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Genie Wishes

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  376 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Genie Kunkle may look like your average fifth grader, but she notices things her classmates don’t. When the school year begins, she’s elected class blogger, and it’s her job to record her class’s “wishes, hopes, and dreams.” But Genie has never been the center of attention, and she struggles to find her voice. What should she write about? Her best friend, Sarah, who’s spen ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Harry N. Abrams (first published April 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  376 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Claire Caterer
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved Genie Wishes! Elisabeth Dahl captures the rapidly changing world of fifth grade with such humor and insight that the reader falls gratefully into Genie's world, and only reluctantly closes the cover at the end. As Genie manages the many changes in her life--making new friends, letting go of old ones--she learns some gentle lessons that are never offered in a heavy-handed or preachy way. The writing style is funny and the kids are entirely believable, from erstwhile best-friend ...more
Cat Winters
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing

GENIE WISHES deserves a place on every tween girl's bookshelf next to Blume's ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME, MARGARET? Elisabeth Dahl captures the struggles, humor, and milestones of fifth-grade life through a highly entertaining young protagonist who is honest and real. Whether she's creating homemade aquarium costumes, writing for the class blog, facing the difficult subject of puberty, or navigating the complex, sometimes-painful world of preteen relat
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Finally. FINALLY, someone has taken up the Judy Blume mantle of tackling all the complexities of pre-teen life. The cover of this book led me to believe it was a little fluffier than it actually was, which is GREAT because I feel like some families wouldn't let their kids read it if it looked any edgier. Of course, it's silly for me to refer to talking about periods and bra-snapping and makeup and girl bullies as "edgy," but hopefully you understand my meaning.

Absolutely necessary in any 4th-5th
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a great book that tween girls are going to love. Readers will relate well to the friendship struggles that Genie is experiencing as well as the puberty issues and discussions that come up. The only reservations I have are about the issues of body weight and image that are very prevalent for a couple of the characters. While I'm happy the main character shrugs them off, I worry what impressionable readers might think. My own fifth grader rarely talks about those things right now and I wo ...more
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I adored Elisabeth Dahl's Genie Wishes. This funny, sweet, authentic, and often surprisingly poignant novel, captured my heart in ways that I didn't expect.

Genie starts her fifth-grade year excited to spend it with her BFF Sarah who is in her homeroom class. Genie is elected by her peers to be the fifth-grade class blogger and must write a blog post every week or so that deals with the theme of “wishes, hopes, and dreams”. Genie, whose blogger name is Genie Wishes, finds it difficult to blog at
Michele Knott
Great story! Girls will love reading about Genie and the situations she is in. I don't think it gets more realistic fiction than this. I recognize issues in the book that I see at school and in my own daughter's life.
My only warning to parents is you may want to hold off on this book until your child has gone through "The Class" (as it's referred to in the book) or you've had some version of "The Talk". :) No huge give-aways in the book, but I wasn't quite ready to hand it off to my third grade
Emily Andrus
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Dahl has captured perfectly the struggles kids face when they reach THAT age. The age where everything starts changing and puberty kicks in. Genie, as a character, has just the right amount humor, fear, courage, and naivete. I wish I had had this book when I was at that age. Even now, I feel that I can really relate my growing up years to Genie and the decisions she has to make with friends and family. Also, I read it in one evening and didn't put it down once. Basically, it's a great book and I ...more
Emma Pass
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
GENIE WISHES is a charming book. You are right there with main character Genie Kunkle as she is elected as class blogger and has to navigate the ups and downs of fifth grade. The story manages to be both funny and serious, and I loved the quirky illustrations, done by the author herself, that accompany the story. Highly recommended!
Nancy Cavanaugh
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fun school story girls will love! A great book for a mother/daughter read!
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reminds me of one of my favorite books from childhood - Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Awesome. ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I have read this book before, but this is the first time I am reviewing it. Even though the characters are younger than us, it still makes for a pretty inspiring story, and I would recommend it to people who like classic realistic fiction. Cute story, nice concept, good book. It’s also good for rereading.
Caitlin Klein
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a pretty cute book. It reminded me of when I was in fifth grade and what it was like when I was in 5th grade. This book is modern and updated from when I was in 5th grade but still very similar. I thought it was a little overboard at times but over all, this is a cool book.
Shafia Anwar
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Its a great book! I love it. Some other people should also read it, mostly girls though. I gave this a 5 star rating because it was very interesting and I really couldn't put the book down. ...more
Jasmine Rose
I may have liked Genie Wishes when I was Genie's age, but I just couldn't get into it. That being said, I didn't particularly dislike it, I just couldn't connect with the characters or their problems.

