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The Seventh Wish Hardcover – June 7, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—In this realistic novel with a whimsical twist, 12-year-old Charlie catches a magical wishing fish and tries to use it to solve all her problems. Her wishes range from getting rid of her fear of the ice to getting her sister to come home from college for a visit. Not surprisingly, poor phrasing causes her wishes to go wrong, and she ends up making things worse instead of better. The plot covers a lot of ground, ranging from Charlie struggling to save enough money to buy a dress for her Irish dancing performance to helping one of her classmates learn English. The most serious subplot involves the discovery of her older sister's heroin addiction and her subsequent treatment. Charlie eventually decides she does not need to rely on making wishes to solve her problems. Though somewhat sanitized, the gentle portrayal of heroin addiction may serve as a good way to introduce this serious issue and engender discussion. VERDICT A charming fantasy story with threads of several deep themes that could serve as the basis for thoughtful discussion.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
"An empathetic, beautiful, magical, fiercely necessary book that stares unflinchingly at the very real challenges contemporary kids face and gently assures them they are not alone. Kate Messner gives her readers a story to cherish." - Anne Ursu, author of BREADCRUMBS and THE REAL BOY
"Hopeful, empathetic, and unusually enlightening." - starred review, Kirkus Reviews
"Rich and daring . . . As she did in All the Answers, Messner lightens a heavy theme with a bit of magic." - Publishers Weekly
"A charming fantasy story with threads of several deep themes that could serve as the basis for thoughtful discussion." - School Library Journal
"Messner uses her particular brand of magical realism to face some tough but necessary stuff. . . . An enjoyable and informative story." - BCCB
"Messner melds realism with a bit of magic for a charming middle grade story. . . . Charlie’s determination and spunk will appeal to readers." - School Library Connection
"Messner writes insightfully of Charlie’s experiences." - Booklist
"It's no surprise that Kate Messner’s magic pen could write a charming, moving, funny, and ultimately very surprising story about a magic pencil!" - Wendy Mass, New York Times best selling author of 11 BIRTHDAYS, on ALL THE ANSWERS
"Messner (Manhunt) has created a relatable, sympathetic character in anxious Ava, and her story is at its best when Ava's life remains centered around the norms of her school, friends, and multigenerational family." - Publishers Weekly on ALL THE ANSWERS
"Ava learns lessons about coping and bravery that should resonate with middle grade readers struggling with their own anxieties . . . An emotionally resonant portrait of a sweet girl whose struggles are firmly rooted in reality." - Booklist on ALL THE ANSWERS
"Will appeal to Wendy Mass fans as well as those who love Messner’s previous novels." - School Library Journal on ALL THE ANSWERS
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Top customer reviews
As a middle school teacher, I am so appreciative of this novel and how carefully Kate Messner handled the substance abuse issue—the stigma, the complexity of rehabilitation, and the effect on an entire family. I know there are kids at the upper elementary and middle school level who NEED this book. Some of my students have older siblings, parents, and other adult relatives grappling with addiction. Some of my students might already be on that pathway themselves. Kids need to know that, yes, it happens to good kids from good families in good communities. And yes, there is a way out.
The Seventh Wish shows the reader that taking the easy way out of anything—whether by wishing on a fish or coping with substances—is NOT it. For some things, there is no easy fix. Some things, such as the choices others make, are beyond our control. Each of us must find our own way by looking within, where our greatest power and strength already lies, and let others find their own way, too.
That's too bad, because the book has A LOT to offer besides addiction. Yes, addiction is part of the story, but it's not all of the story. For middle school students this book could serve as a beginning place for a discussion of magical thinking. It's also about friendship and ice and. . . So much more.
Absolutely worth the read.
This book is about ice and magic, Irish dancing and best friends, family, and heart-breakingly, a loved one's struggle with addiction.
The story is told with sensitivity and respect for its intended audience, young as they may be. Readers experiencing the same pain in their families will feel less alone, and more understood. Readers who are not touched by addiction will develop empathy for their peers that may be.
All readers will likely develop a strong desire to try Irish dancing and ice fishing.
This book will be a wonderful addition to school and home libraries. Well done, Ms. Messner!
I saw that this book had received some great reviews but I really bought it because I enjoy Messner's other works (and so do my students).
I remember seeing a fish on the cover and thinking, "This looks cute."
It is so much more than cute. Sure, the first sixty pages make you feel like you're watching a semi-enjoyable Disney film and then BAM! Messier gets real.
This book is about drug addiction and it's impact on families. It covers the deception and treatment attempts and desperation and betrayal in loved when someone suffers from addiction.
It's scary, sweet and super important for kids (and adults too).