Eleven-year-old Riley knows a thing or two about wishes. Ever since his mom disappeared, all he's been doing is wishing: wishing for her return, wishing he'd stop wetting the bed and wishing his dad would love him again.
Finally, with the police investigation stalled and worried his mother might soon be out of time, Riley is desperate for answers. So, he turns to the Whispers, mythical wood creatures who will grant your heart’s desires if you bring them tribute. It's a story his mother used to tell him every night. He never really believed they were real until one day he hears them call to him, telling him his mother is near.
Riley is determined to find the Whispers and ask for the one thing he wants the most: his mother's return--no matter the cost--especially since he thinks a secret he’s been holding close is the reason she's gone. This is his chance to make things right. Along with his best friend, his loyal dog and a neighbor boy with secrets of his own, Riley ventures deep into the dark woods--where all sorts of dangers lurk--to find the Whispers and, he hopes, his mother. But what he finds will change everything for Riley forever.
Greg Howard stuns in this heartrending, mesmerizing debut about love, magic and what it means to believe in the impossible.
“This taut, moving tale delves beyond loss into issues of sexuality, conformity and self-acceptance…a masterful exploration into the power of storytelling but also its dangers, including self-denial and escapism.” —The New York Times Book Review
“With sensitivity and skill, Howard handles themes of sexual identify, self-worth, loss and friendship.” —The Washington Post
"Howard’s personal story helps create a fictional narrative both realistic and relevant, while also calling on the fantastical magic of the imagination…. A tale of family, friendship and loss, filled with magic and heart." —The Associated Press
"A dreamy novel recalling Bridge to Terabithia." —Entertainment Weekly