Monday, January 7, 2013

Male Monday: What You Wish For

What You Wish For: Your favorite authors write to honor Darfur 2011
Edited by Stacey Barney, Foreword by Mia Farrow, stories & poems by Alexander McCall Smith, Meg Cabot, Jeanne DuPrau,  Cornelia Funke, Nikki Giovanni, John Green, Karen Hesse, Ann M. Martin, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Carol Oates, Nate Powell, Sofia Quintero, R. L. Stine, Gary Soto, Francisco X. Stork, Cynthia Voight & Jane Yolen

Ratings: 3/5

IQ "Do you think wishes just happen?" she demanded. "Stars are busy. They can't sit around all day, making every single one of our wishes come true all by themselves. They need a little help from us. I know if I really want a pony, I need to be like you and go out and earn the money to buy one, like you did with your bike." Jenny to her brother, Dave pgs. 55-56

 This is an anthology of short stories about wishes, the proceeds go to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

 I liked Jane Yolen's poem "Wishes" and the stories "Reasons" by John Green and "The Rules For Wishing" by Francisco Stork are the best. "Reasons" contains lists after lists and its about Micah, who happens to be in love with Aisha Hussain. Aisha lives in the disputed region of Kashmir, Micah's mother is sponsoring her through For the Children. Its a slightly amusing but really sweet story. There are also photographs throughout the book that may serve as an introduction to the lives of refugee children.

But none of these stories truly stuck with me, I read this anthology awhile ago sometime in the summer and remember few of the stories. I wish there had been a few stories about actual Darfur refugees and the people who work to assist the refugees. Most of the characters in the stories were two-dimensional and very plot-driven. Its perfectly fine for a book to be plot driven but only when the characters are strongly represented and I did not find that to be the case in all the stories.

 What You Wish For is worth buying because a few of the stories are excellent and the proceeds go to a worthy charity. Younger readers especially may enjoy these stories.

Another one of my favorite quotes comes from one of my favorites stories, "Reasons"
"I cannot be held responsible for the fact that Aisha Hussain has truly asserting eyes,, and it's important when sitting at my desk doing homework occasionally to be reminded that there are people for whom going to school is not an unbearable burden, but instead an exciting opportunity." Micah, pg. 115