This sweet, funny novel follows fifth-grader Genie Kunkle through a tumultuous year. From the first day of school, Genie knows there will be good, bad, and in-between. The good? She’s in homeroom with her best friend, Sarah. The bad? Sarah’s friend from camp, Blair, is a new student at their school, and is itching to take Genie’s place as Sarah’s BFF. The in-between? Genie is excited to be elected to write her class’s blog, where she’s tasked with tracking the wishes and dreams of her class. But expressing her opinion in public can be scaryespecially when her opinion might make the rest of her class upset.
Elisabeth Dahl authentically captures the ups and downs of a tween girl’s life, and the dramasboth little and bigthat fill the scary transition between childhood and adolescence.
Praise for Genie Wishes
"Girls should identify and mothers should approve of this gentle tale of growing up."
"Upbeat slice-of-life novel."
"Here’s to reading about Genie’s sixth-grade year soon."
"The author has a keen eye for the tween girl experience: Genie’s plans for the future involve living right by her best friend and working together as dolphin trainers, while the highlight of her summer is the fact that her other friend just joined the pool. This will no doubt resonate with tween girls, and it has the charm and the discussion fodder to make an excellent mother-daughter book club selection."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is all about growing up and dealing with the changes that come with tweenhood. Genie is a sweet girl that is just trying to figure things out and remain true to herself in the process. She has to deal with a lot of changes in her fifth grade year. Friend changes, body changes, and interest changes. She has to start worrying about things she's never had to before. This is a look at tween life and the challenges that are presented during that wonderful and confusing time in a girl's life. Genie navigates through everything well and handles her problems in a very grown up way. As far as content goes, there is some dealings with the birds and the bees in an age appropriate way (Genie gets a bra, a two-piece swim suit, and has her first sex-ed class in school) and there is a lot of using the Lord's name in vain. If you are concerned about either of those things, then make sure to read it yourself before giving it to your child.
Genie's story is funny, heartfelt, and absolutely relatable--perfect for anyone who's ever lost a best friend, found a new one, or been a fifth grader. I would have loved this book as a 10-year-old reader, and I love it even more now!
I absolutely loved Genie Wishes! Elisabeth Dahl captures the rapidly changing world of fifth grade with such humor and insight that the reader falls gratefully into Genie's world, and only reluctantly closes the cover at the end. As Genie manages the many changes in her life--making new friends, letting go of old ones--she learns some gentle lessons that are never offered in a heavy-handed or preachy way. The writing style is funny and the kids are entirely believable, from erstwhile best-friend Sarah to grumbly teenage brother Ian to boy-crazy Blair. But no one is a stereotype; every one of them has depth and feeling. I also enjoyed the fact that Genie's family was a bit unusual, with her grandmother, father, and Ian living in a Baltimore row house. Her classmates' cultural diversity comes off as natural, not forced. And Dahl's whimsical illustrations in the margins make the book even more fun and interesting. I can't imagine a tween who wouldn't fall in love with Genie.