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 scary—especially 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 dramas—both little and big—that 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
First-time author Dahl underscores the message "Change is okay" in this upbeat slice-of-life novel chronicling Genie Kunkle's last year of elementary school. The year comes with surprises, which are not all good, including the arrival of a new fifth-grader, Blair Annabelle Lea, who usurps Genie's position as Sarah White's best friend. But Genie makes other friends and is thrilled to be elected class blogger, which requires her to write weekly posts for the school Web site tying classroom events to the school's yearlong theme, "Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams." Genie's posts prove to be a success, and as the year progresses, there are more firsts in store for her: shaving her legs, wearing a bra (and getting it snapped), and watching her widowed father go out on dates. Compassionate, optimistic, and creative, Genie overcomes conflicts with bullies and gossipers with grace and learns that she can find happiness just by being herself. Anxious upper elementary school readers will relate to Genie's social conflicts and comfort in the book's uncomplicated, speedy resolutions. Ages 8 12.