Wish

Wish

4.5 45
by Jake Smith
     
 

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James McConnell’s one wish is that his nine-year-old son will finally be healthy enough to play a game of catch. Then he and his wife, Emily, receive news they’ve dreaded: Aaron’s cancer has relapsed.

As the family steels themselves for a draining treatment regimen in yet another hospital, Aaron receives the gift of a lifetime—a

Overview

James McConnell’s one wish is that his nine-year-old son will finally be healthy enough to play a game of catch. Then he and his wife, Emily, receive news they’ve dreaded: Aaron’s cancer has relapsed.

As the family steels themselves for a draining treatment regimen in yet another hospital, Aaron receives the gift of a lifetime—a personal visit from one of his favorite professional baseball players—and the chance to make a bold request, his wish: to see his dad play in one major league game.

A former college standout, James fears he doesn’t have the talent it takes, even for one game, and that he’ll miss what could be Aaron’s precious last weeks. Yet how can he refuse his dying son’s wish?

Poignant and triumphant, Wish is the story of a father’s love, a family’s perseverance, and the miracles that can happen when you believe in the impossible.

Editorial Reviews

ForeWord Reviews
Smith weaves emotional tension into this spiritual story of leukemia and baseball.
A nine-year-old boy suffering from leukemia makes a selfless wish that challenges his father, in Jake Smith’s moving Wish. Their shared love of baseball adds depth to the father-son relationship.

Smith introduces his first work of fiction with the dramatic moment when James McConnell learns that his son, Aaron, first diagnosed with cancer at age five, is again critically ill. James and his wife, Emily, had dared to believe that Aaron’s five months of complete remission would continue indefinitely. Instead, Aaron, his parents, and his six-year-old sister, Elizabeth, move into a family suite at a pediatric cancer research hospital in southern central Michigan, where he faces more aggressive treatment.

The family’s emotional tension about Aaron’s illness looms large in this story. When James and Emily meet with Aaron’s new oncologist, Dr. Barna, to discuss his chances for recovery, the doctor tells them that finding a bone marrow donor match for the boy’s rare tissue type is the best chance for his long-term survival. “Define long-term,” Emily responds, wanting the most definitive prognosis the doctor can’t give.

An effective use of analogy heightens the book’s poignant message. For example, when Aaron begins to improve, the family attends a Detroit Tigers home game. James, who abandoned his dream of playing professional baseball to marry Emily, shares with Aaron the thrill of walking onto an major-league field before the game starts. A religious man, James describes the space as a “cathedral” and compares the middle of the field to a “sanctuary.” Smith writes, “He felt so small, so insignificant, and everything around him seemed so … holy.”

Smith convincingly shows Emily and James’s devotion to each other and their children.

A revealing moment occurs just as the family prepares to leave the hospital after Aaron’s

treatment has ended. Concerned about Aaron’s lack of enthusiasm for feeling better and going home, James reminds his son that he is a cancer survivor. His son replies, “No, Dad, that’s just it. I’m not a survivor. I’m just … surviving.”

Smith’s competent prose style and flawless editing reflect his professional experience as a magazine editor and author of nonfiction articles and books. A well-researched story, Wish offers an insightful look into the perils of childhood leukemia. While the focus on baseball may not interest some readers, this story of a family struggling to overcome their son’s devastating illness holds universal appeal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781414391540
Publisher:
Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date:
05/01/2014
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
264,543
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

WISH

a novel


By Jake Smith, Caleb Sjogren

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2014 Jason A. Smith
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-9154-0


CHAPTER 1

JAMES MCCONNELL LOVED THIS MOMENT, when the sinking, early May sun transformed the high school baseball field into Yankee Stadium, gilding the pitcher's mound and bases and each blade of moistening grass. With a golden brush, it painted over the field's blemishes, smoothed the pockmarks around third base, greened the scrubby grass in shallow center field, and refilled the crater consuming the right-handed batter's box. Everything softened and melted together in that evening glow, and the high school's small field, carved out of a northern Michigan swamp, became a place where profes sionals played.

The slanting sun sharpened his concentration. In the first base coach's box, he bent forward and rested his hands on his knees, legs spread wide, and studied the opposing left-handed pitcher. The teenager had just walked the leadoff batter in the bottom of the fourth inning on four straight pitches, and James recognized the pressure clenching in the pitcher's jaw. For most seventeen-year-olds, pressure meant mistakes. And James spotted one brewing in how the kid, lips mashed together in frustration, took far too long getting the sign from the catcher. James figured a wild pitch was coming. That, or a medium fastball right down the middle, a perfect pitch to hit. Either way, he told the runner on first to be ready. Sure enough, the next pitch skipped in the dirt, low and away to the left-handed batter, but the catcher blocked it, keeping the runner at first base.

James straightened, and in the few seconds between pitches, he marveled again at the evening sunshine and how it always seemed to make his baseball career feel complete—from high school star at eighteen, to promising college standout at twenty, to part-time assistant high school coach at thirty-four. It created a moment that, unlike many others in his life, felt perfect.

