Sunday, November 19, 2017
The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner
I like Kate Messner's books and have used two of them on my sixth grade reading list over the years so I was surprised to find out that I'd missed this one along the way. I only heard of it now because I follow School Library Journal and they posted an article about The Seventh Wish. Part of that article talked about how Messner had been disinvited to speak at some schools or told not to talk about this particular book because their community didn't have a drug problem. Well now I HAD to read it!! Like All the Answers, this one has that bit of magic but is still mostly just realistic fiction, especially since the magic does not solve the MC's problems, just works to reveal that there are problems in the first place. What starts as a somewhat light story of a girl dealing with typical middle school problems becomes much more serious but in a totally realistic, saddening way as the extent of her sister's heroin abuse comes to light. Messner does not shy aware from the realities of living with an addict but it is never inappropriate for a middle school crowd who - spoiler alert for those who don't deal with them all the time - are aware that people take drugs! Furthermore, many of them are dealing with family members who take drugs. Messner offers no easy answers and left me feeling the heartbreak of loving a person who now has an issue to deal with for the rest of her life while you are left to work through your worry and anger at them. A really touching, well done book.