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Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2016
  • 9781541034006 1541034007
  • 138 pages
  • $$6.99
Molly Bell and the Wishing Well

Children/Young Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

An 11-year old girl, MOLLY, suffers through the wedding of her father to a new woman that Molly won’t accept. Molly used to be a whimsical, sporty girl with a zest for life. All that has been turned upside down by the devastating loss of her mother to cancer years ago, and the subsequent arrival of her stepmother and annoying younger stepbrother, HENRY. Molly and Henry are sent to Molly’s grandparents’ farm to stay the week after the wedding. It is a completely different world from the suburbia they know. They are isolated, with only the charming landscape and grueling chores to keep them company. While there, Molly sneaks out to find a wishing well that her aunt had told her about. Molly believes that it has magical powers. Feeling lonely and desperate, Molly wishes at the well that her mother would come back to life. Adding to the wishing well’s mystery is Molly’s discovery that her grandfather had built it himself as a romantic gesture to her grandmother before he served in the war as a younger man, but now despises it because his wish that Molly’s mother would survive her cancer did not come true. Yet, Molly continues to make wishes on the well. She wishes for a best friend, and finds it in a shaggy farm dog, SHELBY, who is downhearted from the loss of her pups. Molly begins to play soccer again and have fun with Shelby. She is slowly unfolding back into her old self, wishing now that her family would be proud of her like before, and that she can keep Shelby as her own. As Molly becomes more confident that things are improving for her thanks to the wishing well, she also realizes that Henry has changed. The steady support and guidance her grandparents have shown have helped him become more tolerable. Molly’s heart is beginning to open to the possibility of being a loving sister to him, but she worries that she has damaged her relationship with her dad and stepmom beyond repair by her previously selfish and pouty behavior. However, Molly’s feelings towards Henry come crashing down again when he follows her to the well. In a rage, Molly wishes him away forever, tired of sharing her dad and grandparents’ affection. To make matters worse, Molly’s grandfather has a terrifying war flashback that night. Henry oversteps his bounds by asking nosy questions, igniting a hateful response from the grandfather. Henry runs away, leaving Molly and her grandparents frantically trying to find him. Molly returns to the well to wish for his safe return and to be the sister he needs. She finds Henry there, and in her relief, knows she loves him now. Molly and her grandfather both make a last visit to the wishing well to make peace with wishes unanswered and acceptance of the things they don’t fully understand. When Molly’s parents come back to the farm to pick up Molly and Henry, they are pleased at how joyful Molly has become. Everyone tells her that they are proud of her, another wish come true for Molly. Even better is the surprise that she can keep Shelby as her own dog. Flash forward to the Spring, and it is Molly’s first soccer game since her mother died. Her aunt asks Molly if she indeed went to the wishing well and if all her wishes came true. Molly admitted that all but one did, her wish that her mother would come back to life. Molly’s aunt explains that the wish did come true, that her mom lives on in Molly’s renewed smile and loving spirit. Something that Molly had lost in her bitterness, but has sprung back to life from the goodness and hope of her wish.
Kids' lit blog site Batch of Books

Q. What inspired you to write this story?

A: This story came to me slowly in pieces during the time that I was grieving the loss of my mom. I was filled with sorrow over missing her, but I also knew that I had a life ahead of me that was worth smiling about. As a mom and teacher, I realized that there were many children that must also go through times when they are saddened by certain circumstances. I wanted to write a story that helps them when things in life that are beyond their control don’t go their way. How do you keep hope alive? How can you acknowledge and accept that some painful things do happen without letting it overshadow the blessings in your days? So I wrote this story as a way to show children that ups and downs will come and go, but there is goodness all around to be experienced and shared.

Q. Is there anything about writing that’s particularly challenging for you?

A: The one aspect of writing that is difficult for me is putting my writing “out there” for the world to see. The process of writing itself is thrilling to me. I enjoy the creative journey of dreaming up the characters and planning out their adventures. It is the best feeling when the story comes together and the words begin to flow. Even the stages of editing and revising are satisfying to me since it helps to polish my work to make it that much better. But when it is time to show my story to others, I find that part scary. I think that is true for many people when it comes to doing something that is meaningful and important to them. It is a very human feeling to be afraid of rejection or criticism. But in a way, that fear is a good sign that you are on the right path. If you don’t take that risk or push yourself past your comfort zone, you’ll never know if your dream will come true.

Q. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

A: I am a fan of all flavors of ice cream! But if I had to choose the one I love the very best, it would be pralines and cream from Baskin Robbins. It’s even better when it’s a bit melted and the caramel part becomes gooey.

Q. If you could make one wish, what would it be?

A: Wow, that’s tough to pick only one. Here is the wish I hold most dear to my heart: I want to see my three kids grow up to be the wonderful people they are meant to be, to keep their beautiful sense of hope and wonder alive, and to use their gifts in a way that makes the world a brighter place. Actually, all that might be considered more than one wish, but I can’t make myself delete any of it!