The moment shattered.

The runner, shuffling back to first base after the pitch in the dirt, said, "hey, Coach Mac," and flicked his head toward the first base dugout.

A burgundy SUV streaked down a paved No Vehicles Allowed footpath that wound down from the school and around the track and softball diamonds. Greg's car. A hand shot out the driver's window with a frantic wave. The SUV dipped, threatening to veer down the grassy slope toward the baseball diamond, but the driver fought back, straightened it out, and jammed the brakes. Tires screeched.

James sprinted off the field.

He knew why Greg, the school's athletic director, was there, and that perfect moment he treasured vanished. The golden light, the performance of his team, the eternal hope of an unlikely state title, his love of baseball—none of it mattered. Not anymore.

The cancer was back.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from WISH by Jake Smith, Caleb Sjogren. Copyright © 2014 Jason A. Smith. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Wish 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 45 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just once id like to read a review without all these plot spoilers revealing every detail of the story then bragging how they got their book for free for their supposed honest review. Come on. Really? You just ruined a good book by telling everything that happens. Other readers would like to read a book a discover the storyline for themselves not have you plot spoilers read a book then regurgitate the plot line back to us. Please bn, ban these plot spoilers and put a stop to this.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Loved it
meitniear More than 1 year ago
A fantastic read about a family's struggle against cancer and despair that will pull at your heart. James McConnell is ripped from life as he knows it when he gets the news that his nine-year-old son's cancer has relapsed. He struggles against despair as his dream of playing catch with his son, who shares his passion for baseball, starts slipping away. The family digs in for another battle with the disease they thought they had defeated. Then Aaron gets a visit from his favorite baseball player and makes the ultimate wish - for his dad. Aaron's only wish is to see his dad play in one major league baseball game. James, a former college star, gets to work against worry for his son, distractions, and doubts about whether he can still play well enough to get promoted to the majors and make his son's dying wish come true. As a sports fan, I loved how baseball weaved into the story. You get a look at the Detroit Tigers and their minor league systems throughout the book. Baseball, while not a perfect sport, does have some amazing players that I could see being just as caring as the characters in this book. If you're not a baseball fan, then this book may not resonate as well with you, but I urge you to stick with it for the rest of the emotional roller coaster. The wish and attempted rise to the major leagues mostly takes place in the middle of the book and really takes up less than half of the story. As a father of a young boy, this book really grabbed a hold of me. Any baseball fan will love the behind the scenes look at the different levels leading up to the big game in the major leagues, but it's the rest of the book that will pull at your heart strings. You get a good look at what a family goes through when a child has cancer. You see all the hopes and fears as they struggle through the same fight for a second time. The subtle religious undertones did not come across as very obvious or preachy in my opinion.The author and story reminds us that we all have a part to play in making someone's wish come true. I will definitely be recommending this book to everyone!
annelr More than 1 year ago
Great book. Even though I am not a baseball fan, this tale revolving around the sport caught my attention and kept me up till the wee hours of the morning to finish it. A dying boy's wish is granted and the reader is on a trip through the ups and downs of an aspiring baseball player. Despair and hope, family love and conflict through a young child's fight with returning leukemia, Wish reminds the reader what life really is all about. Wish will tug at your heartstrings, educate you about bone marrow transplants and renew your faith and hope in things that really matter. I received this book for free from BookClubNetwork and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I have also posted this review on DeeperShopping, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads. And finally...Go Tigers!
chrisg21 More than 1 year ago
Aaron has leukemia His remission just ended He wants his dad to play in a Major League baseball game so he arranges for his dad to have the opportunity to try out by first going to minor league teams. This is what gives Aaron the strength to fight the leukemia........watching his dad in his dream And be prepared for a big surprise God bless All of you
me2nc 3 months ago
So good. A great story about a child with cancer and his family that all centers around baseball. Not a huge baseball fan, but I don't think that matters, even though I like it enough. I feel like I was watching a real family go through some real emotions when their child is faced with such adversity.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Beautiful, touching story about life, love, sacrifice, and dreaming big. Excellent story-- couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This booklooks like a good book i cant wait to read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish is very well-written, and a book I would recommend to anyone.
rlighthouse More than 1 year ago
Great Book! Jake's worst nightmare came true-his son Aaron's Leukemia returned. While in the hospital for treatment  Aaron had the chance to meet one of his hero's a major league baseball player.  At the end of the visit Aaron whispered his wish to the man.  Little did Jake know that the wish was for him.  This was a powerful book about a family's love for each other going through a seemingly impossible journey. 
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Wish is a book to keep and re-read. It is a powerfully, emotional story of a nine year old diagnosed with a re-occurring leukemia. He makes a wish for his father that changes the whole family. It has a sports background but it does not distract from the heartaches of a family.The story will definitely show the need and effects of registering to be a donor. There is a need! This book has already been passed on several times and enjoyed tremendously. I recieved this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
