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A Wish After Midnight Paperback – February 16, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Zetta Elliott was born and raised outside of Toronto, Canada but has lived and taught in Brooklyn for over 10 years. An educator and a writer, Elliott has published numerous works of poetry, plays, essays, and children's books, including Bird, her critically acclaimed picture book which was released in 2008. Elliott also originally released A Wish after Midnight in 2008, in response to a need for more books that spoke to the varied roots and realities of children in urban schools. She is currently working on a sequel to A Wish after Midnight.
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Read an Excerpt
Read an excerpt from "A Wish After Midnight" and download the reading group guide. [pdf]

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscape; First Edition edition (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982555059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982555057
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've started to wait a few days after finishing a book before doing a post. So I can marinate on what I've read and allow the words fully sink in. When I finished A Wish After Midnight I was very satisfied and felt it was a very good novel. Four days later with the novel still fresh in my head and flipping through the book , I realize I may not of given the book enough credit.
15 yr old Genna lives in a one bedroom apartment with her mother and three siblings. Her mother struggles to make enough money so the family can move to a better neighborhood. Genna does her part by staying out of trouble, getting good grades, looking after younger brother, Tyjuan. She finds solace in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Genna befriends another Garden regular Mr. Christiansen an older white man. Mr Christiansen seemed like a nice man at first I couldn't understand why his appearance was so short. Then I remembered this isn't a book about a troubled black girl who needs a nice old white man to teach her importance of dreaming. I believe Elliott includes this character, hoping the reader will learn from Genna to judge individuals on their merits not their race, gender or other things they can't control.
Genna is not poisoned by her mother's hatred of white people.

"I don't want to think like Mama. I try not to lump Hannah and all white people together cause that's exactly what I don't want people doing to me. I want people to accept me for who I am with my own ways, and my own ideas and my own future that's separate from everything else going on. Separate from Rico dealing drugs and Toshi acting fast and Papi walking out on us. Separate from where I live or how I dress or the color of my skin. I'm not ashamed of none of those things.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are many ways to respond to racism, and A Wish After Midnight explores just about every one imaginable. In an astounding feat of nuance, the author manages to present a deeply divisive subject in a deeply unifying way. She doesn't shy away from showing the worst in people, nor does she fail to recognize the best in those same people. While the book seems primarily intended to encourage young people to rise above the hand they're dealt, it is instructive for young and old, black and white alike.

In addition to the excellent theme and premise, the writing itself is solid. Each character is important to the story, and has a unique voice and outlook on life. It is a serious subject, and the plot is frightening at times. I definitely recommend an adult be there to discuss it, but it is thought-provoking enough that I will encourage my children to read it when they are old enough. I look forward to the sequel with anticipation.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wow, I could not put this work of art down! A Wish Midnight had me staying up reading this book well after midnight a few nights in a row, until I had completely devoured it's contents. Zetta Elliott has created one of the most humbling, thought-provoking, and enrapturing books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I'm not even going to attempt to do this book any justice by writing any details of the events that touched me, as there is no possible way I could do this book any justice without somehow detracting from it's powerful message. Suffice it to say that A Wish After Midnight has left me quite speechless, but only in good ways. It's message, it's lessons, will be ones that find myself thinking about for a good long time to come. I look forward to reading the sequel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved the beginning of this book. The story set in today's time. It was beautifully written and I loved the author's characters who inhabited this story! I cared about Genna, her sister, her brothers and single mom. Then in chapter 15 ...boom came the time travel. Rather abruptly too. I was prepared for this part of the book. I read the synopsis. But it was too disjointed. Two compete different stories with only Genna & Judaeh to tie it together and that story line was a flimsy romance with some history of Irish immigrants, runaway slaves and mob violence. I am so disappointed in not being able to continue Genna's story in her today's Brooklyn! It was so well written and was such a loss when Genna went into the world of 1863. Maybe I didn't appreciate the time travel link but for me the second half of the book was boring and in parts overwrought with silly romance. Not my type of book I guess.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Given the thoughtful handling of the topic of racism (both modern day and civil war era), this is truly a book that is worthy of study in jr. high and high school literature or history classes. Although this is a time travel story, it is not too overly fantastical, so one need not be a sci fi fan to enjoy it thoroughly.

Fifteen year-old Genna lives with her family in Brooklyn. Her mother hates white people, which Genna struggles to understand. Genna is acquainted with an older white gentleman whom she often sees at the nearby arboretum, and he seems perfectly kind. One day Genna is whisked back to civil war days. At first, she is mistaken for a runaway slave. She must make her way as best she can, and can only hope that she will one day return to her own time.

This is a lovely story with a powerful message. Genna is a very likable character. Fans of historical fiction will especially enjoy this. Highly recommended for ANYONE 13 and up.
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