As a line on the super cute cover of Kimberly K. Jones' newest book for middle graders indicates, "Magic can be anywhere." I thought this book was an adorable dose of magic, incorporating some life lessons, a seemingly ordinary girl, and a slightly ditzy genie into a nice little package.
Janna wants to fit in with the popular girls more than anything. She really wants the cool clothes and jewelry, believing that those material items will help her to be a better person overall. When she spends her last couple of dollars on a winter hat for a homeless woman, Janna unexpectedly gets the blessing of a wish-giving genie...or is that curse?
Janna's new genie does indeed grant wishes, as many as Janna wants, but the rules that go along with the wishes are extensive. Before she knows it, Janna has everything she could ever want, but those things are being taken from other people, as her genie can't make something out of nothing. Janna wants new clothes? They come out of the closet from the girl across the street.
Janna's genie also has the problem of "genie wattage." Too many wishes and that genie is all used up! Janna's greed takes over, resulting in her genie becoming weaker and more tired. She doesn't really know what to do, wanting to fit in, but wanting to just be herself at the same time. What results is a hilarious novel that has flair, definitely appealing to middle grade girls.
I found Janna real and very much like girls today. She wants to be popular, but doesn't want to lose herself in the process, leading to a lot of mix-ups with her genie! This is a great choice for libraries.
To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.
The Genie Scheme
Kimberly K. Jones