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The Seventh Wish

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  3,226 ratings  ·  681 reviews
Charlie feels like she's always coming in last. From her Mom's new job to her sister's life at college, everything seems more important than Charlie. Then one day while ice fishing, Charlie makes a discovery that will change everything . . . in the form of a floppy fish offering to grant a wish in exchange for freedom. Charlie can't believe her luck but soon realizes that ...more
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  3,226 ratings  ·  681 reviews

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Joy Kirr
My 7th grade friends... I will purchase a copy for everyone on my team (and even take pictures to project the pages so students can read along while we read!) if we decide to read this aloud during homeroom next year. This would be so much more powerful than making posters with catchy phrases on them during Red Ribbon Week.

8th grade girl narrator, Irish dancing, ice fishing, magic, siblings, humor, science, and heroin addiction. Kate Messner pulled out all the punches in an easy-to-read book th
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I want to give this book 10 stars

Charlie feels like she's always coming in last. From her Mom's new job to her sister's life at college, everything seems more important than Charlie. Then one day while ice fishing, Charlie makes a discovery that will change everything . . . in the form of a floppy fish offering to grant a wish in exchange for freedom. Charlie can't believe her luck but soon realizes that this fish has a very odd way of granting wishes as even her best intentions go awry. But whe
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A modern day fairy tale about a young Irish dancer who, trying to make some money to buy herself a dance dress, catches a magic fish that grants wishes if she'll let it go. Her first few wishes are rather whimsical, but then real struggles affect her family: can Charlie just wish them away? Should she? At times funny, at other times heartbreaking, this book looks at family dynamics, addiction, middle school, and Irish dancing with keen eyes and a lot of heart. Despite the heaviness of some of th ...more
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes I should just listen to my students more.

I read All the Answers last year and passed on my copy to students with my blessing: it’s a rock-solid book for upper middle grades readers, and the premise about a girl with a magical pencil that tells her all the answers, anything from who a celebrity is dating to the last problem on a math quiz, is engaging. What I didn’t tell them was that I thought that the book was kind of safe, there was plenty of moralizing to be had, and that the ending
Ms. Yingling
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Charlie has a decent life, but middle school is hard. Her overachieving older sister, Abby, is off at college, and she misses her. Her mother is a part-time school nurse, hoping to find a full-time job, and her father is an English teacher. Charlie participates in Irish dancing and would like to move up to higher levels of competition, but doing so requires a lot of dedication and resources. When she is out fishing with her neighbor, Drew, and his grandmoth
Abby Johnson
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
After there was so much controversy over this title being available in an elementary library, I had to read it to see what I thought. This is probably my favorite of Kate Messner's books so far. It's a powerful and age-appropriate story of a family member's drug addiction. It's no more graphic than what kids may already learn if they have a DARE program at their school and I'd have absolutely no problem in handing this to 5th graders (maybe even 4th graders) and up. This would be a great choice ...more
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I totally wish no one ever needed a book like this to understand other families have experienced the same thing. But ... they do. And Kate Messner has written a very true and kid friendly version.

I shelved it in realistic because the kid who would need this one? Looking more for books about real life issues than wish-granting, magical fish. I shelved Crenshaw in realistic, too. Genres. They don't always fit neatly.
Holly Mueller
This book reeled me in hook, line, and sinker. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Kate Messner writes the perfect middle grade novel: accessible, captivating, realistic (even when there's magic), emotional, suspenseful, and honest. Twelve-year-old Charlie has a lot going on. She wants a very expensive, very beautiful solo dress for Irish dance (what an interesting sport for a main character to pursue - I've had a couple students involved in Irish dance, and I find it fascinating), a st ...more
Ashley Blake
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Absolutely beautiful. An essential, important read. I hope this book finds the kids who need it, because it deals with real struggles. Ugly struggles, but real, and ones that we do kids no favors by sweeping under the rug. This book is empathetic and fierce. Loved it so much.
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I always enjoy Kate Messner's books. They make me laugh and cry. I always make it a priority when a new one comes out. I followed the controversy that accompanied the release of The Seventh Wish closely. I reference that, because as someone who read all of Kate's blog posts (and the comments on them) before reading the book, I found my reading affected by it. That in turn will affect this review. I'm going to attempt to do it in two parts
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Charlie is a normal middle class girl who loves Irish Dancing, has some good friends, two working parents, a sister starting college, fear of deep water and some upcoming issues that are pretty tough to deal with. She would like to move up to higher levels of competition, but doing so requires a lot of dedication and resources. She finds out that she can make money by going fishing and selling her catch to the local bar owner. When she is out fishing with her neighbor, Drew, and his grandmother, ...more
T.J. Burns
The Seventh Wish is so much more than I expected. I started reading, and immediately I was captivated by the characters. I thought it was a fun, magical middle grade story, so I went back and restarted it with my 9-year-old daughter. Soon we were both pulled into the fun, still thinking this was a light, magical story. We were inspired to watch a slew of Irish dance videos on You Tube.

