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Wish Hardcover – November 9, 2010

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385739419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385739412
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,601,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—A victim of cystic fibrosis, 11-year-old Tommy downplays his condition and feeds his fascination with sharks. He has studied them for years, learning about their survival instincts. Tommy often struggles for breath, but he keeps a marathon pace as his bank of knowledge about these animals grows. He writes an autobiographical essay, enters a contest, and wins a trip to California to go on a shark watch. His 15-year-old sister, Bee, who mostly takes care of him, and his single mom, who mostly doesn't, join him. While on the boat, Tommy hopes against hope that his wish will be granted: to be lowered in a cage to experience the creatures eye-to-eye. A combination of seasickness and the dangerously rough sea nixes that. Bee, hovering and all-knowing, makes a pivotal decision: Tommy's daily struggle for life must not be all that he experiences. While their mother is out on an all-night date, the two set off to meet a local hero of sorts—a young surfer who lived to tell about a shark attack. Tommy, Bee, the surfer, and his younger brother form an instant bond. They hang out, do the California dreamin' thing, and give Tommy a surfing adventure he'll never forget. The flip side—and not surprisingly—he almost dies. This is as much Bee's coming-of-age story as it is Tommy's. Her narrative about her brother's condition and tangential situations of drama, romance, and their mother's behaviors often compromise the story's punch.—Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Fifteen-year-old Bee’s younger brother, Tommy, an avid shark buff, has cystic fibrosis. After a wish-granting charity fulfills Tommy’s dream to see great whites up close, Bee, 11-year-old Tommy, and their mother fly from New Hampshire to San Francisco. But after the outing proves disappointing, and their single mother seems more focused on a new man than on family, Bee and Tommy travel down the coast to meet Tommy’s pen pal and hero, Ty, a surfer and shark-attack survivor. There, Bee finds friendship, including a potential romance with Ty’s 16-year-old younger brother, while Tommy gets his longed-for sea adventure, which ends up being difficult and inspiring. Bee’s intimate, first-person narrative is wholly compelling and emotionally resonant. Monninger creates diverse, well-drawn characters, and Tommy’s illness is portrayed without sentimentality in straightforward detail. Interspersed among the breathtaking, vivid descriptions of events and settings are shark facts (further discussed in an author’s note) that illuminate nature’s brutality and beauty. What shines most, though, are the relationships among characters, particularly between conscientious, school-achiever Bee and courageous, touching Tommy. With mutual admiration, support, and love, they draw strength and perspective from one another and together gain further appreciation for human frailties and resilience. An absorbing, beautifully written novel that will affect readers on many levels. Grades 8-11. --Shelle Rosenfeld

More About the Author

Joseph Monninger has published fourteen novels and three non-fiction books. His work has appeared in American Heritage, Scientific American, Readers Digest, Glamour, Playboy, Story, Fiction, The Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated and Ellery Queen, among other publications. He has twice received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and has also received a fellowship from the New Hampshire Council for the Arts. His young adult novel, Baby, was awarded the 2008 award for best children's literature from the Peace Corps Writers. It was also chosen as a top ten book by YALSA, the American Library Association. The Bulletin of the Center for Children's' Books awarded Hippie Chick, a young adult novel, a blue ribbon for a top book of 2008.

Joseph Monninger grew up in Westfield, New Jersey and attended Temple University on a football scholarship. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso, from 1975-77. He has been a licensed New Hampshire Fishing Guide and has fly-fished from New Zealand to Wyoming's Wind River Range. He lives with his wife, Wendy, and his son, Justin, in a converted barn near New Hampshire's Baker River. For several years his family competed in the New England Sled Dog sprint races and ran a small sled dog business in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

As a teacher at one time or another at the University of New Hampshire, the Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, The American International School in Vienna, and at Plymouth State University, Joseph Monninger has spent thirty years in classrooms. During the summers he directed academic enrichment programs at Williams and Amherst Colleges. He led student groups on bicycle tours across Europe, sailed the Whitsunday Islands near the Great Barrier Reef, and worked on community service projects in Montserrat, West Indies and on the Crow Reservation in Montana. He has taken a mail boat across the southern edge of Newfoundland and, as a young man, hitch-hiked across the United States three times.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
I love Monninger's stories and his stle of writing and weaving a tale with unexpected endings.
Sarah A Litch
She knows that this is not a Disney outing; this is a lifetime dream of Tommy's and he is very serious about it.
A Very Merry Shakespeare
First, it is a fairly quick read, so it will appeal to kids who are relatively new to chapter books.
John Rogers ClarkIV

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eileen H. on June 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this entertaining novel to middle schoolers who are interested in science, but also in fiction, to their parents, and teachers. I learned about sharks and cystic fibrosis, and experienced a wonderful story of sibling love, first crush, and imperfect parenting, all rolled into one! Reluctant readers who need to be "pulled in" to a story will have no difficulties here! Middle schoolers who shy away from "classics," particulary those with stereotypical perfect families and perfect happy endings, will rate this novel as "excellent"!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Very Merry Shakespeare on December 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Talk about karma, gang. My daughter has wanted to swim and save sharks since she was six years old. Nope. Not kidding. Her grandmother was babysitting her one evening and she thought her beloved granddaughter was sleeping. Turns out what her granddaughter was doing was hiding behind the sofa because she heard the "cool" music coming from the living room and ended up watching JAWS. I'll tell you...when that man had the nerve to point and shoot the beloved Bruce, my daughter burst into tears and decided then and there that the one and only thing she wanted to do with her life was save those poor, misunderstood creatures.

This fantastic story certainly headlines a child's extreme wish to connect with those killers of the deep face to face. This young man is eleven-year-old, Tommy. Tommy is a wonderful boy who, unfortunately, is suffering from cystic-fibrosis. His mother wants a family vacation and Tommy wants nothing more than to see a shark. When a wish foundation grants Tommy his dream, he, his mom and his older sister Bee, board a plane to San Francisco.

On the plane Mom spends most of her time flirting with a potential boyfriend. Now, I don't want this to sound too bad. Mom is not a bad mom; she does love her kids. What she is, is lonely. Her husband was a furnace installer and left the family and she has had to struggle to raise her children - and she is sick of being alone. Bee understands this...sort of. But what she really wants her mother to do is understand that Tommy has needs and that this vacation is actually a gift for him, and not her mother. In fact, Bee gets mad a great deal. She's extremely smart and loves Tommy more than anything else in the whole world.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hope B. Styons on April 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As with Eternal on the Water, I liked Monniger's writing style and his apparent ease with translating emotions into words. The story is a good one and his characters are real. My only real problem with the book is that it's rather expensive to be so short. I don't mind paying $10.99 for a full length novel but this was more of a novella.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BornReader on January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Wish" starts quick and keeps moving right to the end. The characters make you interested in them--they make you care. And there are sharks! Characters AND sharks, what a great combination. The story engages on different levels, and appeals to both girls and guys. It is serious fun! "Wish" along with Monninger's other two YA's "Babe" and "Hippie Chick" are real discoveries. All three are peopled with real kids facing unique and challenging situations that take both the characters and readers on an exciting journey. Definitely in the "good reads" category.
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