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What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  117 ratings  ·  26 reviews
A stellar collection from Newbery medalists and bestselling authors written to benefit Darfuri refugees

With contributions from some of the best talent writing for children today, What You Wish For is a compelling collection of affecting, inspiring, creepy, and oft-times funny short stories and poems all linked by the universal power of a wish - the abstract things we all w...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 15th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
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Starred Booklist

In her foreword to this moving anthology, actress Mia Farrow says that every child she has met in Darfur and in other war-torn African regions has a dream, a wish for a better future. This collection of stories about the power of wishes is being published to help raise money to establish libraries in the Darfuri refugee camps of eastern Chad, thereby, perhaps, making a few of those wishes come true. Contributing their work free of charge, the writers offering stories and poems ar...more
Heather
Great short stories about wishes....
My favorites were:
The Protectionist by Meg Cabot
The Great Wall by Sofia Quiintero
Reasons by John Green
The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Ann M Martin
The Rules for Wishing by Francisco X Stork
Patricia J. O'Brien
What a great collection of short stories and poems, all built around wishes but none remotely the same in the road they travel. WHAT YOU WISH FOR is written by a powerhouse of authors and edited by Stacey Barney to benefit Darfur refugees, whose country has been torn apart by genocide resulting in 300,000 dead and more than 3,300 villages destroyed. Those who fled to Chad live in camps where survival is basic. Proceeds from the sale of WHAT YOU WISH FOR will help supply books--a lifeline to educ...more
Heather
I don't know that I've ever been a huge fan of short stories, but lately short-story compilations have really been growing on me. I thought this was excellent work, too. A couple of the stories may not have been the greatest ever, but I thought there were some really outstanding ones, as well. I also loved how each story somehow incorporates a wish or wishing. Many of the wishes were quite surprising and the authors' various approaches were unique and intriguing. All of the stories seem appropri...more
Jennica
Jennica Munden
Poetry
Critical analysis: It is an interesting compilation of reads that will teach you more than a thing or two about the culture in Darfur, as well as presenting the occasional image of a child from Darfur to produce a certain connection to the people and their plight.

Opinions: While I found some of the works to be quite entertaining and insightful, depending on the reason of its composition, I could not get in to many of its works.

Summary: It is a considerably large collection of...more
JennLynn
A nice idea to raise funds for Darfur, and an outstanding selection of contributors. I found the actual stories and poems to be very uneven, though and rather disappointing considering the authors' credentials. The ones I felt were best were Meg Cabot's "The Protectionist" and Ann M. Martin's "The Lost Art of Letter Writing". Jean DuPrau's "Pearl's Fateful Wish" was ok too.
Tenley Nadine
I bought the book pretty exclusively to help the BookWish Foundation without really knowing what the stories were about. Still, I enjoyed a lot of them and my love for R.L. Stine was replenished. Not that my love for him ever went away, but the point is his story was my favorite.
Elle Drue
This collection of short stories and poems was created by the non-profit organization Book Wish Foundation in hopes of honoring Darfur by using proceeds to build libraries for refugees in Chad. It contains works from Newberry medalists and bestselling authors such as Meg Cabot, John Green, Cornelia Funke, R. L. Stine, and Ann M. Martin. Fluctuating from somber to humorous, all of the works within the volume are tied together through the universal theme of wishing. Despite this anthology’s humble...more
Shannon
This book is a collecton of short stories created by a various of aurthors to raise money for refugees in Darfur. Each story has its on special meaning that relates to simple wishes like home, family, safety and love which is why i choose the book. I like how it was related to do something helpful and insprining. The short story i read was The Sky Blue Ball. Where the teenage girl simple wish is to forget everything and be like a kid again. Forget the sterotypes of her town and doing school work...more
Julia
These nineteen stories and poems aren’t set in Darfur, or even Africa, which to me, is a bit of a shame. But between each story there are pictures of Darfur, which is nice. Francisco X. Stork’s “The Rules for Wishing” is about Pablo in a group home learning to forgive his mother who is in prison. Micah Feldman in John Green’s “Wishes” is obsessed with Aisha the girl in Kashmir his mother has “adopted.” Little Dave Newburgh with Asperger’s is being bullied by Cody Caputo, the football coach’s son...more
Abbie
Eek.

Okay, so, the level of talent in this book is unbelievable. John Green (whose story in this actually wasn't half bad, if I'm being fair) who, obviously, I worship; Ann M. Martin, who wrote the Babysitter's Club, which was the third series ever (the first two being Narnia and Harry Potter) I obsessed about; RL Stine, Cornelia Funke, etc. All incredible writers.

