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by Barbara O'Connor
published by Farrar Straus Giroux
Charlie Reese is a fighter-literally. When she isn't working on controlling her temper, she's busy finding ways to make a wish. The wish. She has wished the same wish since fourth grade. But now that she's had to move to a brand new town with a bunch of "hillbilly kids" she's not sure how her wish will ever come true.
My Two Cents
I really enjoyed this book. Books that explore the concepts of "home" and finding out who you really are at your core are always appealing to me. This is one of the many reasons I loved Liesl Shurtliff's Rump. I really enjoyed Charlie's character being "real," not a stereotypical tomboy. She is much more realistic...she longs for love, and like the kids that need it most, she shows it in the worst ways. I fell in love with her immediately.
The story is propelled by Charlie's desire to catch a dog in the woods...and to also find ways to wish everyday! There is such a sweet balance between Charlie's childlike faith in her wishes and the harsh realities that she has known. In some ways this book reminded me a bit of Missing May, but I can't quite put my finger on the why...but if you know how much I adored Missing May, then you know this is high praise!
I also loved the relationships. The relationship with Charlie's mama and her Aunt Bertha, the relationship between Bertha and , the relationship between Charlie and Howard--they are all fantastic and you can see pieces of your relationships in them. At the moment I'm a bit obsessed with Meyers Briggs categories and it was so easy to peg Howard as an INFJ. "The thing about Howard was, you could be with him and talk or you could be with him and not talk. He liked you either way." Relationships are not always easy to convey in literature, but O'Connor nails them in the simplest and most clear way. She doesn't bog them down with too many details, but allows the reader to fill in the gaps.
In short, Barbara O'Connor has written another stand out book that I am happy to recommend to you. You will not be sorry you read it. Enjoy!