First of all, I found the writing style to be a little distant. It felt more like a documentation of events from a neutral third-party than a young girl's personal journey and growth through her fifth grade year. When I read I story I want to feel like I'm right there with the characters, like their
Katie Fitzgerald
Genie Kunkle has just started fifth grade, which is a mixed bag of good and bad experiences. Genie is glad to be in class with her best friend, Sarah, but she doesn’t particularly like Sarah’s new camp friend Blair. She is excited to start wearing a bra, but disappointed in the boys in her class who insist upon snapping the girls’ bras when the teachers aren’t looking. Most of all, Genie is thrilled to be elected class blogger, but when it comes to expressing the wishes and dreams of her classma ...more
Fifth grader Genie Kunkle faces a problem many students face: Her best friend Sarah suddenly starts spending lots of time with Blair, a new classmate that she met during the summer. Blair is much more worldly than her peers at Hopkins Country Day, and she and Genie simply don't get along. Blair's more interested in flirting with boys, trying out make-up, and watching what she eats, and she manages to attract a following. In typical Mean Girl fashion, she makes fun of just about everything about ...more
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Oh my god, this book brought back so many horrible, awkward memories of 4th-6th grade. Dahl totally nails what it is like to be a 'normal'/kind of nerdy girl in completely forgot about what it's like when you realize half the girls in your class are shaving their legs because That Girl has to point out to everybody that your legs are still hairy. I was reminded of the politics and general horrors of some tween friendships; how your best friend can transform into someone you don't even recognize ...more
Rachel Sharpe
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, juv, real-life
Genie is starting fifth grade with her best friend Sarah this year. She has big plans for the school year, all of which involve Sarah. But Sarah’s friend, Blair, from camp starts attending their school, and Genie suddenly isn’t sure if Sarah is her friend anymore.

Plus, Genie has been elected class blogger and takes her role seriously, using her blog to talk about upcoming assignments and random insights she has. Of course, fifth grade doesn’t come without its difficulties--like puberty.

Genie is
Anastasia Tuckness
I liked this book by the end, but it started slow. The writing is choppy--most page spreads have several unconnected scenes on them. At first this really bothered me, but as I kept reading, I realized that today's tweens might find that style of writing easier to relate to. The topics of the book are certainly up to date, and we can definitely use more realistic fiction about girls and their lives at school.

The worst part of reading this book was all the memories it brought back from my 5th/6th
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
"Friendships change over time, which sometimes means letting old friendships go."

A story that most girls can relate to. Genie and Sarah have been friends forever. But when Sarah goes to camp for the summer, she comes home with a new friend, Blair. Blair is starting at their school in the fall. At first, Sarah spends time with both Blair and Genie. She even encourages Genie to put her name in the hat for Class Blogger. When Genie wins, it opens up a new interest for Genie. But it's obvious that S
Sophie Riggsby / allthingsequilateral
*Review posted on Mundie Kids on 6/5/2013*

