Wish Upon a SleepoverWish Upon a Sleepover
Year: 2018
Author: Suzanne Selfors
Length: 208 pages


While the story of “stone soup” has been around for a long time, and traversed many cultures, apparently it needed another re-telling in the form of this book. Wish Upon a Sleepover is a pretty standard middle-grade book that seeks to teach a number of lessons about judging others while managing to create some interesting characters with unique and modern quirks. It is through these characters—and not necessarily the primary protagonist—that any child who decides to read this book can learn how to interact with others. The irony is that the central protagonist is probably better described as the antagonist of the story.

Even though this book is stated as being appropriate from children from grades 3 to 7, as a result of this somewhat broad range of ages, it seems to be more geared toward the low end of the range, while having characters from the upper part of the range. Don’t get me wrong, there are still lessons there for everyone, but it might not challenge a pre-teen’s reading level and might not be entirely relevant for a 3rd grader. My only other qualm, which usually accompanies media directed toward this age range, is the inclusion of bodily humor. Yes, farts are funny at these ages, but do they need to be included every time?

Despite some of my more technical qualms with Wish Upon a Sleepover, what it lacks in these areas it makes up for in heaping handfuls of heart. As I mentioned earlier, the ancillary characters are unique and interesting, and all have insecurities and anxieties that any child can potentially relate to (many adults can probably see themselves in these characters as well). The skill in which the author spins these storylines together to reach a number of emotional climaxes should be commended. If you’re not crying—or close to it—during one of these moments, then you just aren’t paying attention.

A touching middle-grade book about the importance of not judging others, I give Wish Upon a Sleepover 4.0 stars out of 5.

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