Publisher's Note:  

Paige's family has faced tough times before, but a year after the loss of her father, he mom is overwhelmed by the financial challenges and reluctantly agrees to sell their family farm.

Paige believes she can use her "farm smarts" to try to stop the sale: she puts Vaseline on the cows so they look sickly to potential buyers and pranks the real estate agent by releasing a jar of grasshoppers in her car.

With the arrival of a wounded peacock and a city journalist looking for a good human interest story, Paige sees a way to make the farm a solution that will help everyone. 

With all the changes she faces, Paige learns that sometimes the idea of a home is less about place and more about the people you call a family.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Shadow Mountain

The Wish and the Peacock

by Wendy S. Swore

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Overall Review:  

The Wish and the Peacock is a delightful story about the importance of family and tradition. The novel centers around the efforts of one twelve-year-old girl trying to keep her family together and save their home. The lengths to which she will go to hold onto the family farm alternate between feats of strength and courage well beyond her years and antics filled with hilarity.

Paige, the main character of this book, is loveable and kind. She models hard work, sacrifice, and practicality, which are all traits that are inspired by and highly valued in her country lifestyle. The characters that she is surrounded with are also entertaining and realistic. Her friends and family are trustworthy and look out for each other. The only characters in the book who seem one-dimensional are the few people from the city who happen to wander through the story, and since the story is told from a farm girl’s perspective, it makes perfect sense that some slight bit of caricature might slip in to the depicture of those city folk.

This book is written in lovely, stylish prose. The details about farm life and about how various chores, machinery, and routines work on a farm make the setting quite real. To someone who knows about farms, it feels nostalgic, and it would easily serve as a quick introduction to that life for anyone who is less familiar with it. The way the writer conveys the emotions of the main character makes the reader rejoice along with Paige in the happy moments and makes the reader’s heart hurt right along with her in the sad times. This book carries a message about hope, healing, change, and the steadfastness of the love of family and friends. Even though it is a children’s book and easily enjoyed by children, the depth of its message and the beauty of its language make it a good read regardless of age.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Report of a death in an vehicle accident; report of arson; report of children throwing sticks at animals; a vehicle accident with no injury; animals cause property damage; a character almost drowns; a scene in which the process of delivering a baby calf is graphically described, including the use of farm tools designed for that purpose; a character has a major medical emergency, and this scene may be disturbing to young readers.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death (parent, spouse); arson; vandalism; loss of a pet; foreclosure.

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Reviewed By Calinda
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