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   Wish, The, by Gail Carson Levine  
  Novel, first publication in September 2000 , latest edition in September 2001
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       Additional Information  
      Ah, the ancient mysteries of life. Why are the popular people popular? What's different about them--what makes them special? In The Wish, award-winning author Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted, Dave at Night) explores the age-old question with a simple premise: a girl who is granted one wish by an old lady on the subway wishes to be "the most popular kid at Claverford." As is the fate of many who are granted only one wish, Wilma doesn't think through her wish carefully enough. While she is now adored by boys and girls alike, she is a mere three weeks away from graduating from Claverford. At Elliott, her next school, she'll be back to her lowly, oft-ridiculed self. Tension builds for Wilma until her graduation-night dance, the night before her popularity--and maybe even her relationship with her wonderful new boyfriend--will invariably come to a screeching halt. This fun, witty, insightful novel thoroughly examines the nature of "popularity," and what it means to be true to yourself. It's not just because of the old woman's spell that Wilma ponders, "'To thine own self be true.' But who was mine own self? That's what I wanted to know." Wilma is a funny, smart, no-more-awkward-than-most character with whom young readers of all social echelons will identify completely. When her popularity runs out (and the spell does end), her true friendships remain, and she's left standing on her feet.(Ages 9 to 12)

    Source: Karin Snelson,

    There's nothing wrong with Wilma Sturtz. She's perfectly nice. But nobody cares about nice at Claverford, her middle school. Wilma is left out, forgotten, ignored -- until she meets an extraordinary old lady who grants a wish: for Wilma to be the most popular kid in school. Presto! Everything changes. Now Wilma has more best friends than she can keep track of and forty dates to the Graduation Night Dance; and someone is writing her love poetry. What more could she want? Nothing! But will it last? How can Wilma make sure she is never unpopular again?

    From Gail Carson Levine, author of the Newbery Honor book Ella Enchanted, this modern-day fairy tale shows a very real girl in a very unusual predicament, and along the way it reveals some painful truths about whether or not we really want to be liked for who we are.

      Related theme(s)  
  • Magic - Magicians - Sorcerers - Witches - Wizards
  • Young Reader - Books for Children (9 to 12)

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