The Boy Whose Wishes Came True

Publisher: Scholastic

Archie Crumb doesn’t have much luck. His father prefers his new family, and he lives with his mother who is severely depressed, meaning he has to fend for himself. Life is tough, until the most unlikely fairy godfather ever, Archie’s favourite footballer, turns up and gives him nine wishes that really seem to come true.

Archie is a likeable, ordinary boy who is in no way heroic. Many boys will empathise with him. The story is fun to read because of Archie’s light, humorous handling of serious subjects. His mother’s depression is sensitively handled. The book shines a light on the difficulties faced by young carers, without being sentimental or preachy.

The book is never specific about whether the wishes are coming true by magic, or if it is just a set of extraordinary coincidences. By the end of the book, every plotline has a happy ending of sort, which may feel slightly unrealistic. However, this means that emotionally mature readers as young as 8 might find this a rewarding read, as it deals with similar issues to Jacqueline Wilson but in a more reassuring way.

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