When Charlie Brennan goes ice fishing on her town's frozen lake, she's hoping the fish she reels in will help pay for her dream: a fancy Irish dancing dress for her upcoming competition. But when Charlie's first catch of the day happens to be a talking fish offering her a wish in exchange for its freedom, her world quickly turns upside down, as her wishes go terribly and hilariously wrong.
Just as Charlie is finally getting the hang of communicating with a magical wishing fish, a family crisis with her older sister brings reality into sharp focus. Charlie quickly learns that the real world doesn't always keep fairy-tale promises and life's toughest challenges can't be fixed by a simple wish . . .
Acclaimed author Kate Messner expertly weaves fantasy into the ordinary, in an important story of self-reliance and hope that will open readers' eyes to the wonders and challenges of their world.
About the Author
Kate Messner is passionately curious and writes books that encourage kids to wonder, too. Her titles include award-winning picture books like Over and Under the Snow, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, and How to Read a Story; novels like Capture the Flag, All the Answers, and Breakout; theFergus and Zeke easy reader series, and the Ranger in Time historical chapter book series. Kate lives on Lake Champlain with her family and is trying to summit all forty-six Adirondack High Peaks in between book deadlines.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Charlie is a normal middle class girl who loves Irish Dancing, has some good friends, two working parents, a sister starting college, fear of deep water and some upcoming issues that are pretty tough to deal with. She would like to move up to higher levels of competition, but doing so requires a lot of dedication and resources. She finds out that she can make money by going fishing and selling her catch to the local bar owner. When she is out fishing with her neighbor, Drew, and his grandmother, Mrs. O'Neill, Charlie hears a fish whom she has caught speaking to her, saying that it will grant her a wish if she releases him. What Charlie finds out though is that wishes do not always turn out the way she wants them to. One thing she does wish for is that the fear of deep water will disappear and that seems to happen. She wishes for things to happen to her friends, her mother and her sister. Things get more serious, however, when her sister's heroin addiction is discovered. The parents manage to get her into a program, and Charlie has to spend her Saturdays visiting Abby at the facility-- and lying to her friends about it. She wants to be supportive of her sister, but also wants to keep advancing with her dancing. Will wishes make everything right or is the issue her sister is dealing with beyond wishing away. This is a modern day fairy tale with a message. Some things take hard work and support to happen. There are some difficult issues in this book but I would not hesitate to recommend it to teachers of older students (gr. 6 to 9). The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Charlie's life is dance, but her family has put her needs to the side. Her older sister is away at college and her parents are both dealing with busy lives. Charlie takes up ice fishing with the neighbors and is surprised by a magical fish that grants her wishes. She learns the danger of not making her wishes specific, and sees the results of how wishes aren't always what you think they will be. Her sister is dealing with a heroin addiction, affecting the rest of the family. This book would be great for a middle grade student dealing with addiction in their family, as it shows the sister going through a treatment center, the feelings associated with that, and how treatment doesn't always work. While the magic fish is a fantasy, the rest of the book will be very realistic for some kids.