Tuesday, March 7, 2017

THE SEVENTH WISH by Kate Messner.  New York: Bloomsbury, 2016. 228p. ISBN 978-1619-633766 hc. $16.99    Gr. 6-8   JUV FIC

Winter has arrived on the tails of the new year, as Charlie, along with several of her friends, gets ready for the upcoming feis, the competition for Irish dancers. Charlie loves everything about dancing, the unity of the dancers, the rhythm of the hard shoes on the floor, and the beautifully extravagant costumes.  The only thing she doesn't like is the cost of the those costumes.  This year she's decided to supplement her budget by ice-fishing with her neighbor and selling her catch to the local store.  One of her first catches is a small fish with green eyes that says, "Release me and I will grant you a wish."  Charlie catches the same fish, each time honing the wording of her wishes, as they seem to be granted with unexpected outcomes.  Soon Charlie's everyday problems are overshadowed by her sister Abby's heroin overdose while at college.  The whole family turns its focus to Abby's recovery, compromising Charlie's dancing dreams.  Could one last wish bring her family back to normal?  This is very serious content for a juvenile book, but Messner builds a compassionate story around the topic of addiction and drug abuse.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 

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