Author: Frances Hardinge
Verdigris (n.): a blue-green rust that tarnishes aging and forgotten copper coins, altering them entirely . . .
Ryan feels invisible: At school, he’s in a class with students older and cooler than him, and at home, he’s largely ignored during his parents’ petty arguments. And then he meets Josh. Josh is popular in the way that only beautiful boys can be—he’s almost electric. Both Ryan and his chatterbox sidekick, Chelle, fall under Josh’s spell, and the three soon become inseparable.
One summer afternoon, they sneak off to the troubled town of Magwhite. Trapped without bus fare for the ride home, Josh convinces his less mischievous companions their only solution is to steal coins from the infamous wishing well. Soon after, each develops a unique, sinister power. When the well witch appears, she gargles demands of her three new servants. Ryan, Josh, and Chelle have robbed her and now must obey her . . . and the wishes rotting at the bottom of her well.