Dahl, Elisabeth. Genie Wishes
April 2nd 2013
by Harry N. Abrams
Nominated for the Cybils by Adam Shaffer.
Copy provided by the publisher
Genie has a rocky start to her fifth grade school year at Hopkins Country Day school when her best friend Sarah is thrilled to have Blair, a super stylish girl she met at summer camp, at their school. Genie manages to get elected to write the class blog, but that has its good parts and bad parts. As the year progresses, she deals with many problems, including her widowed father starting to date, her lack of a cell phone, and the growing interest of all the girls around her in embarrassing facets of puberty. She manages to get through all of these occurrences by thinking about them critically and discussing them on the class blog, and with the help of her supportive family and friends.
Strengths: This was very true to life when dealing with issues of friend drama and liking boys, and was written in an easy to read and fun way. I can see precocious third grade girls really enjoying this.
Weaknesses: Genie lives in an incredibly rarified private school environment, which will make this less accessible to some readers, and the fact that she is so concerned with having a cell phone might date this one quickly. And really? Bra snapping? I only ever this being a concern one time, when my older daughter told me that someone at school had done it. I gave her my complete permission to take out the teeth of whatever boy did that to her with her elbow. If this happened in my school, it wouldn't be a delicately phrased "talk". It would be a polemic rant.
Not that I'm, you know, sensitive to issues of personal space or anything!