My opinion: THIS IS A FABULOUS BOOK!
Charlotte "Charlie" Brennan has two new passions - Irish dancing and ice fishing. She and her friend Dasha have been taking Irish dancing lessons for about a year. Their goal is to earn medals in an upcoming contest so they can advance to the next level and dance with girls closer to their own age.
The opportunity to go ice fishing came along at just the right time. Charlie gets invited to fish with her neighbor and his grandmother. Usually the thought of going out onto the ice is terrifying for Charlie, but the chance to catch fish and sell them to a local restaurant catches her attention. She needs to purchase an Irish dance dress for her solo performance so the extra money would come in handy.
On her first fishing outing, Charlie stays close to shore. She knows she probably won't catch the larger fish her friend and his grandmother will farther out onto the lake, but her fear takes over. She's surprised when she feels a nimble and tug on her line. When she pulls it up, she sees she has hooked a beautiful little fish with emerald eyes. The other surprise comes when the little fish speaks to her in a gravelly voice. "Release me ... and I will grant you a wish." Why not? Charlie gives it a try. She wishes to not be afraid of the ice and also that Roberto Sullivan will fall in love with her. Charlie finds her wishes coming true in some unusual ways, and she decides to return to the lake in hopes of catching the wishing fish again.
Although her wishes seem to be answered, Charlie finds out life doesn't always go the way she hopes. When the day of the dance competition arrives, Charlie's family is dealing with a crisis that robs her of the opportunity to attend the long awaited event. Unknown to the family, her older sister Abby has become involved with drugs while away at college and is being sent to a rehab facility. Dealing with the disappointment of her own canceled plans and the confusion of learning that her sister is addicted to heroine are two devastating blows that threaten Charlie's normally peaceful world.
Author Kate Messner uses the old tale of "The Fisherman and His Wife" as a vehicle to introduce the pain and suffering of having a family member addicted to heroine. The story addresses the topic in a thoughtful and understanding way which is perfect for younger readers dealing with this very confusing issue or readers wanting to understand an issue that effects more and more of those around us every day. Please consider reading THE SEVENTH WISH and passing it along to a young person in need of a story that will help them feel less alone about their circumstances. This is the type of story that begs to be shared so thank you to Kate Messner for giving it to the world.