Tree of wishes

Susan McClelland, Children's International Learning Centre 1995

By Shirley Farlinger (reviewer)

The place--the Professor's house. The characters--children: Josh, Tina, Penny, Lucy, and Sarah, and the Professor. The plot--the children are mean to Sarah, who comes from another (unspecified) country and flies with the children on the back of Pegasus, who has turned into a "large, yellow, flying giraffe with brown markings and wings." Before taking off they are asked to make a wish, which they are told will come true.

The PAST is a slave auction in the Caribbean where a child is sold into slavery and beaten. The children's reaction, "maybe we should think twice before we tease anyone."

They fly on to the PRESENT, which is a war zone where they meet Sebastian, who happens to know Sarah and gives them a rock to take back to her. The children there have no water, heat, or food and live together in a basement. Now our youngsters are in a hurry to return home and apologize to Sarah.

But first they must visit the FUTURE. There are two street gangs, our children when they are teen. They pick a fight a rumble occurs and the Professor is hurt. Suddenly he is fine again and talking about their wishes, which have all changed and become the same. They wished, after what they had seen, to be able to change the future. The wish can come true "only if you open your heart," says the Professor.

I asked two of my grandchildren to comment on the story. "It's a shock of reality not told in a nice way." "How was Sarah different?" "The wishes were not clear." "It's for grade five, ages 11-13."

My two granddaughters were interested in the story and one wanted to take it to school for her class. They liked it better than I did, but then I'm an adult and it wasn't written for me.

Peace Magazine Nov-Dec 1995

Peace Magazine Nov-Dec 1995, page 27. Some rights reserved.

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