Q. Do you have any hidden talents?

A: I love dancing, and it always makes me feel so alive and joyful when I do. My children might not agree that this is a talent of mine, though. They are usually embarrassed by my dancing. But I suspect they secretly think my dancing is awesome even though they won’t admit it.

Q. Are you working on anything now that you can tell us about?

A: Sure, I always have another idea or project in the works. Right now, I am in the beginning stages of writing another middle-grade story. The title is, “Evan Quinn and What Might Have Been”. It’s about a 39-year old man who volunteers to be the first human to attempt time travel, even though it’s an extremely dangerous mission. He wants to go back in time to try and convince his younger self not to make the same choices so that his life turns out differently. But it is actually the older version of Evan that has a few lessons to learn from the younger Evan, forcing him to confront everything he thought he knew about himself and what truly matters.

Thank you, Bridget, for your wonderful interview!

About the Book

Molly Bell and the Wishing Well by Bridget Geraghty

Age range: 8-12

Publisher: CreateSpace (December 29, 2016)

Paperback: 144 pages

Molly Bell is an eleven-year-old girl who used to be a whimsical, sporty type of a child with a zest for living. All that has been turned upside down by the untimely death of her cherished mother two years ago. To make matters worse, her father is getting remarried to a high-maintenance beauty that Molly seemingly has nothing in common with, and she comes with an annoying six-year-old son, Henry, who finds a way to wreck everything in his path.

Molly can’t find anything about her new circumstances to be excited about until her Aunt Joan tells her about the wishing well at Molly’s grandparents’ farm. According to Aunt Joan, every wish she ever made there came true. And it just so happens that Molly and Henry will be staying at the farm for a week while their parents are on their honeymoon. Molly is convinced if she could just find that wishing well, she could wish for her mom to come back to life and everything will be okay again.

But Molly is in for a few surprises, and more that a few hard lessons about being careful what you wish for when the consequences of Molly’s selfish desires wreak havoc on her entire family. Can Molly make things right again through the wishing well? Or will she need to find it within herself to bring back the joy in her life that has been missing all this time?


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Hilary’s Review of Molly Bell and the Wishing Well

What a sweet story for all ages!

Molly is a young girl whose world is turned upside-down with the death of her mother. While visiting her grandparent’s farm, she visits a secret wishing well where she makes wishes and learns about self-discovery, new relationships, and growing up.

I love each character in this book and the role they play with Molly as she goes on a journey to find happiness. The author did a perfect job of making each character important and personable to Molly and the readers. I especially loved Grandma Saige and Grandpa Cody. They show old- fashioned love, patience and wit with Molly and Henry.

I highly recommend this book for youth who are experiencing change. It’s about overcoming grief, having faith and learning to love and accept – especially when things happen that we don’t “wish” for.

Source: I received a digital copy of this book from Bridget Geraghty, the author.

Kirkus Reviews


"A young girl, wanting things back the way they used to be before her mother died, pins her hopes on a wishing well in this debut middle-grade novel.

Molly Bell’s beloved father has just remarried. The 11-year-old girl, still grieving her mother’s death two years before, feels cross and abandoned as Dad and her stepmom, Faith, go on their honeymoon. They leave the tween and Faith’s 6-year-old son, Henry, in the care of Molly’s grandparents on their farm. Although Molly tries to make the best of it and finds comfort working outdoors, she resents her grandparents’ attention to Henry and can’t untangle her emotions, feeling unloved and unlovable. She has compounded her unhappiness by giving up the sport she excelled at—soccer—due to misplaced guilt. A remote old wishing well on the property becomes the focus of her dreams (“It looked ancient, like old ruins that she had just discovered. It was as if Molly had been transported to a far away place in time. The bricks and stones were covered with overgrown weeds, making the well seem like it was almost alive”). She wishes for her mother, a best friend, and a life without Henry and Faith. In unexpected ways, some of her wishes come true. But does Molly actually hold the key to her own happiness? Geraghty clearly respects her tween audience, inviting empathy for each character with touching and realistic revelations of what lies underneath Henry’s brattiness, for instance, and Grandpa’s abruptness. Helping Molly heal are a lonely dog and the girl’s growing awareness of the vulnerabilities of others (including Grandpa, who lost his leg and his best friend in Vietnam). That Molly finds her way through turmoil is predictable, but she also recognizes the impact of her self-pity and rage. The author shapes Molly’s journey with a deft and informed touch while deepening the narrative with vivid imagery: “Grandpa Cody gazed out his passenger side window, his leathery skin illuminated by the glow of the sunrise and his long grey ponytail waving gently in the breeze. A slow and hearty country song played on the radio.”

A heroine struggles to find her way back from despair and anger to joy and acceptance in this highly relatable tale for tweens."

Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2016
  • 9781541034006 1541034007
  • 138 pages
  • $$6.99