Discussion Guide: Wishes and Wellingtons

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Book Summary Wishes and Wellingtons:

Feisty and rebellious Maeve Merrit is unhappy at her London boarding school for "Upright Young Ladies" set during Victorian England. Maeve doesn't follow the rules, and she wants more to life than sewing and being a polite member of society. During one of her garbage duty punishments, she finds a djinni named Mermeros in a discarded sardine tin. Maeve gets three wishes, but of course, she must navigate rules and tricks to make the right wishes. She also has to worry about Tommy, the orphan next door, and villainous Mr. Treazleton and Baroness Gabrielle, who find out about the djinni and want their wishes granted too. Wishes and Wellingtons will continue with book #2, Crimes and Carpetbags.

For children ages 8 - 12 years old who love: Serafina and the Black Cloak, The Enola Holmes Mystery series by Nancy Springer, The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud, The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid by Colin Meloy, and Neil Patrick Harris’ series The Magic Misfits.

  • Friends Maeve, Alice, and Tommy are all very different from one another. Can you name one thing that you like about each of them and how they help each other during the story?

  • Author Julie Berry mentions that she grew up reading folktales and fairy tales. A famous collection of Middle Eastern folktales is Arabian Nights that includes Aladdin and the genie. Djinni is how you spell genie in Arabic. If you would like to read or hear more stories featuring djinnis in them, enjoy:

    • Classic Starts Arabian Nights by Martin Woodside. Read on OverDrive or listen on hoopla.
    • Tales From the Arabian Nights by Donna Jo Napoli. Read on OverDrive or listen on hoopla.

  • Julie wrote in her journal from about 9-years-old until she was about 20-years-old. Do you have a diary or journal? If you have never tried writing in a diary or journal, or if you have stopped, give yourself a week to try writing in one.

  • The Victorian era in England was from 1837 - 1901. Reading historical fiction books is an enjoyable way to learn about different times and events throughout history. What did you learn about living in London during the Victorian era as a child from reading Wishes and Wellingtons?

—Thank you to author Julie Berry.

“I am me and I'm human. I have a brain and hopes and wishes and feelings and experiences. And you are you. You have a brain and you have feelings and experiences and hopes and wishes. You are all just as human as I am. So I want my stories to reflect that. I want my stories to show that there's not just one important person in the middle, one prince or princess, but we are all just as human. So that means a lot to me.”

—Julie Berry

Book cover for Wishes and Wellingtons
Wishes and Wellingtons
Berry, Julie