New release date
Don’t panic–Wish is still coming out in February, just a couple of weeks later: the 16th is our official release date now. Between now and then I’ll be planning a fabulous launch party, and soon I’ll post some interviews I’m now filming with booksellers, educators, youth activists, and teen readers (did you see Part I & II of my tour of Genna’s garden? check the sidebar). You can also swing by Amazon.com to read some great reviews from the Amazon Vine Program. Here’s one by Margaret Johnston:
Fifteen-year-old Genna lives in Brooklyn in a cramped apartment in a crime-filled neighborhood and dreams of a better future and a career as a psychiatrist. Her only consolations are her boyfriend Judah, who’s from Jamaica and wants to go back to Africa, and her nearly daily visits to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where she tosses a few coins into the fountain and makes a wish. One night, when she flees into the garden after a fight with her mother, she is transported back in time to Civil-War-era Brooklyn, into a time of racial tension and outright rioting.
Genna is a wonderful character — tough, smart, resourceful, and thoughtful — and the rest of the characters, while we don’t get to know them as thoroughly as Genna, are vivid as well. Also vivid are the settings: present-day and past Brooklyn, which are both beautifully evoked in their differences and in their similarities. The historical details are telling, but never bog down the narrative. Clearly there are comparisons to be made here with Octavia Butler’s excellent Kindred (Bluestreak Black Women Writers), and Elliott’s book stands up very well to the comparison; it made me think of _Kindred_ (and think that they would be very good back-to-back reads) while never making me feel that it was at all imitating it.
I should also note that there is at least one major plot thread left unresolved, but that Elliott is apparently working on a sequel, which I eagerly anticipate.