Gr 4–7—Seventh grader Megan Meyers doesn't know what to think when, on her first day at a new school in Arizona, a girl writes the word "ZAP" across her knuckles, and tells her "Rhena will finish that." She is even more confused when a girl named Ally writes "Do something exciting by 3 p.m. today" on the palm of her hand. Now, not only is the whole school expecting her to fulfill the "Zap dare," but she is also caught in the middle of a rivalry between Ally and Rhena, who are competing to be elected school Spirit Captain. While trying to figure out how to do something exciting, Megan notices a cat clock in her history classroom that resembles the one she once caught her grandmother wishing on at 11:11 a.m. On a whim, Megan repeats her grandmother's rhyme at 11:11, wishing that it would snow and that she would get "some magic." After class, a delivery girl gives her a mysterious box containing a magazine that promises magical makeovers, new outfits, and solutions for dealing with mean girls. And when the school day ends, the whole school is thrilled to find snow machines set up outside. Megan finds herself promising to put on a big event to help Ally win the Spirit Week election. Megan struggles to come up with a plan, all while trying to cope with Rhena's attempts to sabotage her, her crush on Rhena's friend Jackson, and her father's refusal to talk about her mother, who died in a car accident 18 months before. Megan is an appealing character who struggles to navigate a wide range of common middle grade problems, along with trying to figure out the rules of the mischievous magical clock, and coping with her underlying grief. The novel's most compelling moments are the conversations Megan has about her mom with her father and younger sister, as they slowly learn to share their loss. Although the story line is somewhat complicated, the central problem is rather quickly resolved in the end. VERDICT This middle grade fantasy is a strong choice for tweens who enjoy stories about magic and social drama.—Ashley Larsen, Pacifica Libraries, CA
When advice from the How to Survive Middle School blog doesn't work, mathlete Megan Meyers tries magic. But at what cost?Moving to Arizona after her mother's death and starting a new middle school is hard. Worse, friendly-seeming Ally and mean girl Rhena have put Megan in the middle of their rivalry and are pressuring her to create exciting events in the lead-up to spirit week. Desperate to fit in, Megan wishes on a magic cat clock, just like one her grandmother used to have, hanging on the classroom wall. First showstopper: a snowstorm! Megan should feel like the cat's meow, but she's coughing up hairballs! While Megan's home life is referenced in healthy doses, the action is firmly centered on the drama at school. Megan is endearingly transparent. Readers will empathize with her tenuous position and her tenacity despite the hilarious situations she gets herself into. Recalculating the risks, Megan continues using magic to fix her predicament, only slowly realizing that her classmates, Ally included, genuinely like her as is. Rhena is the only problem, and in true Grimm's fairy tale fashion, she gets her comeuppance. Some will find that a satisfying ending indeed. Even better is that Megan finds her voice and refuses to be manipulated anymore. The book adheres to a white default, with race and ethnicity cued by naming convention.A fine, funny fix. (Fantasy. 9-13)
Tomsic puts a pawsitively magical twist on middle school mayhem. Whimsical and wacky, The 11:11 Wish is a romp of a read sure to please young teens and tweens.
Debut author Tomsic infuses Megan’s first-person narrative with lots of personality and a distinctive voice, and secondary characters are all complex and multidimensional. Light fantasy firmly grounded in the realities of middle-school emotions.
From social outcast to social butterfly - can the enchanted cat clock grant Megan’s impulsive wish? This debut novel is full of mean girls, magic, teenage angst, and ultimately the satisfying discovery of self.
A magic-infused romp that will make you wince and cheer. Perfect for readers struggling to find their own voice in the tricky social landscape of middle school.
Readers will be enchanted by this delightful story of friends, family, fitting in, and finding yourself. The 11:11 Wish mixes the pitfalls of middle school with much humor and heart, and the results are pure magic.