*Book picture from Goodreads.com
I was once again so fortunate to get an advanced copy of this title. It is coming out in June, and I cannot wait to share it with students! Charlie is a girl who participates in Irish dance (there is good information in the book about that activity for people not familiar with it), and she has an older sister Abby who attends college and is becoming more and more distant. When you learn the reason for her distance, it is shocking. I do not want to give too much away, but you need to know this book works well for mature older elementary kids (maybe 4th grade and above) into 8th grade. There is talk of drug use, but it is eye-opening and realistic, so unlike much of what most students learn in school from DARE programs and what-not. It is handled well, and it brings it down to a young person's level. These book does have elements of fantasy as Charlie has found what she thinks is a "wishing fish" that offers to grant wishes in exchange for its release. However, the fish brings about a realization in Charlie that certain things just cannot be wished for or wished away. It is a powerful mix of fantasy and realistic fiction, and I think it would really keep the interest of a lot of readers. I am definitely checking out more by this author!