Wish

( 8 )

Overview

Bee?s brother, Tommy, knows everything there is to know about sharks. He also knows that his life will be cut short by cystic fibrosis. And so does Bee.
 
That?s why she wants to make his wish-foundation-sponsored trip to swim with a great white shark an unforgettable memory.
 
But wishes don?t ...

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Wish

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Overview

Bee’s brother, Tommy, knows everything there is to know about sharks. He also knows that his life will be cut short by cystic fibrosis. And so does Bee.
 
That’s why she wants to make his wish-foundation-sponsored trip to swim with a great white shark an unforgettable memory.
 
But wishes don’t always come true. At least, not as expected. Only when Bee takes Tommy to meet a famous shark attack survivor and hard-core surfer does Tommy have the chance to live one day to the fullest.
 
And in the sun-kissed ocean off a California beach, Bee discovers that she has a few secret wishes of her own. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Fifteen-year-old Bee's younger brother, Tommy, has cystic fibrosis and is an avid shark buff. After a wishgranting charity fulfills Tommy's dream to see great whites up close, Bee, 11-year-old Tommy, and their mother fly from New Hampshire to San Francisco. But after the outing proves disappointing, and their single mother seems more focused on a new man than on family, Bee and Tommy travel down the coast to meet Tommy's pen pal and hero, Ty, a surfer and shark-attack survivor. There, Bee finds friendship, including a potential romance with Ty's 16-year-old younger brother, while Tommy gets his longed-for sea adventure, which ends up being difficult and inspiring. Bee's intimate, first-person narrative is wholly compelling and emotionally resonant. Monninger creates diverse, well-drawn characters, and Tommy's illness is portrayed without sentimentality, in straightforward detail. Interspersed among the breathtaking, vivid descriptions of events and settings are shark facts (further discussed in an author's note) that illuminate nature's brutality and beauty. What shines most, though, are the relationships among characters, particularly between conscientious, school-achiever Bee and courageous, touching Tommy. With mutual admiration, support, and love, they draw strength and perspective from one another and together gain further appreciation for human frailties and resilience. An absorbing, beautifully written novel that will affect readers on many levels. — Shelle Rosenfeld
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Bee will do just about anything for her younger brother, Tommy, who has cystic fibrosis, and she's happy to accompany him on a charity-funded trip to California to grant his biggest wish: to encounter sharks, the animal with which he's obsessed, in their natural habitat. The trip becomes a bit of a disappointment, however, when Tommy's serious and intent conoisseurship is diluted by what's really a glorified tourist whale-watching trip, and when Tommy and Bee's mother gets diverted, as usual, by men. Bee decides to make it up to Tommy by taking him on an unsanctioned excursion to see his email buddy and idol, a surfer who survived a shark attack, and she thus opens up a world of new possibilities, both wonderful and dangerous, for Tommy and for herself. Monninger is probably the best writer going at melding breathtaking human drama and fascination with the natural world; Tommy's shark obsession, credibly the thorough, tireless expertise of the bright kid who's studied way beyond most adults, gives the book an opportunity to explore the sharks' world as well as to convey key aspects of Tommy's character. Narrator Bee is moving as the disciplined, capable, and utterly devoted older sister, who respects her thoughtful little brother above everyone but still engages him in goofy sibling back-and-forth, and who hasn't really had much chance or desire to think of herself independently. Particularly heartwarming is the portrait of the group of surfers who take Tommy under their wing, giving him a chance, albeit a risky one, at experiencing a camaraderie and competency that for once isn't shadowed by his illness. Fans of Monninger's other works will recognize the fluid, thoughtful writing and vivid characters, and this could also be an eye-opener for shark aficionados looking to take their interest beyond the glitz of Shark Week.--(DS)
From the Publisher
"A compassionate, wholly absorbing story about 15-year-old Bee, her beloved 11-year-old brother, Tommy, who has cystic fibrosis, and their sometimes-flighty single mother, who travel from small-town New Hampshire to San Francisco via a wish-granting organization for kids with life-threatening medical conditions. Tommy, with a quiet, intelligent intensity, is a shark expert whose dream is to dive with great white sharks "because they are the apex predator fish and they fascinate me." Bee, responsible and high-achieving, is protective of Tommy and hopes that this trip to the Farallones will give him one exciting day "filled all the way up." But it's an unplanned expedition to Half Moon Bay and Maverick's Break, a surfing location known for its 50-foot waves, that affects both of them deeply. Writing from Bee's point of view using clear, distinctive prose that is interspersed with Tommy's intriguing facts about sharks, shark attacks, whales and the ocean, Monninger adroitly creates a moving, suspenseful story of survival that is part surfing adventure, part nature-and-science tale. A winning generosity of spirit infuses the narrative, particularly regarding shark/animal conservation."
-Kirkus Reviews, starred

