Review: Best Wishes

Best Wishes

by Sarah Mlynowski

Scholastic Press, 2022

Category: Middle Grade
Reviewer: Stacey Rattner

Becca lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her mom and brother, Brahm. Her parents have been divorced for a while but her Dad moved recently to California and this will be Becca’s first birthday without him. She also seems to be losing her best friend Harper, who is becoming more interested in chess,n ew friend Georgette, and Friendstagram than hanging out with Becca.

But when Becca receives a mysterious box containing a magical bracelet, her life changes instantly. “Speak one wish to make it true,” the note attached to the bracelet says. “I wish I had friends. Not just one friend. But lots and lots of friends. So many friends,” Becca wishes. Suddenly, everyone, including her principal and teacher, wants to be her friend.

At first, of course, it’s great. The wish worked! Best present ever! “Better than a gift certificate…better than a phone,” thinks Becca. Until things get out of hand.

Once Becca learns her lesson, appreciates what she has and shares her feelings with her dad, the magic bracelet is ready to move on. The book ends with Becca packing up the bracelet and writing a letter to Addie, the next recipient of the bracelet and protagonist of the next book. This is a fun story with a great premise for a series that will keep young readers interested and wanting more.

While Becca’s brother, Brahm, is studying for his Bar Mitzvah listening to his parsha through his headphones and the family keeps kosher and celebrates Shabbat, the Jewish content is minimal. 

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Reviewer Stacey “Leaping Librarian” Rattner is an elementary school librarian in upstate New York. In addition to leaping, she loves to run, travel, hike, drink coffee, hang with family and of course, read. Stacey is also the co-host of the middle grade YouTube quiz show, Author Fan Face-off with author Steve Sheinkin. 40 years ago, Stacey met her BFF at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires.