The Wish Giver was originally written in English by Bill Brittain in 1983. This is the chinese translated version. This book has received the Newbery Honor award in 1984.
Note: We would recommend this title for children who has achieved an intermediate to advance level of Chinese. Available in paperback, simplified Chinese. No coloured pictures as this is a short novel.
Three children (Polly, Rowena and Adam) meet a strange man named Thaddeus Blinn in a carnival tent one day. Blinn sold each of them a card with a red spot on it for 50 cents each and explained that they can make their wish come true if they press their finger on the red spot and say their wish.
Polly, a sharp-tongued girl whose habit of speaking her mind freely has left her with few friends, makes a wish on her card to be popular. She wants people to smile at her on the street, and also for the two most popular girls at her school to invite her over to their house. The wish comes true, but in a completely unexpected manner – Polly is cursed to croak like a bull frog whenever she says something rude or spiteful to other people. Only when she has not made any complaints or insults for a while does the croaking subside temporarily.
This curse causes her entire wish to be granted; her sudden croaking in the middle of class causes her to become the center of attention at her school. Polly is grateful for the invitation by the two girls, but learns during her visit that the girls are snobbish and unlikable people. She realizes that if she had not spoken whispers to her classmates, she could have easily become friends with them.
Rowena makes a wish of her own for Henry Piper, a traveling salesman she is infatuated with, but can only see three days a time, to "set roots down in Coven Tree and never leave again!" The wish is fulfilled word-for-word: Henry's feet become literally rooted to the ground, and he gradually transforms into a tree. Rowena soon learns something important from her wish's consequences; a frustrated Henry reveals to her that he never actually liked her, and that most of his travels to exotic locations were taken from brochures rather than genuinely travelling to the places. Rowena also grows close to Sam, a boy who works for her parents, as they search for a cure to Henry's condition. Later Rowena discovers she has been in love with Sam for a long time.
Adam, who lives in a farm that receives little water, wishes for the farm to be filled with water so that his family would not have to work so hard to get water all the time. The next day, a friend of his father teaches him how to use a dowsing rod to locate water. Adam tries this method. When they dig through the soil, a huge geyser shoots out. At first, Adam's parents are exhilarated of this newfound source of water, but the waterspout soon grows out of control, flooding the entire farm.
In the end, these three children used the fourth wish card for their wishes to be undone, and without any of the repercussions or side effects that they suffered. Polly's voice returns to normal, Henry turns back into a human, and the water on Adam's farm stops flowing.