"Fifteen-year-old Bee’s younger brother, Tommy, has cystic fibrosis and is an avid shark buff. After a wishgranting charity fulfills Tommy’s dream to see great whites up close, Bee, 11-year-old Tommy, and their mother fly from New Hampshire to San Francisco. But after the outing proves disappointing, and their single mother seems more focused on a new man than on family, Bee and Tommy travel down the coast to meet Tommy’s pen pal and hero, Ty, a surfer and shark-attack survivor. There, Bee finds friendship, including a potential romance with Ty’s 16-year-old younger brother, while Tommy gets his longed-for sea adventure, which ends up being difficult and inspiring. Bee’s intimate, first-person narrative is wholly compelling and emotionally resonant. Monninger creates diverse, well-drawn characters, and Tommy’s illness is portrayed without sentimentality, in straightforward detail. Interspersed among the breathtaking, vivid descriptions of events and settings are shark facts (further discussed in an author’s note) that illuminate nature’s brutality and beauty. What shines most, though, are the relationships among characters, particularly between conscientious, school-achiever Bee and courageous, touching Tommy. With mutual admiration, support, and love, they draw strength and perspective from one another and together gain further appreciation for human frailties and resilience. An absorbing, beautifully written novel that will affect readers on many levels." -Booklist, starred
Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Fifteen-year-old Bee, her single mother and little brother Tommy, eleven, are on a plane from their home in New Hampshire to California, for—literally—the vacation of a lifetime. Tommy has cystic fibrosis; he is determined to pack as much as possible into his shortened life. Thanks to the Blue Moon Foundation that, in Bee's words, are "a bunch of people who ?mean well' find out about sick kids and they go to a lot of trouble to give the kid one big experience before the kid gets so weak and screwed up he can't appreciate anything any longer," Tommy's big day is a chance to swim (diving cage) with big white sharks in the cold waters off of San Francisco. Tommy is a shark nut, who knows more than almost anyone about sharks. "Tommy Shark Facts" are sprinkled throughout. He also has a collection of stories about surfers' frightening encounters with great whites, in particular a surfer named Ty Barry who escaped a shark attack that left him with a shark-bitten surfboard. Bee, an overachiever herself, mothers Tommy more than their mom who is well-meaning but craves a real life with romance. The shark "experience" is a huge disappointment: the three are placed upon a bay cruise on rough water—no swimming, diving or even good spotting—along with group of mentally handicapped children. The family makes the best of it, each in his/her own way. Mom finds a date, and Bee and Tommy sneak away to visit Tommy's hero, Ty. What results is a journey of discovery, undreamed-of adventure and the best experience of all: belonging to a group of caring people who treat Tommy as just one of the guys, while Bee experiences first love with Little Brew, Ty's son. This is an enchanting book, warm and wonderful, with very human characters created by the author's extraordinary writing as in this description of a wave: "A single thread of water, frayed and delicate, flickered at the top. The gut of the wave, though, pushed its belly forward and for a second it didn't seem as though it would break. But it had to break." The characters are so compelling that the reader remembers them, cares about them long after the book is returned to the shelf. What an achievement. And what a lesson: "... maybe wishes weren't something you hoped for, but instead, something that found you...." Reviewer: Judy Crowder
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—A victim of cystic fibrosis, 11-year-old Tommy downplays his condition and feeds his fascination with sharks. He has studied them for years, learning about their survival instincts. Tommy often struggles for breath, but he keeps a marathon pace as his bank of knowledge about these animals grows. He writes an autobiographical essay, enters a contest, and wins a trip to California to go on a shark watch. His 15-year-old sister, Bee, who mostly takes care of him, and his single mom, who mostly doesn't, join him. While on the boat, Tommy hopes against hope that his wish will be granted: to be lowered in a cage to experience the creatures eye-to-eye. A combination of seasickness and the dangerously rough sea nixes that. Bee, hovering and all-knowing, makes a pivotal decision: Tommy's daily struggle for life must not be all that he experiences. While their mother is out on an all-night date, the two set off to meet a local hero of sorts—a young surfer who lived to tell about a shark attack. Tommy, Bee, the surfer, and his younger brother form an instant bond. They hang out, do the California dreamin' thing, and give Tommy a surfing adventure he'll never forget. The flip side—and not surprisingly—he almost dies. This is as much Bee's coming-of-age story as it is Tommy's. Her narrative about her brother's condition and tangential situations of drama, romance, and their mother's behaviors often compromise the story's punch.—Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
Kirkus Reviews

