It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.
Messner, Kate. The Seventh Wish.
June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Charlie has a decent life, but middle school is hard. Her overachieving older sister, Abby, is off at college, and she misses her. Her mother is a part-time school nurse, hoping to find a full-time job, and her father is an English teacher. Charlie participates in Irish dancing and would like to move up to higher levels of competition, but doing so requires a lot of dedication and resources. When she is out fishing with her neighbor, Drew, and his grandmother, Mrs. O'Neill, Charlie hears a fish whom she has caught speaking to her, saying that it will grant her a wish if she releases him. She does, wishing that she were not so afraid of the ice. When she no longer feels apprehension about going over the deeper water, she starts to look for the fish to make more wishes. Even though she talks about all of the stories where wishes go wrong, her wishes aren't always accurate-- she gets the wrong boy to fall in love with her, and wishing that her mother would get a new job causes her to miss a competition. Things get more serious, however, when her sister's heroin addiction is discovered. The parents manage to get her into a program, and Charlie has to spend her Saturdays visiting Abby at the facility-- and lying to her friends about it. She wants to be supportive of her sister, but also wants to keep advancing with her dancing. Will the fish be able to make things right? Or are some things in life beyond even magical help?
Weaknesses: I might have worked in "magic" that wasn't as magical as the fish instead. This is clearly fantasy; the fish clearly talks to her. This didn't work for me in Crenshaw, but it worked here. Still, if the magic were more ONLY in Charlie's head, it might have been a tiny bit better.
What I really think: Excellent. Just excellent.
And another super duper excellent book (even if it has sad moments) is this one:
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