Let me tell you about Genie Wishes; I downloaded a copy through netgalley thinking that MundieTween would enjoy. Whoa! Did she enjoy it? I'd say so because she begged, pleaded and promised to help fold all the laundry (not just her own) for the entire year, if only I bought her a hardcopy of the book. She wanted to have it to re-read as she pleased. So what's a mama to do? I, of course, ran to the store and got her the copy. Let's face it, laundry foldin
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
When Genie’s 5th grade class selects her as their class blogger, she’s a little nervous, but does a good job over the months of talking about the things important to their class—like the loss of Junk Food Lunch, bra-snapping, New Year’s resolutions, and what to wear to the costume graduation party. In Genie’s own life, things are changing. Her best friend Sarah is slipping away, lured by the more glamorous Blair and her heels and makeup. Her dad is finally dating. A boy in Genie’s class has star ...more
Sep 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Genie has become the class blogger. Her blog has to be about wishes, hopes and dreams. Genie finds that she is a pretty decent blogger and really enjoys it. School isn't nearly as fun as blogging though. Her best friend Sarah seems to have changed over the summer. She met Blair at summer camp and now Blair is going to school with them. All they seem to care about is make-up and boys and each other. Genie is feeling left out and left behind. But she starts making friends with some of the other 5t ...more
Surprisingly cute story about growing up.

Genie is in fifth grade and lots of changes are coming her way. A new girl at school, Blair, is taking over her best friend Sarah, she's been asked to write the school blog, some girls are starting to wear bras, and her dad has a new girlfriend!

It's been awhile since I was in fifth grade, but the whole book felt real. Genie is a sweet girl who is just doing the best she can. There is no melodrama, just normal events that affect tweens. Sometimes people
Dena McMurdie
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is all about growing up and dealing with the changes that come with tweenhood. Genie is a sweet girl that is just trying to figure things out and remain true to herself in the process. She has to deal with a lot of changes in her fifth grade year. Friend changes, body changes, and interest changes. She has to start worrying about things she's never had to before.

This is a look at tween life and the challenges that are presented during that wonderful and confusing time in a girl's life.
Sep 08, 2013 rated it liked it
This books follows Genie through all the upheavals of her fifth grade year – her best friend has started being better friends with a boy-obsessed, makeup wearing girl from camp, things with the boys have gotten weird (the boys have started snapping bra straps and they start their “human growth and development classes”), she starts getting teased for being smart and has to handle the pressure of being 5th grade class blogger. What I appreciated about this book was how realistically it captures th ...more
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Genie becomes the class blogger for her fifth and final year at elementary school. Her entries reflect the friendship changes and challenges she personally, and her class in general, begin to experience. Quietly intelligent in a way that many of these types of stories are not. (You'll find no multiple exclamation points or capital letters to highlight drama.) I really enjoyed reading about Genie and her family and friends. Some sensitive subjects are addressed such as puberty, but they are real ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, naya
This is a year or two too mature for Naya, due to the characters being in fifth grade and going through some maturation of their own. Actually, I don't know that Naya ever needs to read it. Fifth graders texting and needing their own smartphones is not a reality we will be encouraging. I pulled this book off the shelf because I thought the author was maybe related to Roald Dahl, but no. The author does deal with some awkward growing up issues well and her protagonist is an awesome example of how ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nice contemporary story about all the changes kids go through in fifth grade. Genie is elected class blogger and has the responsibility to record the class’s hopes, dreams, and wishes. She takes it seriously and struggles to do a good job. At the same time, her best friend has taken up with the new girl, the boys are acting strange, and the nurse gives them “the talk.”

Told from Genie’s point of view and in humorous fashion with believable characters, Genie Wishes takes the reader back (or into)
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it
A thoughtful view on 5th grade life from the point of the view of Genie who is assigned to write a blog for her class. Typical family situations are handled well including Genie's dad beginning to date again (he is a widower) and her brother's resentment of the new relationship. Genie's best friend cultivates a friendship with a boy-crazy girl who wants to wear make-up too, something that's not allowed in Genie's house. Looking forward to sharing this forthcoming title with young readers at my l ...more
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GENIE WISHES (Amulet Books/ABRAMS), a middle-grade novel with line drawings, is Elisabeth Dahl's first book. Her writing for adults has appeared at, at, in The Johns Hopkins Magazine, and in other outlets. Elisabeth holds a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University and a master's degree from Georgetown University, where she was a Writing Center Associate Fellow. She now ...more

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