“Any occupation exercising itself with passion, with self-oblivion, with devotion, towards and end other than itself, is a gateway to divine things.”

— Charles Williams

The Novels of Faith Harkey

Children's novelist Faith Harkey is the author of Genuine Sweet, a middle-grade book from Clarion (an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). You’ll find her new book Sneak Thief on shelves now from Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House Kids. Faith Harkey travels the backroads of America in search of Story. From Mississippi to Montana, Colorado to Kansas, she is drawn to places where the pace of life is unhurried and the milk comes fresh from the cow. Her adopted hometowns include Tiger, Georgia (population 406); Grangeville, Idaho (population 3,151); and Istachatta, Florida (population 116). Faith is a graduate of the Writer’s Workshop at Eckerd College, and thinks better with her shoes off. She believes in the power of fiction to ennoble, enlighten and entertain. Her literary devotions take her to magical places in search of Story. Nothing thrills her so much as the moment when a new character shouts out, "Tell them MY story!"

Genuine Sweet

Genuine Sweet is a twelve-year-old wish fetcher. She can grant anyone’s wishes ... except her own. And that’s downright unfortunate, because she’s also poor, hungry, and her family’s only hope for surviving what promises to be a lean Georgia winter. Will she make a wish of her own, breaking the wish fetcher’s first rule? Or can she find another way to get the resources her family — and the whole town — desperately needs, before it's too late? Genuine Sweet is a warm, Southern tale filled with humor, magic and a whole lot of hope.

Genuine Sweet has gotten a surprise she can’t quite believe. After all, who could have guessed that this poor and hungry twelve-year-old from tiny Sass, Georgia, would ever have anything magical to share with the world? Everything changes when Genuine discovers that she’s a wish fetcher — born with the power to grant anyone’s wish … except her own.

It’s a peculiar predicament, considering how much Genuine could use a few wishes for herself. With the help of new friends, Genuine finds a way to give her family a boost — and then takes her wish fetching global! She’s in the news, she’s the talk of the town, and life seems to be on the mend. But when she’s faced with unexpected trouble that no amount of wishing can fix, Genuine must puzzle out the difference between wishing for a better life and building one.

Told in the engaging, irresistible voice of Genuine Sweet herself, Faith Harkey’s debut novel spins a remarkable tale of a small-town girl with big magic and a whole lot of heart.

Sneak Thief

Thanks to her sneak-thieving skills, Hush Cantrell can fend for herself. Which is a good thing, since her mom is definitely the last person she can count on.

Hush’s life is a little thorny, but when her new friend Desiree enters the picture, things start looking up. That is, until her luck runs out and Hush is finally caught “borrowing.” Now she has to turn over a new leaf: her only alternative to the dreaded “juvie” is a job at Miz Tromp’s nursery. Among the seeds and weeds, Hush learns, for the first time, how to make good things grow. But soon she gets more than she bargained for — because life in tiny Sass, Georgia, has its own peculiar bloom. When Hush discovers she can see the troubles that other people can’t, she’s faced with pulling off the biggest sneak of all. Does she have what it takes to stare down her pain and claim her own magic? Or will she just make things worse for herself and everybody in town?

With an appealing Southern voice and a hint of magic realism, Sneak Thief is a funny and life-affirming story of one girl lost — and found.

Faith Harkey