cover image The Christmas Genie

The Christmas Genie

Dan Gutman, , illus. by Dan Santat. . Simon & Schuster, $15.99 (150pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-9001-7

So what does a genie have to do with Christmas? Plenty, in Gutman's goofy middle-grade novel. After a genie emerges from a meteorite that has crashed into Chase's fifth-grade classroom, Chase (a personable, funny narrator) and his classmates must decide on one wish. Most chapters are devoted to a single potential wish—Chase's is “I wish I had all the money in the world”—as the kids weigh their options. Despite the ample silliness, Gutman works in discussion of topics like war and divorce as well as the ethical and global ramifications of the various wishes. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)