I Wish by E.B. Tatby
I Wish tells the story of Kenza, a young Moroccan-American girl from Nebraska whose father likes to tell her tales about jinns and other spirits – tales that Kenza thinks are pure fiction until one night a jinn shows up in her bedroom! Intelligent and rational, Kenza’s first instinct is to dismiss the spirit as a hallucination, but when even Kenza’s dreams start taking on a life of their own, she is left with no option but to try and figure out why she’s suddenly receiving so much otherworldly attention. Through flashbacks, Kenza discerns that she somehow shares a connection with a girl named Jamila who lived and died in Morocco centuries ago. Jamila fought and defeated (or so she thought!) an evil entity with the help of her jinn allies, one that seems to have reawakened and started messing with Kenza’s life in the present day. Amidst all of this supernatural mischief, Kenza has to contend with bullies at school, a somewhat unrealistic crush on the ghost of a dead boy, and the growing realization that her life is slowly becoming much more complicated than she had hoped – in more ways than one. Doesn’t a teenager have enough problems without adding poltergeists to the pile?!
I wish I had discovered this book earlier. Tatby’s awesomely inventive tale is an example of what middle-grade and young adult fiction should be: fun, accessible, imaginative, and well paced. Kenza is a charming lead character whose reactions to events in her life are both realistic and humorous. Tatby has also done an excellent job of writing about the relationship between a teenager and her parents, illustrating the fact that, though family life is often rife with tension and turmoil, true family always has each other’s back.
To purchase a copy of I Wish, click here to find it on Amazon.