cover image Dreamer, Wisher, Liar

Dreamer, Wisher, Liar

Charise Mericle Harper. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-202675-0

Harper’s voice-driven story glows with slow-growing optimism and moments of magic. Ashley’s summer is off to a rough start when she learns that her best friend Lucy is moving away; besides the all-around awfulness of losing a friend, Ashley relies on Lucy because of her own face blindness, an inability to recognize people. Then Lucy’s mother announces that Claire, the seven-year-old daughter of a family friend, will be staying with them for a while. Upset at these turns of events (as well as Lucy’s temporary departure for summer camp), Ashley is shocked to discover a jar full of paper wishes in the basement, which magically allows her to be an invisible witness to the changing friendship between two unfamiliar girls. In between fulfilling Claire’s various demands for their days together, Ashley pieces together the girls’ story, though readers may guess the connection long before she does. Still, Ashley’s colorful interior life and growing self-confidence, along with dashes of romance and mystery, combine elegantly in this story about growing up and the way friendships evolve. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)