A coming-of-age story starring 12-year-old Genuine (pronounced Gen-u-wine) Sweet, fourth-generation wish-fetcher from the very small town of Sass, Georgia.
Since her alcoholic father lost his job, Genuine has begun to worry a lot about how the family will stay warm and fed through the winter. She breathes a big sigh of relief when she discovers that she can grant wishes by whistling down starlight and baking it up into wish biscuits—until she learns that the only wishes she can’t grant are her own. No matter. Genuine and her new, creative friend, Jura, create a barter system to help Gen’s family and then begin taking online wish requests from groups battling hunger around the world. All is well until requests for wish biscuits explode, some old family drama comes home to roost, romantic complications ensue, and then, the final straw, Genuine loses her beloved grandmother. Devastated, Gen breaks the cardinal rule of wish-fetching and loses her power just when she needs it most, but she deals with this problem too in her own style. Through it all, Genuine learns about forgiveness, responsibility and empowering others while remaining true to the humble, spunky girl at her core.
A folksy first-person narration combined with a thought-provoking storyline makes this a good pick for solo enjoyment or book club discussion. (Fantasy. 9-12)