cover image Wishes and Wellingtons (Wishes and Wellingtons #1)

Wishes and Wellingtons (Wishes and Wellingtons #1)

Julie Berry. Sourcebooks Young Readers, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-7282-2325-4

After 13-year-old Maeve Merritt’s temper gets her in trouble, yet again, at Miss Salamanca’s School for Upright Young Ladies, she’s sentenced to several days of rubbish sorting, where she makes a startling discovery: a sardine can in which resides bad-tempered djinni Mermero. While Maeve determines how to best enjoy her resultant three wishes, she must deal with bullying classmates, inquisitive roommate Alice, and Tom, a spying orphan. Maeve uses one of her wishes to launch Alice, Tom, and herself on an adventure; they wind up in Persia, where they face Mermeros’s frightening, shape-shifting family. That encounter’s repercussions follow them home, where unscrupulous forces seek possession of the djinni’s powers. Berry’s (Lovely War) globe-spanning romp balances tongue-in-cheek humor with a heartfelt focus on found family and friendship as the newly minted trio face impossible odds, both mundane and supernatural. Though colonialist elements reflect outmoded cultural standards in line with the 1896 setting, Maeve’s drive to eschew marriage and propriety in favor of independence conveys a message of female empowerment. Ages 8–11. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Oct.)