cover image The Seventh Wish

The Seventh Wish

Kate Messner. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-61963-376-6

Twelve-year-old Charlie—a devoted friend, loving sister, enthusiastic Irish dancer, and budding ice fisher—has read enough stories to know not to be greedy when making wishes, so she is extra careful when a wish-granting fish turns up at the end of her ice-fishing pole. She isn’t always careful, however, to be specific with the wording of her wishes, leading to muddles for her friends and family in this rich and daring novel. What initially seems harmless becomes seriously hurtful when well-meaning Charlie is unable to wish away a loved one’s struggle with addiction, and the book takes a hard but important turn from the ordinary fun of middle-school crushes, sibling rivalry, Irish dancing, and fish-wishing into drug abuse and its aftermath. As she did in All the Answers, Messner lightens a heavy theme with a bit of magic (this time the talking fish rather than a talking pencil) while humanizing a growing epidemic and helping readers understand that even “good people make awful mistakes.” Ages 8–12. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (June)