The Collectors
The Collectors

Series: The Collectors Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Overlooked in class, a hearing-impaired boy who collects lost or discarded trinkets discovers a dangerous underground world full of stolen wishes and the people who collect them.
Catalog Number: #169997
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 376 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-06-269169-4
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-269169-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018027798
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
When keenly observant eleven-year-old Van, who is hearing impaired, follows a strange girl and a talking squirrel into an odd building, he discovers an underground society where wishes are held to protect the outside world. The battle that ensues--in which West thoughtfully blurs the line between good intentions and bad--is compelling and should entice readers to devour this vivid, whimsical fantasy, first in a planned duology.
Kirkus Reviews
Van, who is hard of hearing and uses hearing aids, discovers the true mission of the City Collection Agency: to collect wayward wishes. One summer in an unnamed North American city, Van spots a girl and a squirrel fishing for a coin that has just been tossed into a fountain by wisher. He soon learns that both girl and squirrel belong to a secret society of people and talking animals who collect and store wishes made as folks toss coins in fountains, extinguish birthday candles, break wishbones, and so forth. Turns out, when uncontained, wishes can come true, and their magic is often chaotic, unpredictable, and dangerous. Van is soon pulled into a power struggle when Mr. Falborg, a fan of Van's opera-singer mother who is also aware of wishing magic, asks Van to find out just what the City Collection Agency has stored away. West states in her acknowledgements that she consulted with several deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and the descriptions of Van's use of hearing aids, his struggles with background noise, and his ability to quickly rethink misheard speech based on context clues ring true. Although the plot gets a little bogged down in comings and goings and a few characters seem extraneous, West has constructed a fast-paced and engrossing tale of a boy wrestling with the consequences of power and responsibility. The book assumes a white default.Readers may not wish to leave this magical world.(Fantasy. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
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. Agent: Danielle Chiotti, Upstart Crow Literary. (Oct.)
Word Count: 67,882
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 10.0 / quiz: 500197 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.8 / points:15.0 / quiz:Q76773
Lexile: 660L

Even the smallest wish can be dangerous. That’s why the Collectors are always keeping watch.

The Collectors sweeps readers into a hidden world where wishes are stolen and dreams have a price. Fast-paced, witty, and riveting, this contemporary fantasy adventure has magic woven through every page.

It's the first book in a 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. Most people don’t notice him. But he notices them. And he notices the small trinkets they drop, or lose, or throw away—that’s why his collection is full of treasures. Then one day, Van notices a girl stealing pennies from a fountain, and everything changes. He follows the girl, Pebble, and uncovers an underground world full of wishes and the people who collect them. Apparently 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, author of the New York Times–bestselling Books of Elsewhere series, draws readers into 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.

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