Wishes Come in Threes
Phyll has recently moved from London to the coast with her mum, which Dad hopes, will help with Mum find her Happy again as our soon to be twelve year old narrator tells us. Mum is a writer and has been suffering from depression for a while and so is unable to provide the emotional support her daughter needs at this challenging time.
Now Phyll has just started attending summer camp near her new home and Camp Sunshine is providing yet another challenge in the form of Hilda and her two pals, who Phyll thinks of as Hilda and the Horribles. On the positive side though, at the camp too is a friendly boy, Clark, with a seashell bracelet and he says he is going to the same high school as Phyll come the autumn.
When rain curtails outside activities, the camp leader offers the opportunity to visit an old folks home, which both Phyll and Clark accept. There she meets the rather mysterious Mr Djinn who talks of pirates, loves to play cribbage, tells her that magic is real and that he’s a genie – an idea she decides to go along with. Phyll also sets up a free dog walking service, helps a woman with a lost dog, longs for a dog of her own and is instrumental in the arrest of a dog-napper.
A lot more happens too but I urge you to get your own copy to discover what. I have to admit to having tears in my eyes as I finished this wonderful story of friendship, self belief, wishes and the possibility of magic. The characterisation is superb: Mr Djinn especially has some powerful things to say, in relation for instance, to the slave trade – ‘the greed of men is a terrible evil.’
My wish having put the book aside is that Andy Jones writes another story as beautiful and moving as this, his first for children.