Genie Wishes

Elisabeth Dahl. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0526-7
First-time author Dahl underscores the message “Change is okay” in this upbeat slice-of-life novel chronicling Genie Kunkle’s last year of elementary school. The year comes with surprises, which are not all good, including the arrival of a new fifth-grader, Blair Annabelle Lea, who usurps Genie’s position as Sarah White’s best friend. But Genie makes other friends and is thrilled to be elected class blogger, which requires her to write weekly posts for the school Web site tying classroom events to the school’s yearlong theme, “Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams.” Genie’s posts prove to be a success, and as the year progresses, there are more firsts in store for her: shaving her legs, wearing a bra (and getting it snapped), and watching her widowed father go out on dates. Compassionate, optimistic, and creative, Genie overcomes conflicts with bullies and gossipers with grace and learns that she can find happiness just by being herself. Anxious upper elementary school readers will relate to Genie’s social conflicts and comfort in the book’s uncomplicated, speedy resolutions. Ages 8–12. Agent: FinePrint Literary Management. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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