Life gets dull when all your wishes come true.
That’s what sixth-grader Sam discovers after his wish for a million wishes comes true. At first, the white boy’s desires are those of any middle school boy—besting bullies, acquiring large sums of money and superpowers, experimenting with being very large and very small, and flying. He improves things for others in his family: his father's job, his mother's art career, his sister's boyfriend, his brother's nits. Eventually, prompted by his best friend, Evan, he turns to problems in the larger world: he cures Evan's terminally ill father, changes things in a bullying schoolmate’s home, experiments with trying to make everyone in the world nice, and bans death. It’s not until he tries to ban all problems that he realizes that problems are part of life; now his biggest problem is to get rid of all his remaining wishes. This English import includes both interesting philosophical musings about the consequences of wishing and speculations about practical consequences: a giant-sized fast-food burger is nearly inedible; while tiny, Sam is carried away by a sparrow hawk. Sam’s voice is young and believably self-centered, but he does learn that things are better when you have to work for them.
The appealing premise and occasional humor will probably carry readers past the obvious message of this predictable account of wish-fulfillment gone awry. (Fantasy. 9-12)