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Saturday, 10 April 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For - Edited by Lois Metzger

Be Careful What You Wish For
Ten Stories About Wishes

Edited by Lois Metzger

Scholastic

ISBN 9780439933346

This collection of ten short stories is all about wishing. It is also a warning about wishes not always going the way you expect no matter how careful you think you are being. It is also about real wishes, when you are desperate and need help and sometimes it comes through, often from unexpected people. It is a good collection. The contributors are:

Louise Hawes
A. LaFaye
Gail Carson Levine
Patricia McCormick
Andrea Davis Pinkney
Liz Rosenberg
Catherine Stine
Rachael Vail
Deborah Wiles
Jane Yolen
Heidi E.Y. Stemple

And now for a look at each of these pieces and see where a simple wish can take us.

Wish Week
Gail Carson Levine
What would you wish for if you went to a school and everybody in the 6th grade got a wish and knew it would come true? Now you know you need to be careful because you do not want Post Wish Trauma, and your wish will only come true for the week. Or what if you cannot decide on a good safe wish. That is the situation for Tam.

That's the Way the Fortune Cookie Crumbles
Louise Hawes
You think your life stinks. Your older sister got the looks, the brains and the talent. Then one night at dinner you get a fortune cookie different than everybody else's. The owner says it is like a scroll fragment monks use. You think you might have a real wish. What would you wish for - to trade places with your sister, to make her pay? … read and find out.

Our Pig, Satin
Andrea Davis Pinkney
Every day you wish for a pet pig. You dream of the pig, you have conversations with it. Your mother and grandmother mock your dreams and consider you sour when you sit and wish and dream. But maybe wishing isn't so bad after all, especially if you share your wish with a new friend.

Five Djinn in a Bottle
Liz Rosenberg
Five little genies trapped in a jar. One grumpy man trying to make careful wishes. But maybe one genie would be bad enough but trying to outwit five? Heaven help the man.

Black Sheep of the Family
Patricia McCormick
Ever wish one day you would wake up and be told your family wasn't your family? There was a mistake at the hospital, you were adopted. What if it happened your cousin told you that you were, and you started to believe it? How would you determine the truth? Would you try the scientific method?

The Fashion Contest
Catherine Stine
You and your arch rival at school end up in a fashion-walk off for history class. How did you let that happen to your tomboy self? Read and find out.

The Reason I will Love John MacFarlane Jr. Until the Day I Die
Rachael Vail
This is an incredibly moving story. It almost brought me to tears. Who has not been touched by cancer? Best in the bunch.

Be Careful What You Wish For
Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple
How would you react if, when you hit a rock with a Karate punch you woke a Genius Loci? You ask him to fix your family because you just learned that your parents are splitting up. He laughs at you and tells you it isn't his department. But maybe he sends his friend to visit you - a fairy godmother. You know wishes in stories don't often work out the way you expect, so you are very careful about the wording you use. So how come everything seems to be going sideways?

Beggar's Ride
A. LaFaye
You wish your twin brothers would be quiet, or considerate or even just less obnoxious. But then they go missing at a truck stop. Would you really wish them gone?

Star Light, Star Bright
Deborah Wiles
You are poor, at a new school and in a new town. You wish for just one friend, a real friend. What if it seems your wish is coming true? And yet things are not always what they appear. But sometimes, just sometimes, we do realize our wishes. Read and find out how.

This collection was a good collection of short stories, but not really my favorite. I had read another collection Bites! Stories to Sink your Teeth Into, by the same editor. This one is a little too much Chick-lit for me. But good stories overall and would definitely be good for younger female readers. Again, as a tribute to Metzger's editorship, there was not a story that I really didn't enjoy.

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