Wish Upon a Sleepover

by Suzanne Selfors (Author)

Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

Five misfits. One magical wish.

Leilani dreams of being friends with the most popular girls in her class--the Haileys--who are always throwing awesome themed sleepovers. She devises a master plan: throw her own sleepover of the century and invite them! When Tutu, her grandmother, accidentally mails Leilani's invitations to the do not invite list, the best sleepover in the history of the world becomes the worst. Instead of the Haileys, the only guests are the three kids Leilani definitely did not want to show up: the neighbor who never speaks, the girl who draws mean pictures of her, and her farting older cousin.

At least her best friend August will be there. Leilani and her guests decide to make Tutu's recipe for Sleepover Soup, which requires each of them to collect one ingredient that has significant meaning in their lives. They embark on a scavenger hunt that reveals unexpected surprises. What Leilani finds is not what she wanted, but it might just be even better.

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School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-Leilani really wants to join the Haileys, six friends since first grade because they share the same name. But it's by invitation only and, despite her best eavesdropping and spying, Leilani hasn't been invited; nor is her name Hailey. Her plan? To invite the Haileys to a luau-themed sleepover, something her family knows all about because of their Hawaiian heritage. But when great-grandmother, Tutu, sends her pineapple invitations to the kids on the "Do Not Invite" list, Leilani's plan is ruined. Instead she must spend the weekend with her best friend and three kids she'd rather not be around. When the children follow Tutu's recipe for Sleepover Soup, a Hawaiian tradition requiring teamwork and chicken broth, things unexpectedly change for the better. With the right balance of tension and humor, Selfors's writing perfectly captures the tone of teenage angst and the struggle to fit in. Also of note is the theme of selective mutism which plays a large role. Through her retelling of "Stone Soup," Selfors reinforces the importance of kindness and manners by crafting a tale of inclusivity, acceptance, and cooperation, in a way that never feels heavy-handed or forced. VERDICT A delightfully funny, relatable tale for anyone struggling to fit in. A plus for fiction collections.

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.


A good book on empathy and friendship, with some Hawaiian culture mixed in.

Review quotes

"Equal parts heartbreaking, hopeful and hilarious. It's impossible not to cheer for these unlikely heroes." —Sara Nickerson, author of The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me

"Anyone who's ever felt different from the crowd will relish this story of kids who find the magic of being their own unique selves—together." —Sundee T. Frazier, author of the Coretta Scott King Award-winner Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything In It and the Cleo Edison Oliver series

"Huzzah for Suzanne Selfors! By turns humorous and poignant, this terrific book was impossible to put down." —Suzanne Williams, coauthor of the Goddess

Suzanne Selfors
Suzanne Selfors is a national best-selling author who writes for kids of all ages. She's received four Junior Library Guild awards, appeared on a dozen state lists, and earned starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. The Sasquatch Escape won the Washington State Book Award for Middle Readers and was one of Amazon's Best Children's Books of 2013. Her middle grade books include Wish Upon a Sleepover and Fortune's Magic Farm. She lives on a northerly island where rain falls like music, which is why she gets so much writing done.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Square Fish
Publication date
January 20, 2019
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV014000 - Juvenile Fiction | Girls & Women
Library of Congress categories

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