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  • By lsalamy
    Feb 2, 2010
    REVIEW: A Boy Called Wish Imagine being nine. The only family you had is gone. Your foster dad’s a grouch. And the school bully is all over you. What would you wish for? Edward, the quiet protagonist of the novel A Boy Named Wish, worries. A lot. But he’s hopeful too. There’s nothing Edward would love more in the world than to be adopted by the Lawrences. The book follows Edward through his first year or so with “Mom” and Mister Lawrence, who slowly becomes “Joe” and then “Dad.” But will they really become Mom and Dad? Do they even want to? This is the question that’s on Edward’s mind as the new family members adjust to one another over the months. Edward’s character is well drawn; to this reader, he is a real nine-year-old, with all the hopes and insecurities and confusions to prove it. Much of the boy’s angst stems not just from his status as a “foster child” but as a typical pre-teen. This is particularly well illustrated when Edward is off fishing and hiking with his “foster dad.”... More > Edward fears the man doesn’t love him and worries that he cannot possibly live up to Joe’s expectations. Meanwhile, he can’t help but tell you—and Joe—what’s on his mind. What preadolescent can? The dialogue and Edward’s voice are natural sounding, though at times the prose can be a bit wordy as to slow the book down unnecessarily. According to the authors, A Boy Called Wish was written with seven- to ten-year-olds in mind. I suspect that the younger or less capable readers might benefit from the presence of an adult either reading to or with them. This could also engender good conversation. I fear that today’s older readers (ten and above) might not have the patience to “go the distance” with Edward. My own daughter would have bogged down in the first pages, wondering why Edward doesn’t play with his Nintendo more. Nature adds its color and figures prominently in Edward’s world. There are excursions to the beach and the woods. The lessons learned—perseverance, standing up to one’s fears, self-reliance—underscore the boy’s story. Clearly, the Provenchers are fans of the idea that children benefit from being in the out-of-doors. Hurray for them! If only more children could know what they’re missing while they stare at their LCD screens. Interestingly, the Provenchers employ a bit of fantasy during the earlier parts of the novel. They’re well integrated into the story and disappear as Edward becomes more comfortable in his new surroundings. I must say, though, that I did rather miss them then. My favorite is the passage detailing how Edward deals with his grandfather’s death: “As the plane climbed towards the stars, he felt a thrill. Edward was flying all by himself. He began his journey to look for Grandpa. He’s out there somewhere. He has to be.” A Boy Called Wish is really about a child discovering relationships and how to make them work. Richard and Esther Provencher are particularly well suited to tell this tale, themselves being the parents of four children, one of them adopted. If you are willing to slow down and live Edward’s adventures, you will most certainly be rewarded.< Less
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Product Details

InkSpotter Publishing
November 24, 2009
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.43 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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