Gr 3-5 When a genie named Bob pops out of a meteorite after crashing through the window of Mrs. Walterss fifth-grade classroom, he grants the students a collective wish as reward for his release. Theres just one hitchthey have only an hour to decide what that wish will be (Bob is cranky after being cooped up for thirteen million light years). What follows is a lively, thought-provoking, and hilarious discussion of the merits and drawbacks of each of their wishes as they attempt to arrive at a decision democratically. Snarky Bob interrupts their provocative and often-heated banter with audacious quips, including digs at Santa Claus, with whom he allegedly grew up. Gutman packs plenty of history, science, and ethics lessons in this fun, well-paced fantasy that happens to take place at Christmas, but will be enjoyed at any time of year. This book is laugh-out-loud funny from page one. - Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 2009 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
So what does a genie have to do with Christmas? Plenty, in Gutman's goofy middle-grade novel. After a genie emerges from a meteorite that has crashed into Chase's fifth-grade classroom, Chase (a personable, funny narrator) and his classmates must decide on one wish. Most chapters are devoted to a single potential wish. Chase's is, "I wish I had all the money in the world," as the kids weigh their options. Despite the ample silliness, Gutman works in discussion of topics like war and divorce as well as the ethical and global ramifications of the various wishes. Ages 8-12 (Oct.)
Copyright 2009 Publishers Weekly, Used with permission