Written by Barbara O’Connor

This is a sweet story of a young girl trying to find a place to truly belong. Charlie’s dad is in jail. Her mom is too caught up in her own self pity to even attempt being a mom. So Child Services sends Charlie to live with her aunt and uncle, two people she has never met and knows nothing about. Charlie doesn’t fit in at her new place. She’s better at fighting than making friends, not that she cares about friends. Charlie will just put up with things until she can go home…which will be any day now. Until then she keeps making a secret wish, day after day. Along the way, Charlie’s heart starts to heal. She meets Howard, the kind, ever patient neighbor boy who takes Charlie as she is. Then she gets Wishbone, the stray dog who also needs a home. Dogs are best friends for life, right? O’Connor does a wonderful job capturing the uncertainty that children face when living in “dysfunctional” families. At the end of the day, we all want a place to call home, and finding it just might be a wish come true. Beautiful story.

Review by Teresa Edmunds, Westbrook Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 3-8

Written by Barbara O’Connor
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
227 pages
Release Date: August 30, 2016
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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