A compassionate, wholly absorbing story about 15-year-old Bee, her beloved 11-year-old brother, Tommy, who has cystic fibrosis, and their sometimes-flighty single mother, who travel from small-town New Hampshire to San Francisco via a wish-granting organization for kids with life-threatening medical conditions. Tommy, with a quiet, intelligent intensity, is a shark expert whose dream is to dive with great white sharks "because they are the apex predator fish and they fascinate me." Bee, responsible and high-achieving, is protective of Tommy and hopes that this trip to the Farallones will give him one exciting day "filled all the way up." But it's an unplanned expedition to Half Moon Bay and Maverick's Break, a surfing location known for its 50-foot waves, that affects both of them deeply. Writing from Bee's point of view using clear, distinctive prose that is interspersed with Tommy's intriguing facts about sharks, shark attacks, whales and the ocean, Monninger adroitly creates a moving, suspenseful story of survival that is part surfing adventure, part nature-and-science tale. A winning generosity of spirit infuses the narrative, particularly regarding shark/animal conservation. (afterword) (Fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375862137
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 2/14/2012
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 692,976
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Monninger has published eleven novels and three nonfiction books for adults as well as two novels for young adults, Hippie Chick and Baby. He lives in New Hampshire.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Wish

    Wish is very moving and thrilling. Its also has a hint of education, shark facts at least, love (plenty, 1 couple, 2 sibling, and family) Heres my summary:
    Tommy, a young boney 11 year old boy. He can't breath sometimes because of problems in his lungs. He has CF.... His older sister, Beatriz, or Bee, takes care of her brother in every single way. She's also the president of her school, and many clubs. Tommy loves Great White sharks. He knows where sharks hunt, live, patrol, you name it! So when a man named Ty Barry lives a shark actack, (though his surf board now has shark teeth marks,) he becomes Tommy's best friend through email, because while Tommy and Bee are in cold New Hampshire, Ty is living the life of a surfer in California. When Tommy sends a letter to a company that helps kids with problems, they give him a ride to Calofornia for him, Bee, and their mother. Even better, a chance to swim with sharks! But when Tommy doesn't get to swim with his sharks, Tommy's and Bee's mother using Tommy's vacation as a chance to meet a guy and leave them at the hotel room, Tommy and Bee leave for Ty's house. Where Ty and his amazing brother, Little Brew live.....dangers wait for them thoguh, and a real sharks in it!

    I reccomend this book to 6th graders and up, even adults amd people in older age. It shows you how you can really love something that other people don't, and might even hate. And to be honest, I now think sharks as something else, not a deadly animal that kills, but an animal just like us. Just killing other things to live. (Unless your a vengie I guess though.) Read this book, it will make you see shark sand people in a total different way...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2014

    Bethany hamilton

    Shes a surfer and survived a shark attack. They couldnt have put her in there

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    Cas$**+*:-++7%yup-+:&$

    I don't know;)?

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 1, 2012

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    Posted February 17, 2011

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    Posted January 13, 2014

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    Posted May 25, 2012

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