Thursday, July 28, 2016

Two Shorter Reviews: The Seventh Wish and The Lost Compass

So, I've taken a short hiatus from the blog recently.  I spent some time in South East Alaska and boy is it beautiful!  A bit chillier than home, but I got to see some orcas, whales, sea otters and plenty of sea stars (I never knew they aren't called starfish anymore).  Even though I was away, I did get the chance to read a few books and these are two that I wanted to comment on.  

26073068Hardcover, 240 pages
Published:  June 7th, 2016 
by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: MG Realistic Fiction, 
Source:  Library

I remember when The Seventh Wish was released reading the controversy about some of the content of the book and how the author was even disinvited to a book signing at a school.  Having read a few of Messner's other books, I admit I was curious so I decided to read it for myself.

First line:  "I've only seen the ice flowers once."

Charlie and her older sister Abby have a tradition, each year they go down to the lake near their house and look for the ice flowers, but this year since beginning college, Abby has changed.  Because of this, Charlie spends time with her next door neighbor and her friend Drew's grandmother ice fishing.  It's on one of their fishing trips that Charlie reels in a fish that speaks to her and offers a wish in exchange for letting it go, which Charlie eagerly agrees to.  What can it hurt?  When Charlie's first wish sorta comes true, she keeps looking for her magical fish for more wishes.  At first, Charlie wishes for things for her friends, but eventually, she tries to get the fishes wishes to help her family.  As the difficulties within Charlie's family begin to surface, her reactions to them have a very authentic feel.   Charlie gets mad at her sister, feels cheated, and is jealous of all the attention her older sister is getting.  She's a kid trying to process something that she should never have to deal with, her sister's addiction to heroin.  Her feelings make sense and I appreciate that Messner doesn't take the easy way out and doesn't just make Charlie's sister all better at the end.  Heroin addiction can be a difficult subject to begin with, then imagine trying to write it geared toward middle-grade children, which I believe Kate Messner did with a unique sensitivity to this age group.  As a parent, I wish this book wasn't necessary, but there are children in my own community who could use this kind of book, so I'm delighted to know that my library ordered a copy for it's collection.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published:  May 24th, 2016 
by Harper Collins
Genres: MG Fantasy
Source:  Library

The Lost Compass is the sequel to The Fog Diver, which won the Cybils Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction award.  I recall really enjoy the fast paced action and the technological aspects that went into the nanites and creation of the fog.  The Lost Compass takes place after the crew of "slumkids" have escaped to Port Oro where they finally find someone who can help cure their beloved Mrs. E of her fogsickness.  Every good deed seems to have its price, and now the people of Port Oro want Chess to locate a Compass that can stop the fog.  With Lord Kodoc hot on his trail and driftsharks still waiting for Chess within the fog, things are more dangerous than they've ever been. Packed with lots of action, air battles and of course Chess plunging into the fog, this was definitely a perfect book to read on my vacation.  


  1. How awesome you went to Alaska. I've been hearing a lot about The Seventh Wish. Glad you enjoyed it. And yes, it's good that Kate didn't take the easy way out with the sister.

  2. I remember hearing about Kate's visit being cancelled, but I had no idea what The Seventh Wish was about. I agree that it is sad that a book like this needs to be written- but I know people who have become addicted to heroin and I think this will hit home with some MG kids. Thanks for sharing about both of these.

    Alaska sounds like an amazing place to visit! So happy for you that you got to get away.

    1. Thanks Jess, it was a great trip with the family. I heard about the cancellation as well, so sad, I've heard her talks are really informative. If this book even helps one kid it seems like it would be worth it.