Joplin's grandfather, a famous author, has died, and her mother isn't taking it very well. When they visit her grandfather's home, Joplin is allowed to choose one item as a keepsake. Joplin finds a tin with the pieces of an old Dutch china platter in it. It is so beautifully painted that a friend of the family agrees to arrange to have it restored. One day as Joplin is gazing at the picture of the girl on the platter, she wishes for a friend. That starts a series of events that lead Joplin to friendship, family, time travel and magic.
I am a fan of Diane Stanley. She started out as a writer of informational books about historical figures. Then she branched out and wrote some nice historical fantasies. I think this is the first time she has written a contemporary fantasy, but of course it does have some historical elements. The book got starred reviews and I enjoyed it. One or two of the characters seemed a bit too perfect to me--too good to be true-- but it made for a nice, light, fast read with an interesting plot. It was just what I needed after "The Boy on the Wooden Box" and "Pretty." (oops, I think I haven't blogged Pretty yet. I will do that one next.) The book reminded me of "When Your Reach Me" by Rebecca Stead but with not quite as realistically drawn characters. (255 p.)