Review Blog

Aug 09 2010

Wishful Thinking by Ali Sparkes

cover image

Oxford University Press 2010.
(Ages 10+) Imagine having your own god, who grants you a Wii and makes you popular with the most unobtainable girl in the school, and all he requires is a little worship in return. Sounds good? Kevin Rutley certainly thinks so, and when a freak mishap with a bunch of wishes scrawled onto a cafe napkin reach Abandinus, Celtic god of the River Ouse, Kevin and his friends Tim and Gracie, decide they are on to a very good thing indeed.
But it's not just Abandinus who makes an appearance, Arimanius, god of the underworld tries to inveigle Kevin into his clutches and when Kevin resists, his much loved Nana is critically injured in a car crash. Kevin and his friends discover that gods are not just fairy godmothers, granting wishes left right and centre. Like humans, they have their own agenda and the three friends soon find themselves helpless pawns in a clash of monumental dimensions between warring gods.
Wishful Thinking revolves around little known English and Greek gods, although the god of roads, Semitas, is I think Ali Sparkes own creation. Dressed in a day-glo vest and responsible for hold ups and orange cones, Semitas is a brilliant invention that I am sure many adults call upon in times of stress; 'oh god, not another traffic jam.'
I am a huge fan of Ali Sparkes and this just confirms her place as an inventive, exciting author perfect for upper junior and lower secondary children. As always her story is original and fun with equal measures of comedy and action - the perfect recipe to get young people reading.
Claire Larson

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