Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Take a Shelfie: The Seventh Wish


This book!  

Kate Messner, you threw me a curve ball!  

I was reading along, chuckling at some of the antics Charlie had gotten herself into, and then WHAM! Screech! What?!

The thing is, the plot twist was so genuine and honestly told that it was hard to put the book down.  You just needed tissues.

Lots of tissues.

The Premise

Charlie is the protagonist and younger sister of "Abby-who-does-everything-right."  You know the type; you love her to death but still, you feel like you're always living in her shadow.  Abby is heading off to college, and while Charlie misses her, she has some fun of her own.

She gets talked into going ice fishing with her neighbor, Drew, and his nana, Mrs. McNeill.  Charlie's terrified of the ice, but she also knows that any fish she catches will net her a few dollars when she sells them to a local restaurant owner.  She takes Irish dance and her parents gave her a Christmas present of money towards a dress, but she knows, if she wants a dress with sparkles, it's going to cost a lot more than what they gave her.

But she's scared of going out on the ice.  Sitting at the edge of the lake, she catches one fish to Drew and Mrs. McNeill's 20.  Suddenly, she hears a voice...."Release me....Release me....and I will grant you a wish."

What would you do?

That starts a bunch of humorous antics that will have your students chuckling.  She has a crush on Roberto Sullivan and wishes that he'd like her back, she wants to help Drew, who's feeling pressured to go out for basketball because he's so tall but has zero skills, she want to help Dasha who's trying to test out of ESL classes.  Her intentions are good.  But, just like in all the fables she's read about wishes, things can and do go wrong.

Spoiler Alert

Skip this paragraph if you must.  Abby, the perfect sister, starts falling apart.  And it turns out she has gone from an addiction to Adderall ("all the college kids use it") to an addiction to heroin.  She hides it for a while but ends up in rehab.  And everything that Charlie thought was important gets pushed to the side.  To take care of Abby.

This heartfelt story of a girl coming to terms with life not being fair, with promises not being kept, will resonate with your students.  It really is a beautiful read.  

Kate Messner, in her notes, gives credit to her editor who "remained calm and supportive when I told her I was writing a magical-ice-fishing-Irish-dancing-heroin novel for kids."  

Well done by her editor!  Well worth the read!




If you like, you can purchase the book through the link below.  You don't pay any extra for it but I earn a few pennies as an amazon affiliate.

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