But... God. So few of these were even half good, and though most of the ones by my favorite authors were at least ENTERTAINING, each a...more
Matt
I can't remember this book and, like I've said before, collections are difficult to rate.
So let's skip to the John Green bit. Yes, it's poignant. You could read the Alexander McCall Smith and the John Green bits and call it good. Probably.
Ari
I liked Jane Yolen's poem "Wishes" and the story "Reasons" by John Green the best. But none of these stories truly stuck with me, I read this anthology awhile ago sometime in the summer and remember few of the stories. I wish there had been a few stories about actual Darfur refugees and the people who work to assist the refugees. Most of the characters in the stories were two-dimensional and very plot-driven. Its perfectly fine for a book to be plot driven but only when the characters are stron...more
Isabelle
By far my favorite short story collection! Many stories made me think, and I learned many lessons from them. The theme of wishing and wishes really sparked my fire. I liked some more than others, but I really did enjoy reading them all. The last story, "The Sky Blue Ball" really stood out to me. It took me a minute to figure out why the book ended in a kind of sad way, but there was actually a lesson behind it. Hope you like it as much as I did!

Also, I enjoyed the reasoning behind the books, whi...more
Cheri
Some of these stories and poems were wonderful and others I didn't care for. I liked Ann M. Martin's "The Lost Art of Letter Writing" and Francisco X. Stork's "The Rules for Wishing." I think they will be great for 7th and 8th grade students. I also liked R.L. Stine's "Funny things" and I think 5th and 6th grade students would enjoy this one.
Josiah
This collection of stories centers around wishes - reasonable and fantastical. People just like your neighbors mingle with characters from fairy tales. Their purpose is to remind you that real people in our world have wishes too, and we can grant some of their dreams.

Writing: A
Plot: A
Vocabulary: A
Level: Easy
Worldview: Various
Anne
Borrowed from school library. Book is raising money for libraries in darfur, to help all students, including refugees. Ideally suited to all students, particularly young adults. It consists of a collection of short stories and poems written by famous writers including a number of Goodreads authors such as Alexander McCall Smith.
Gabrielle Carolina
This book really shows me that short stories are not for me. I either want the story expanded (Stork) or am bored and can walk away easily (anything other than Stork, or Green.) I loved Jane Yolen's poem contribution, and thought John Green did his short story the greatest service, giving it the most balance.


Amy
A selection of short stories around the idea of wishes...a couple good but most left me kind of empty...I honestly couldn't tell you what more than one or two were about and I just finished it a few days ago. Not a bad book but nothing that stuck with me. It is for a good cause, so that in itself has value.
Monica
A collection of short stories and poems about hopes and dreams intended to raise funds and awareness for Darfur. My favorite short story was The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Ann M. Martin. Favorite poem: I Wish I Could Live (In a Book).
Lisa K
Short stories, poems, and a comic on theme of wishing. Good ones by DuPrau, Quintero (a making friends across liness kind of story), Green (outstanding, NYer-worthy poignant humor), Martin, Voight (a take on Cinderella).
Alexandra
Love the point of this, but the stories were mixed in quality. There's a John Green story in here (one of the better ones in the book) if you're scrambling to find more of his stuff to get out to readers.
Diana
The overall idea for the stories in this book were pretty good but I just couldn't get that comfortable with them. I liked them, there was just something missing to actually make them very memorable.
Marcia
I really enjoyed many of the stories in this collection. Now I have new authors to explore.
Bianca
This was a nice book to read when u just want to read like multiple stories. I didn't read sll
Aruthi Paramasamy
such a good book you should read it
Meghan Nelson
Meghan Nelson marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2014
Anna Unkreativ
Anna Unkreativ marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2014
Julia Vaughn
Julia Vaughn marked it as to-read
Oct 16, 2014
Monish
Monish marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what...more
More about Alexander McCall Smith...
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency  (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1) Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #2) Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #3) The Kalahari Typing School for Men (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #4) The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #5)

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“You may think this a strange story, but it is not. There are people whose lives are every bit as unusual as Bobby Box's--I can promise you that. Not all of them end as well, of course. For many people, the world is a place of sadness and sorrow, which is a great pity, as we have only one chance at life, and it is very bad luck if things do not go well.
But even if you think they are not going well, you can still wish, as Bobby Box did. And sometimes those wishes will come true, as his did, and the world will seem filled with light and happiness. That can happen, you know. So never give up hope; never think things are so bad that they can never get better. They can get better, and they do. And if you have the chance to make things easier for another person, never miss it. Stretch out your hand to help them, to cheer them up, to wipe away their tears. Stretch out your hand as that man and that woman did to Bobby Box. Stretch out your hand and see what happens.”
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