Thursday, November 10, 2016

Book Review: Jessi's Wish

Title: Jessi’s Wish (Baby-Sitters Club #48)

Author: Ann M. Martin

Date: 1991

Publisher: Apple/Scholastic

ISBN: 0-590-43571-X

Length: 140 pages

Quote: “It’s like, after you get to know Danielle, you don’t even think about her bald head or her medicine.”

When the Baby-Sitters Club are asked to fill in temporarily at a community group, they meet some younger children who are different from their usual “charges”—because they are in the hospital. Jessi bonds with a little cancer survivor called Danielle. So does Jessi’s little sister Becca, who is in the class Danielle joins when Danielle is able to go back to school, “But the kids act like she’s from another planet,” Becca complains to Jessi. Jessi tells Becca, “It’s not fair that Stacey has diabetes. It’s not fair that some people tease you because you’re [B]lack.” Danielle wishes to be able to finish elementary school and go to Disney World.

So there are plenty of opportunities for teenaged girls to shed a sympathetic tear over this novel, but there’s plenty of baby-sitting action, insights, and little-kid silliness, too, as always in Baby-Sitters Club books.

It’s hard for this reviewer to remember that the Make-A-Wish Foundation was ever new, but it was;  Jessi’s Wish was written to introduce this new charity to middle school readers. Jessi wishes for a way to make Danielle’s wishes come true. At least the one about Disney World does, thanks to a very special charity called, in the Alternative Universe of Nice, “Your Wish Is My Command.” The time frame of the book leaves Jessi still wishing for Danielle to survive all the way through grade eight. 

When Jessi’s Wish was originally published, Martin dedicated four percent of revenues from its sales to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. If you buy a secondhand copy here, as a Fair Trade Book, I don’t think I’ll need to ask Martin to designate a charity to receive the $1 per copy. (Does Make-A-Wish even handle one-dollar donations? If five readers buy copies, we can send them five dollars!) As usual, $5 per book, $5 per package, $1 per online payment, to either address at the bottom of the screen, out of which $1 per book goes to Martin or Make-A-Wish.