All Posey wants from Santa is a real magic wand.
Posey and her classmates are excited about the upcoming winter holidays, and Posey sure is ready. She has written her letter and knows that Santa will understand that she needs a wand that can really perform magic. But when Posey accidentally hurts her toddler brother, she does not tell her mother the truth and is haunted by the fact that Santa will know that she was bad, for goodness’ sake! Posey is a delightfully imperfect little first-grader, and others will empathize with her plight. A subplot about Gramps and his new love interest, neighbor Mrs. Romero, adds much to the story, making it more than just a story about a little girl. When Mrs. Romero shares a childhood picture of Barbara, her little girl who died years ago, the twist is revealed with calm, believable emotion. And later, when Posey creates a gift picturing Barbara with angel wings, it is a powerful moment that is free of any emotional manipulation. Telling this story with simple vocabulary, in oversized font and 10 very short chapters, Greene makes this rich tale accessible to the earliest readers. Showing no signs of flagging in this seventh series entry, she continues to develop winning characters in realistic situations.
No wand needed—pure magic for emerging readers. (Fiction. 5-8)