Thursday, March 18, 2021

Orphan Wish Island by Sarah Anne Carter - Book Review


About Orphan Wish Island

Miriam’s parents died in a car crash when she was almost 8 years old. Just as she settles into a new life with her aunt and uncle, they decide to leave to work at an orphanage in Kenya and Miriam has to move in with her Grandma. The night after her 12th birthday, she sees something that can’t be real – glowing writing on the attic door in her room. The message encourages her to open the door and behind it she finds a tropical island where fairies tell her and some other orphans that they have been granted yearly wishes. She can listen to a message from her parents, make a wish and then come back each year to make another one. She will hear a final message from her parents if she comes back every year for six years. Her first wish is to have a lead part in the school musical so she can make friends. The magic only works for the wish if the child is willing to also work for the wish.

Each year, Miriam wishes for something to help her, but along the way, she learns lessons about hard work, friendship, trust, and loyalty. Her parents also get to make a wish for her each year, but she won’t know what they wished until she comes to the island for the final time.

The 411:

I sat down to read this book on Tuesday night while my husband watched something on TV. I finished it the next night before bed and loved every minute. This young adult book by Sarah Anne Carter about a young girl living with relatives after the death of her parents was a quick read. It is perfect for readers 10+. There were a few times in the book that I felt it could have been scaled back just a bit due to characters repeating information that I, the reader had already read but that didn't take away from the story and I think it will make it easier for younger readers to really get really invested in the story.

Every year until Miriam is 18 she gets to go through an attic door in her bedroom to a tropical island where she and others can hear a message from their parents who left one for them before they passed over. You basically find a starfruit with your name on a tree, listen to your parents message, eat a starfruit and make a wish for yourself as you bury the pit.  The wish may not always come out the way they intended because you need to do the work in order to have the wish work. You cannot just wish for a million dollars. You would have to do the work that would inevitably great you that wish. 

This was an incredible read. As a motherless daughter just imagining being able to hear my mother's voice after her death and upon my 18th birthday get to hear a final message. What a wonderful premise. 

I loved Miriam's relationship with her friends and her grandma and find her to be a great character for young girls. She takes care of family, respects others, is smart and understands when she tweaks her wish making the outcome different than what she intended, believes in volunteerism, tries to make the world a better place and is strong enough to go back to the Island year after year to hear her parents voice again. She is every girl and someone you would want to be friends with. 

Looking up more books by Sarah Anne Carter soon!

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