Approx. 5.5 hours, 4 cassettes
There is nothing wrong with Wilma Sturtz that a little popularity won't fix--or so she thinks.And luckily for her, she meets a witch on the subway who makes her wish to be popular come true.Almost instantly, Wilma becomes the center of attention at her junior high school.She has more friends than she can keep track of and forty invitations to the Graduation Night Dance--plus someone is writing her love poetry.What more could a girl want?But what will happen when the wish ends?How can Wilma make sure she is never unpopular again?
In this original modern-day fairy tale, Gail Carson Levine takes an ordinary girl and gives her an extraordinary chance, and along the way reveals the truth about what it really means to be popular.
Ah, the ancient mysteries of life. Why are the popular people popular?What's different about them--what makes them special? In The Wish,award-winning author Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted, Dave at Night) exploresthe age-old question with a simple premise: a girl who is granted one wishby an old lady on the subway wishes to be "the most popular kid atClaverford." As is the fate of many who are granted only one wish, Wilmadoesn't think through her wish carefully enough. While she is now adored byboys and girls alike, she is a mere three weeks away from graduating fromClaverford. At Elliott, her next school, she'll be back to her lowly, oft-ridiculed self. Tension builds for Wilma until her graduation-night dance, the night before her popularity--and maybe even her relationship with her wonderful new boyfriend--will invariably come to a screeching halt. This fun, witty,insightful novel thoroughly examines the nature of "popularity," and whatit means to be true to yourself. It's not just because of the old woman'sspell that Wilma ponders, "'To thine own self be true.' But who was mineown self? That's what I wanted to know." Wilma is a funny, smart,no-more-awkward-than-most character with whom young readers of all socialechelons will identify completely. When her popularity runs out (and thespell does end), her true friendships remain, and she's left standing onher feet. (Ages 9 to 12) --Karin Snelson ... Read more
Customer Reviews (134)
The Wish takes place in modern day.It is about Wilma, a self-conscious girl, who is very smart but wants nothing more than to be popular.In true Carson spirit, Wilma stumbles across an old fairy.The fairy agrees to grant Wilma one wish.And Wilma wishes for popularity.
This book is a wonderful perspective of the teenage girl and the difficulties she has.The characters are great, and so is the plot.
I recommend this book to all girls.
Lacks some spark
I am a huge fan of Levine's Ella Enchanted, which is a gorgeous adaptation of the Cinderella story.I was disappointed to find that this book lacks the spark of Ella.I think this is partially due to the difference in settings, but only partially.
Wilma was a much weaker character than Ella.I found it easy to identify with Wilma's insecurities and, as a former teacher and former student, I understood her desire to be popular.However, I was disappointed to find that this seemed to be the be-all and end-all for Wilma.We learn very little about her other than the fact that she's lonely, her writing is unconventional, and she is prone to the same peer pressure struggles as many girls her age.We never really get to find out what her hopes and dreams are and the things about which she is passionate.Ella Enchanted provided us with a heroine who had a great deal of conviction, cut I found that lacking in Wilma.It wasn't that I disliked her character, just that I felt she was more of a cipher than anything.She could have been replaced with another character and the story would have worked equally well.
One thing I would have liked to see this book do is explore the issues of popularity a bit more.We do find out that the popular girls sometimes have their own fears and insecurities, but I think this was a good opportunity for an exploration of the stresses that go along with being popular, and Levine missed it.I was hoping for Wilma to do some reflecting on why it might be nice to be a little less in the public eye.Still, I did really like that Levine made the popular girls a little more multi-faceted, and that they were basically good girls (with the exception of Suzanne) rather than the stereotypical bad girls.I liked that their popularity didn't ensure happiness.
What I liked best about the book was the theme that friends like you for who you are, not what you are.Wilma wanted to be a part of this group not just because they were cool, but also because she liked their personalities.That is, I think, very valuable in an age that seems as though superficiality is the general rule.While I'm not sure that the theme of popularity was examined as thoroughly as it could have been, I thought Levine did a nice of job of dissecting which friendships are really worth having and which are not.
Additionally, I was glad to see that Wilma's actions ultimately had consequences.This added an extra facet to the story, the question of whether manipulation is ever right.
The bottom line is that, while I did find this to be a pretty good story, it wasn't one that struck me as particularly memorable.Still, it hasn't put me off Levine's writing.I'll continue looking for the magic of Ella in some of Levine's other works.
Too Much Kissing for 12-yr-olds
A book intended for middle-school girls, but fairly shallow ones. Should we really write about middle-school girls who think popularity and boyfriends and kissing are the most important things in the world?
A bit magical, as most of Levine's books are, this one is about an unpopular girl who has a wish granted by a fairy. Her wish -- to be the most popular girl in her middle school -- inevitably comes to an end when middle school ends, and she must go to high school. Will she still have friends? Will she still keep her boyfriend who kisses her on every street corner? Will she learn that she is a good person whether she is popular or not? A rather hackneyed plot, and not anywhere near as good a book as Ella Enchanted, or many of Gail Carson Levine's other books.
A great read
"The Wish" by Gail Carson Levine has clear wording and completely constructed characters. It's a great modern story around the moral "be careful what you wish for". Wilma Sturtz's best friends have gone away, and because of a paper that her teacher read aloud, she's been isolated. In the prologue, Wilma gives a sick-looking old lady her seat, and ends up becoming popular. Suddenly half of the boys in the eighth grade are asking her out to graduation night, and she has limitless friends, including Ardis, another popular girl that Wilma wanted to be friends with, and Suzanne, the thin-faced gossip, amongst the entire school. Then she realizes that there is a loophole in her reckless wish. Now she can only wait and see what will happen because of it. This story has clear enough wording for a seven year-old, and is a good book to pick up anytime, anywhere.
By Gail Carson Levine
Who ever had a name like Wilma? The only other Wilma she could think of was a Flintstone.
Wilma loved animals, especially dogs. She always felt loved by her dog Reggie. At school she didn't fit in with the popular kids, and somehow it didn't make sense to hang out with the unpopular kids. Mostly, everyone ignored the eighth-grade girl.
When she gave up her seat on the train for an old woman, the woman thanked her and told her that in order to repay her kindness, she would grant one wish. The woman looked old, but didn't sound like an old woman.
Wilma, not believing the woman, said she wanted to be the most popular girl at her middle school.
The wish was granted. Wilma's phone never stopped ringing. She had more than 25 invitations to the Grad night dance, and many were from the boyfriends of her new friends. But, the worries of her new popularity began early on. Do the new friends really like her? Will her popularity end when she graduates from middle school?
Wilma didn't ever act like a popular girl. She included other unpopular kids in her new circle. She helped others with homework, and out of all the possible dates she could have for the dance, she chose an unpopularboy who also loved animals and had a crush on her even before the wish. Wilma handled things so well, I found myself rooting for her to be able to keep her new friends and boyfriend.
This is a young adult book and may not be suitable for younger children. The story explores kissing, and teenage friendship issues.
I look forward to reading other books by Gail Carson Levine.
Jill Ammon Vanderwood
Author: Through the Rug
Through The Rug: Follow That Dog (Through the Rug)
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