And then it gets deep. And heavy. And suddenly my daughter and I were having long discussions about (view spoile
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book at the library because of the cute cover and promise of a funny fantasy about a talking fish granting wishes. I wanted something cute to read during Spring Break. Boy, this book is far from that!

Charlie, a younger sister needing some extra money for a dance contest dress takes up ice fishing for the winter. After catching a fish that grants wishes if you throw it back, Charlie finds a way to start messing up other people's lives with her wishes - quite by accident. On the d
Alex  Baugh
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Twelve-year-old Charlie (Charlotte) Brennan loves Irish step dancing, and for Christmas, her parents had given her a $300. promise towards a dress in which to compete at a Feis or Irish dancing competition. Charlie and her friend Dasha both are hoping to move up to advance in the next Feis. Charlie decides to do some ice fishing with her friend Drew and his Nana, Mrs. McNeil, to earn some extra dress money by selling the fish she catches.

The only problem is that Charlie is actually afraid of th
Bridget Neace
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: vrc-18-19
I started out absolutely LOVING this book. I don't enjoy regular fishing (I find it boring) and I've never gone ice fishing, so it was interesting to learn about something new. I was VERY intrigued by the fresh take on the trouble that wishes can bring. I REALLY enjoyed learning about Irish dancing; I took dance classes when I was younger (traditional ballet and pointe) and I think I would have enjoyed this as well. :)

This novel takes a very serious turn. As always, I avoid spoilers (because peo
Julie Wasmund Hoffman
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an important book. Kate Messner addresses the fear and powerlessness that a child faces while watching a loved one struggle with addiction. Messner introduces her reader to the ideas that addiction does not just happen to "those people", that addiction affects a whole family, and that there is hope. Through the story of Charlie and Abby, Messner addresses a difficult topic in a manner that is safe and honest for intermediate readers.

I know that Kate was recently booked to speak at a sch
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Seventh Wish is a meaningful exploration of family, addiction, and the little touches of magic that bring hope to every day life. Charlie is a 12yo girl with ambitions--she's determined to rise in the ranks of Irish dance, a challenge that requires both time and money.

Unfortunately, Charlie's family doesn't have much of either, so Charlie comes up with a plan to raise funds for a new dance outfit by catching fish and selling them to the local fish guy. This plan starts off strangely, though,
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m a junior in highschool, and I absolutely adore Kate Messner’s middle-grade books. Why? Because they are so quirky and down to earth, and I always finish them 1) knowing a bunch of random cool facts on just about any topic, 2) laughing over the minute details that add everything to the story (flour bag babies and mascot costumes and dried insects for instance), and 3) with an amazing message and depth that the author so giftedly weaves into all the hecticness. (I also love how supportive she ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This will be a very good discussion book for my kids at the library this summer. I have heard that a lot of people do not want this book in their child's library, but I did not see anything that would indicate that this book is above a 4th or 5th grade student's understanding. I think that it is great that this book is out there. So many kids are being affected by drug addiction, and I think this book addresses that issue very well, and I also like that it isn't tied up with a pretty ...more
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Seventh Wish and Lily & Dunkin might be the most important books of 2016. Charlie's voice is reflective of middle grades kids, it's accessible, it questions things that real kids question and it still has a bit of that egocentrism that we know kids have at her age.

The bit of fantasy mixed in with the important themes is perhaps, my favorite part. The little dose of magic that all children (and a lot of adults) are seeking in life. Learning that the true magic lies within us and our relation
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book. Amazing. Every middle school student should read this book. Yes, it deals with the topic of heroine use, but in a realistic (yet age-sensitive) "it's-horrible-what-heroin-will-do-to-you-so-don't-ever-try-it" sort of way. It's hard to describe the book so that kids will want to read it, but I will make it my goal to put this book into students' hands and hopefully word will spread. Very highly recommended for 6th-10th graders.
Sally Kruger
THE SEVENTH WISH and author Kate Messner have been receiving criticism recently. After hearing complaints about the subject of heroine abuse appearing in this book for younger readers, I headed to the book store to pick up a copy and judge it for myself.


