Review: Dreamer, Wisher, Liar

dreamerwisherSometimes you need a little magic in your life.

I mentioned earlier in the year that one of my reading goals for 2014 is to read more middle grade fiction. I set this goal with the idea that it would be good to get outside of my usual reading choices. You see, I tend to read realistic teen fiction more than any other genre or age range, and I find that sometimes I want something a little different. Maybe something a bit more magical…

At first glance I thought Dreamer, Wisher, Liar by Charise Mericle Harper would be a realistic novel about a girl who spends a summer missing her best friend who has moved away. Well, it was actually about that, but there was a bit of a twist. In the midst of missing her friend, Ashley discovers a jar filled with wishes in her family’s junk-filled basement. A jar full of wishes is pretty interesting in itself, but it gets even more interesting as soon as she pulls out a wish. When she reads it, she is transported back in time where she gets to watch two unfamiliar girls navigate their own changing friendship. Each wish gives her a glimpse into their story. Pull out one wish: the girls seem to be best friends. Pull out another wish: they are barely speaking. What happened between them? How does it connect to Ashley’s present?

All she wants to do is figure out this mystery, but the wishes have to wait. Ashley’s mom needs her to spend the summer looking after Claire, the seven-year-old daughter of a friend who has just passed away. Claire needs a lot of attention, and she asks a lot of questions. Ashley is sure she’ll never get a moment to herself, much less a chance to sneak down to the basement to read more wishes.

Eventually we see the present and past tie together in ways that Ashley doesn’t understand until the very end. I enjoyed putting the pieces together so much that I didn’t even mind that I got it well before Ashley did. I think many young readers will feel the same.

Hand this book to tween girls who like friendship stories and don’t mind a little bit of magic.

 

Dreamer, Wisher, Liar by Charise Mericle Harper. April 2014. 9780062026750. Gr. 4-6

 

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