Saturday, October 1, 2016
WISH by Barbara O'Connor
I knew I would love the book. I love Barbara O'Connor's books. HOW TO STEAL A DOG is pretty much one of my all time favorites. In fact, I hardly ever read a book, at least a chapter book, more than once to classes. But I've read that one at least five times. And it's sitting on the chalk rail at school waiting for me to read again on Monday. I love the big truths in that novel. Love how it brings classes, even the world's squirreliest kids, into a community that cares about books, and more importantly, that cares about each other.
So I couldn't wait to read WISH. But I didn't win a copy. And so I had to wait. And wait. And wait.
It finally came out a few weeks ago. And of course, even though I am not supposed to be spending money, and especially not on books, I had to run right over to Tattered Cover and buy it. And of course, I loved it.
I loved the main character, Charlemagne Reese, better known as Charlie. When the book opens, Charlie has just moved to Colby, a small town in the mountains of North Carolina, to live with her Aunt Bertha and Uncle Gus. Charlie's father, Scrappy, is in jail and her mother won't get out of bed in the morning. On her first day in her new school, Charlie fills out a "Getting to Know You" survey. She describes her three favorite activities as soccer, ballet, and fighting.
I loved the characters that surround Charlie. Aunt Bertha and Uncle Gus haven't quite figured out the parenting thing. Charlie's room is filled with an old tv and canning jars stacked against the wall. Aunt Bertha talks a blue streak and has seven cats. She buys Cinderella pillowcases and a rainbow and pony lunch box and she puts slightly burnt cookies in Charlie's lunch.
And then there's Howard Odom, the boy who has red hair and ugly black glasses and walks with an up-down limp. He becomes Charlie's best friend and teaches her to say "pineapple" instead of slugging someone when she gets mad. He helps her to capture and adopt a stray dog named Wishbone. He forgives her when she is mean to him.
WISH is a story of brokenness. And friendship. And love. And healing. I think you should read it. You will probably love it. I know I did.