What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur

Book Wish Foundation. Putnam, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-25454-3
Short stories that revolve around wishes form this volume created to raise money for Book Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to build libraries for Darfur refugees living in Chad. Mixing poems, stories, and even a comic, the book includes offerings from 18 all-star authors such as Meg Cabot, Alexander McCall Smith, Cornelia Funke, Joyce Carol Oates, Nikki Giovanni, Ann M. Martin, and R.L. Stine. Works range from humorous to poignant, but the theme of wishing unites the volume. Cynthia Voigt’s retelling of Cinderella, which puts her stepfamily at the forefront, is a standout; others include Francisco X. Stork’s heart-wrenching story of a 15-year-old living in a group home while his mother is in prison, and John Green’s profound and funny contribution, told in lists, about a boy who falls for the picture of the orphan his mother is supporting in Kashmir. The essay that closes the book, by Book Wish cofounder Logan Kleinwaks, offers a clear, concise picture of the plight of the more than 100,000 refugees from Darfur and their wishes for a better future. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/08/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
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