Wish by Barbara O’Connor
Fifth grader Charlie has to stay with her aunt and uncle whom she has never met while her father in is jail and her mother is mentally ill and unable to care for her or her sister, who stays at home with the family of a friend. Charlie is unhappy to be living in the Blue Ridge Mountains with “squirrel-eating hillbillies” and she has a temper which keeps her from making friends. However, she meets a sweet boy named Harold who is intent on being her friend no matter how badly she treats him. She also adopts a stray dog she names Wishbone. Charlie’s aunt and uncle are generous, caring people who provide Charlie with the love and support she needs. Every day, Charlie makes the same wish. We don’t learn this wish until the end of the book, but the reader can guess that it has something to do with making her broken family whole. However, with the love of her aunt and uncle, Wishbone, and Harold and his family, Charlie slowly lets go of her anger and learns that her wish has already come true and she has a home and family right there. A warm-hearted story of family and love.