept of finding wishing stones secondhand, and how the wishes get mashed up -- very cute!
Kalea August
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this story was amazing, this story is about friendship and it describes Lexi's feelings and her every day life . I would recommend this to anyone who likes books about Friendship.
Jul 31, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2019-new
Emily Ludwig
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this so I can have more to recommend to my students. Cute for what it was and what age it's aimed for.
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lexi is a bit scared of change. When her best friend Cassa starts to want to have another girl join their group, Lexi feels like she is losing her best friend. After school they help at Cassa’s parents’ work which is an antique shop. One day Lexi finds wishing stones and she wishes that Marina and Cassa would stop hanging out and it works! Only not in the way she expected.. the girls literally cannot see each other, even when they are standing next to each other. Something is off about the wishi ...more
Anna F
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book because she had all these challenges going on in her life so you could see how it would be in her perspective. And you can see how stressed out she is about everything.
Ms. Yingling
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Personal copy

Lexi is very particular about how she goes about her day; things have to be just right, or tragedy could occur. When she misses meeting up with her best friend, Cassa, on the way to school because her brother Austin has had a rough morning, she knows that things will not go well. She ends up in detention, which her teacher moves to lunchtime so that Lexi can go to her after school job at Cassa's mother's antique store, but Lexi is concerned when Cassa talks a lot about the new girl,
Makena Riedesel
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is about lexi the main character finding wishing stones and uses them to make wishes. Her best friend's name is Cassa, who has been friends with her since they were very young. Lexi has a brother who is very sick. Lexi works for her friends mom, who owns her own store. My favorite character was lexi because she has a weird but good personality. Yes the characters did feel real to you. The story mostly kept me guessing at some points I knew what was going to happen but at other points I ...more
rated it it was amazing
Jun 04, 2020
Jillian Mellon
rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2019
Melanie Wilkins
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Sep 02, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2020
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Apr 03, 2020
Annie Josephine
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Apr 23, 2019
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Nov 14, 2019
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Mar 01, 2019
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Anna Staniszewski lives in the Boston area and teaches in the MFA Writing for Children Program at Simmons College. She's the author of several tween novels, including THE DIRT DIARY and SECONDHAND WISHES, and the picture books POWER DOWN, LITTLE ROBOT and DOGOSAURUS REX. You can visit Anna at or follow her on Twitter at ...more

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