Children can join their parents' and older siblings' conversations about themes in Wish You Well through selected companion books. These books, like Wish You Well, are set in Appalachia and reflect that culture.
The 2013 picture book is Jack Outwits the Giants, a Jack Tale from Appalachia, illustrated and adapted by Paul Brett Johnson. Belle Prater's Boy, a 1997 Newbery Honor Book by Ruth White, is the chapter book. The books, chosen by a committee of school librarians, teachers and parents, will be used in elementary and middle schools throughout the Valley.
When Jack, an Appalachian boy-hero, is caught in a fierce storm, he heads to a nearby farmhouse for shelter. The occupants turn out to be a giant-woman "tall as a barn loft" and her hungry, two-headed giant husband—both heads "mud-fence ugly".
The giants decide that Jack looks like a mighty appetizing breakfast. When he escapes their first attempt to kill him, the giants say they will let him go if he can perform three (seemingly impossible) tasks. Youngsters will be amazed and tickled to learn how Jack outwits the giants.
Everyone in Coal Station, Virginia, has a theory about what happened to Belle Prater, but twelve-year-old Gypsy wants the facts. She has her chance when her cousin Woodrow, Aunt Belle's son, moves next door. Woodrow isn't as forthcoming as Gypsy hopes, yet he becomes more than just a curiosity to her.
During their sixth-grade year she finds that they have enough in common to be best friends. Even so, Gypsy is puzzled by Woodrow's calm acceptance of his mother's disappearance, especially since she herself has never gotten over her father's death. When Woodrow finally reveals that he's been keeping a secret about his mother, Gypsy begins to understand that there are different ways of finding the strength to face the truth, no matter how painful it is.