Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

Sophie’s Mixed-Up Magic: Wishful Thinking by Amanda Ashby

It seems like almost every book I see for teens and tweens have some sort of supernatural theme to them, a lot of which is vampires and other mythical figures and/or creatures. The one mythical creature I haven’t seen in a book before, though, is a genie, or djinn. In Amanda Ashby’s new series, Sophie’s Mixed-Up Magic, which starts with Wishful Thinking, Sophie finds herself turned into a genie the same day she starts sixth grade.

While babysitting an aggravating child, Sophie ends up in her mom’s boss’ basement. She accidentally knocks a bottle over, and she and her best friend, Kara, discover an orange man floating in front of them. He tells them he’s a djinn, and he promises to clean up the mess in the basement if Sophie wears his ring for 24 hours. She agrees, figuring she could handle 24 hours with a ring to keep herself and her mom out of trouble.

However, the next day, which also happened to be her first day of sixth grade, Sophie discovers wearing his ring had consequences: she herself was now a djinn. Malik reappears and tells Sophie he is now her djinn guide, and will be helping her through her transition into a magical being. Having magical powers isn’t easy, though, and Sophie soon discovers surviving the first week of sixth grade isn’t going to be as easy as she’d hoped.

Ashby does a good job creating the background of djinns and their powers, choosing to ignore the commonly used genies grant three wishes and are subservient to the person releasing them from their bottle. Instead, she creates them to be more unique, independent creatures with their own rules and regulations to follow.

I will point out, however, that I wouldn’t consider this a teen or tween book for adults. The plot lines and characterization are very middle school-ish, definitely right on par with the targeted age group. The rest of the books in this series will be out this year, so kids who get into this book won’t have to wait long for the next parts. It’s definitely a great title to put on your shelves for independent middle-school readers.


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