Review: Genie Wishes

Genie Wishes

by Elisabeth Dahl

Find it at: Your library | Amazon | Indiebound

Published: Amulet Books (April 2, 2013)

Recommended reading age: 8 & up

In a nutshell: I’m 29-years-old and I love blogging. If blogging was around when I was in 5th grade I probably would have been all about it then, too. When I was in 7th grade I created by own zine called Yummy Fiction and Poetry. Lame, I would publish my own poems and poems of other girls may age as well as include book reviews. Lame, I know, but I loved it.  You could say I’ve been attracted to editorial work and the art of sharing from a very young age. So, when I first heard of Genie Wishes, a middle grade fiction book about a girl who is chosen to be the class blogger, it caught my attention immediately.

Genie Knuckle is a smart, quiet 10-year-old girl who keeps to herself and enjoys hanging out with her best friend, Sarah. Little does Genie know that with the start of 5th grade, everything is about to change. On the first day of school, new girl Blair arrives with her fashionable outfits, makeup, and boy-crazy attitude. Genie’s intuition is red flags despite who cool Sarah says she is.  On the second day, the girl’s homeroom teacher announces that their class is going to be apart of a new class blog program hosted on the school’s website. Both Sarah and Genie’s grandmother persuade her to enter, and to her surprise she wins! The theme for all the class blogs are “Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams”, so Genie and Sarah agree that Genie’s blogger name should be “Genie Wishes”. But when Sarah starts to cling to Blair, Genie slowly starts to fade out of the picture. Genie is also confronted with the social changes going on in her classroom, as well as her peer’s and her own body image (read: puberty). Lucky for Genie, she has a gift with words and channels her confusion or thoughts into blogging, and finds a voice she never knew was there.

5th and 6th grade is a rough age. Its when the growing pains really start to kick in. Some boys start to notice girls and some girls start to notice boys. Some just aren’t there yet. Bodies start changing and confusion is rampant. With all the changes and growth, people change and as a result friendships change. Do you remember that time in your life? I sure do. It sucked. And for that reason, I was so impressed with author Elisabeth Dahl and how she handles these changes going on in Genie’s life. Genie’s experience is universal and I think it would be comforting to readers in that age group going through very similar issues in their own lives. I adored Genie and I have a feeling tweens, especially tween girls, will enjoy her story just as much as I did.

Don’t take my word for it: “If I was a fifth grader now, I know Genie would be a character I would keep close to Margaret [from Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume] in my heart. Both would teach me about growing up and comfort me when I felt lost. Genie Wishes is a beautiful book that belongs in your middle grade classroom libraries.” – review via Katherine Sokolowski featured on The Nerdy Book Club


Extras: Learn more about Genie Wishes and author Elizabeth Dahl, on her website.

Source of book reviewed: Review copy provided by the publisher at ALA Midwinter.


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