WISHES AND WELLINGTONS, by Julie Berry, Sourcebooks Young Readers, Oct. 13, 2020, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 8 and up)
A girl discovers the power of a wish in Julie Berry’s Wishes and Wellingtons, the first book in a series for middle graders.
Maeve Merritt chafes at the rigid rules at her London boarding school for “Upright Young Ladies.” When punishment forces her to sort through the trash, she finds a sardine tin that houses a foul-tempered djinni with no intention of submitting to a schoolgirl as his master.
Soon an orphan boy from the charitable home next door, a mysterious tall man in ginger whiskers, a disgruntled school worker, and a take-no-prisoners business tycoon are in hot pursuit of Maeve and her magical discovery. It’ll take all of her quick thinking and sass to set matters right. Maeve Merritt is one feisty heroine you won’t soon forget. —Synopsis provided by Sourcebooks Young Readers
Wishes and Wellingtons is one of the most delightful adventures I’ve read this year. In it, Julie Berry has created a world where finding a djinni makes perfect sense. That comes down to two things — characters and settings.
Maeve is the perfect protagonist. She has spunk. She’s smart and doesn’t want to be pigeonholed into society’s expectations for girls and women. She wants more. And when given the chance to break free of those bonds, she takes it. Like Maeve, her friends are layered and add nuance to the novel.
Maeve’s boarding school is reminiscent of that in The Little Princess, with a headmistress that would give Miss Minchin a run for her money. But it’s not just the school, it’s the streets of London and other places (I won’t say where as to not spoil the story) that make this such a fulfilling read.
Wishes and Wellingtons is the first book in a planned series that is well worth your time. It’s a fast-paced read that’s full of mystery and adventure.
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