Charlie Reese is eleven years old, and she has just been moved from her home in Raleigh, NC to the home of an aunt and uncle she doesn't know in a small town in Western North Carolina. She really didn't want to be moved away from her family, and she resents the people she must stay with, showing some of the anger that she says she got from her father, Scrappy, who is in jail.
Every day, Charlie makes the same wish she has been wishing since the fourth grade. She never really tells the reader what she wishes for, allowing the reader to make educated guesses as she shows different ways to wish (on a star, on a dandelion, etc.) And then there is Howard, a strange boy from school, seems awfully eager to befriend her, and slowly she begins to allow him to be her friend, especially when he offers to help her catch a stray dog that she sees hanging around her aunt and uncle's house.
The author of How to Steal a Dog brings us another heart-string tugging story about how a dog becomes the focal point in a story of a young girl trying to make sense of tough times. Readers will feel for Charlie as she tries to figure out her own life and how to grow into her own skin with strong relationships that stand the test of her anger. I even found myself wishing along with her once I figured out what I thought she was wishing for. Wish by Barbara O'Connor (Lexile: 850; Interest Level: Grades 3-6) is another wonderful story chosen to be a 2017-2018 Indian Paintbrush Nominee. (240 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.