givemethebible More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book, and I enjoyed reading, even though I don't really care for baseball. It was certainly very inspirational.
iblog4books More than 1 year ago
What an amazing book! The combination of baseball, childhood cancer, and faith make for a powerful story. While the book is definitely an emotional one, I couldn't stop reading it. Aaron is an adorable little boy and completely selfless. I was encouraged by his family and the way they supported one another. And of course, seeing celebrity athletes come together on behalf of Aaron was inspiring. This book has a special place in my heart because of the attention it brings to childhood cancer. The author got the emotions of patients and families right on the mark. And I especially appreciated the emphasis on registering as a donor with the Bone Marrow Registry. And for those who need to know if the author gives readers a "happily ever after" ending ... the book ends on a happy note. This is a book that everyone should read. I highly recommend it! [5 stars]
kristen4mk More than 1 year ago
James McConnell has had one wish for a very long time, and it's that his son, 9 year old Aaron, didn't have leukemia. Although Aaron has been in remission for some time, when the cancer comes back James is devastated - and angry. Aaron's wish is to see his dad (who was a college baseball star with solid pro potential before deciding to get married and have a family was more of a priority to him) play in the major leagues. Jake Smith's debut novel, "Wish" is the story of one family's journey to peace no matter the outcome. Baseball fans will especially enjoy the play-by-play descriptions and Aaron's savant-like stat knowledge. Check it out!
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Wish is a touching and heart warming story.Aaron is such a sweet little boy. Instead of thinking of what he wants, he thinks of what his dad wants.  Make sure you grab a box of tissues before even starting on page one. It really was a quick read for me. I thought it was a great read.  4 1/2 stars
VicG More than 1 year ago
Jake Smith in his new book “Wish” published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. takes us into the life of  James McConnell. From the back cover:  James McConnell’s one wish is that his nine-year-old son will finally be healthy enough to play a game of catch. Then he and his wife, Emily, receive news they’ve dreaded: Aaron’s cancer has relapsed. As the family steels themselves for a draining treatment regimen in yet another hospital, Aaron receives the gift of a lifetime—a personal visit from one of his favorite professional baseball players—and the chance to make a bold request, his wish: to see his dad play in one major league game. A former college standout, James fears he doesn’t have the talent it takes, even for one game, and that he’ll miss what could be Aaron’s precious last weeks. Yet how can he refuse his dying son’s wish? Poignant and triumphant, Wish is the story of a father’s love, a family’s perseverance, and the miracles that can happen when you believe in the impossible. What a mother has for her children cannot be equaled. Having said that what a father will do for his children is something to behold.  Jake Smith explores the love of a father for his son in “Wish”.  Aaron has blood cancer and may die but when given a wish he wants for his father to play in one major league baseball game. Sounds easy doesn’t it? However there is a lot of training involved to play in even just one game. Now James is faced with the training while worrying about his son. This is a marvelous story about the dynamic between James and Aaron and the deep bond they share. “Wish” is all about family. Mr. Smith has given us great characters who live and breathe on the pages and draw us into their lives so that we root for them and want them to win.  “Wish” is highly emotional but a wonderful read! Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderfully written and inspirational novel. I found myself emotionally invested in the characters, and wanting to help. Made my way to the Bethematch website as soon as I finished the book.
Maciemollysdad More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book!!  A great read for men & women alike.  Very well written with excellent characters & amazing writing.  I could easily see this book being made into a movie.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got so caught up in the story that I even cried at parts.
BeccaCarter More than 1 year ago
Great journey I enjoyed this novel, with its emotional ups and downs. The characters were great, especially the son. Some of the baseball content was over my head, but not enough to detract from the plot and my connection with the main character – I really wanted to follow him on the journey. I’m glad I picked this book!
SophiesMindset More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure I'd enjoy this book ... didn't really seem to be "my thing". I was surprised at how easily the story went by, and it promotes a worthy cause without being cliche or groan-inducing. It's a good read, and well written. Recommend. 3.5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a read...being that it was about baseball I didn't think it would interest me...but once I started reading it was hard to put down. The parts at the actual ball game made me feel like I was in the stands watching and cheering! The story of a family going through such downs and ups in their life was very heartwarming and made everything they were going through so sad at times. Everyone should read this book, baseball fan or not....you will not regret one minute of your time reading. Thank you Jake Smith for a book I will want to read again and again. SMAC
Annie732009 More than 1 year ago
This is a book for everyone, even for the people that are not baseball fans like myself. The author did an amazing job making you feel like you was really there on the field. I have read many books about kids with cancer so this book didn't make me cry (which I am so glad because I hate to cry!)but this book is a great book about Aaron who's cancer has relapsed. Aaron receives a wish and he doesn't wish for something for himself but he wants his dad to play in a major league game. How can James, Aaron's dad say no, no matter how hard it is to play for his dying son.  I recommend this book and this is a Christian book so there is talk about God and faith.