Charlotte "Charlie" Brennan has two new passions - Irish dancing and ice fishing. She and her friend Dasha have been taking Irish dancing lessons for about a year. Their goal is to earn medals in an upcoming co
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What starts out as a fun book about a magical talking fish turns into a powerful story about family, adversity, and hope. Charlie is excited about the upcoming feis (Irish Dance competition) where she hopes to be able to move up to the Novice class. Her parents have given her $300 towards a dress for it, but she decides to go ice fishing with her friend Drew to earn even more. Their first time out, she catches a small fish that pleads with her to release it in exchange for a wish. When that wish ...more
Emmy Neal
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read this at work in a single sitting. Irish dancing and science are unique and adorable hooks, but the premise of this book focuses on the talking fish (hilarious) and her sister's heroin addiction.

Maybe it's my family history, maybe it's just fantastic writing, but I connected to this book in a way I don't most MG novels. Before reading this book I didn't think you could fit heroine addiction into a middle grade plot without twisting something crucial, but Messner not only pulled it off realis
Kate Messner's did a fabulous job of showing a family going through a very difficult time. I don't want to spoil the book, so I'm being careful on how I'm talking about it. There is a bit of magic in this one, but that doesn't distract from the very serious issues that come up.

Unfortunately, far too many children will have family members who are going through these challenges, but this book will say to them that they are not alone. It will also show other readers what it might be like to go thr
Sandy Brehl
It's inconceivable to me that any school or library would ban or decline this book. It is a well-researched, well-written story layering somewhat routine/everyday issues with more substantial concerns, including family/sibling conflicts and addiction. The magical realism of being granted "wishes" is nicely pursued within the reflections of the main character. I particularly appreciated the DARE program references and Charlie's eventual realization that a "promise" easily given is one easily brok ...more
Jeanie Phillips
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kiddo
I gotta say, I was not altogether enthusiastic about the premise of this book: a 7th grade girl catches a fish that grants wishes... but this was a lovely read. Charlie has a pretty good life; she likes school, has lots of friends, and is well loved by her family. Her biggest concern is raising money to buy a dress to wear to Irish step dancing competitions. Then her family discovers that her older sister, a college freshman, has become addicted to heroin. Messner handles this difficult topic wi ...more
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been on a good reading streak lately. Charlie is scared of the ice and really into Irish step dancing. She misses her big sister Abby who has started college. When her friend Drew convinces her to try ice fishing, she catches a fish that says he can grant wishes. But wishes are tricky things. They don't always turn out the way you want.

This book also deals with addiction, which is one of my favorite aspects. I think it would be an excellent bibliotherapy choice for siblings of addicted chi
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A must read by all ages, Middle School and up. This is the story of Charlie, who is trying to save enough money to buy her first Irish Dance solo dress, but who suddenly finds out her older sister is a heroin addict. This discovery throws the family into chaos, and Charlie must decide if she can ever trust her sister again. Through her journey, Charlie learns that her friends will always stand beside her, and that wishing doesn't solve anything.
Sarah Levy
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Instead of showing those videos with the greasy-haired people in D.A.R.E. classes, they should show kids like Abby. Soccer forwards and calculus students, student council presidents and homecoming queens and big sisters."

This book could be the window or mirror you didn't even know your students needed. The way Kate Messner weaves the difficult topic of heroin addiction into a story of family is SO well done. I will have multiple copies of this book in my classroom library.
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Mock Newbery 2021: July Read - The Seventh Wish 26 250 Nov 14, 2016 05:47PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner 2 14 Nov 13, 2015 08:00AM  

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Kate Messner is an award-winning author, TED 2012 speaker, and former middle school English teacher. Her books for kids include THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z.,SUGAR AND ICE, and EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury Dec. 2010) the MARTY MCGUIRE series (Scholastic), SEA MONSTER'S FIRST DAY, and OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle, Books). Kate also wrote SPITFIRE and CHAMPLAIN AND THE SILENT ONE, bot ...more

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