” Fifth grade, that’s when everything started to get weird ” says an insightful and slightly older character to Genie, main character in Elisabeth Dahl’s Genie Wishes. And weird it is, even for Genie, smart and sweet fifth grader at a small private day school. When she’s elected to be class blogger, Genie expects for the school year to be great. Everything seems to be changing, though – from boys to bras to best friends. Can Genie get through the year in one piece?
Full of humor, well-rounded characters, and all the drama of middle-school, this chapter book did an excellent job of capturing a really difficult transitional period that everyone goes through. Family relationships are well-balanced with friend and body issues.
One thing I really liked about this book is that there were lots of things that could be an issue in other books (like a parent dating after the death of a spouse, or different kinds of nontraditional family arrangements) that are just seamlessly integrated into the background of the novel. It makes the story much richer than it would otherwise be, and I think it really affords lots of kids to opportunity to see themselves in the book.
A funny and sweet book, I would recommend this title to kids who like Meg Cabot’s Allie Finkle books, or elementary school girls looking for a humorous realistic fiction read.