Wishes and Wellingtons (Wishes and Wellingtons, 1)

Written by Julie Berry
Review by Holly Faur

Maeve Merritt, aspiring adventuress and champion of eyerolls and flying fists, is the bane of Miss Salamanca’s School for Upright Young Ladies—especially after one of her escapades results in unearthing a djinni. But this djinni isn’t like the ones found in the pages of a story. Maeve’s is stinky and rude, and wound up tight in an old tin of sardines. With three wishes at her command, her dear friend, Alice, and an orphan boy, Tom, at her side, Maeve is ready to explore the world. But when danger lurks and a whiskered gentleman appears, Maeve suspects someone is out to steal her sardine tin djinni and she must choose what’s more important: adventure and riches, or friendship.

Wishes and Wellingtons is a delightful middle-grade story set in late 1800s London with a spunky heroine. Maeve is exceedingly fun to read, both for her energy and her inner dialogue, which tends to be perfectly irreverent. Alice lends the voice of reason to any situation, and Tom is up for anything as the trio takes off on one of Maeve’s wishes—a trip to ancient Persia—but quickly finds themselves back in London, dodging constables and making new friends. While I was disappointed at first that the story did not expand on what they found in Persia, the characters are engaging, and the story has enough excitement to carry it through.