Wishes Are Free

Children - Grade 4th-6th
234 Pages
Reviewed on 07/04/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

Author Biography

Diana still has the copy of MADELINE awarded to her in the second grade. Reading Period was always her favorite part of the school day, and spelling bees, which she usually won unless Frankie Doetsch was present that day. Then they were the last two standing, and if she didn't choke, Diana won.

Diana waited until her fifties to do something about the ideas and plots tugging at her sleeve. She began with poems, mini-essays, and human interest stories published in Northwest Prime Time Magazine and online journals.

Wishes Are Free began as a group of short stories she read aloud to her next-door neighbor, April, who is developmentally disabled. April loved them and Diana thought I have something here. She added more stories and strung them together into a novel. Diana drew on her experiences growing up in the Santa Clara Valley south of San Francisco. It was known as the Valley of Heart's Delight now known as Silicon Valley.


Book Life: “Howell creates deep, caring relationships…evokes a classic children's novel feel with a beautiful mixture of heart and life lessons sprinkled throughout…the book is extremely well done.”

“The Wonder Years meets Anne of Green Gables, not to be missed..” Terry Badgenaw, author of The Antunite Chronicles.

Lacking the perseverance of Kate DiCamillo (four-hundred and seventy-three rejections before Candlewick Press finally said yes to Because of Winn Dixie), after thirty-five rejections, Diana decided to self-publish.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite

Rose and Linney had been together for as long as they could remember. Linney lived next door to her, exactly one hundred and one steps from her bedroom door. Rose O'Reilly could not imagine life without her best friend, someone she always expected to be there for her, in sickness and in health. Unfortunately, the only thing constant in life is change and her best friend was set to move to Chicago in a few months. Rose was heartbroken and she knew deep in her heart she wouldn’t be able to find anyone to replace her best friend. She sought comfort in the warm and kind wisdom of her grandfather who knew what she was going through, having just recently lost his own best friend: his wife. Join Rose O'Reilly in Wishes are Free by Diana Mercedes Howell as she discovered new friends in unexpected places.

Wishes Are Free was a heartwarming tale of family, friendship, and love. Rose was young and could not understand why the universe decided to have her best friend in the whole world move away. They were still best friends, of course, but it wouldn’t be the same since they would be thousands of miles apart. The account of Rose’s struggles allowed me to view the depths of her heart and character. The story revealed the importance of friendship and the value of empathy. It taught me how to move forward despite the uncertainty. At the book’s core, we learn about the many forms of love and friendship. Rose’s experiences taught me about compassion and kindness. Even when someone was mean to her, she still chose not to tell on him despite his rude actions. When it came to something that truly counted, our girl Rose was not afraid to stand up for the ones she loved. Her wishes were sweet and sincere which reflected her good heart. Rose inspired kindness and warmth with her honest thoughts. Her grandfather helped her grow and learn in the face of distress. The bond between Rose and her grandfather was the main foundation for such an inspiring tale. Diana Mercedes Howell has presented an unforgettable, pure, and powerful story that imparts many important lessons. Outstanding work.