Written by Barbara O’Connor

Publisher’s Summary:
A story about a girl who, with the help of the dog of her dreams, discovers that family doesn’t always have to be related–they are simply people who love you for who you are.

Primary Source Pairing:
When Charlie first moves in with her aunt and uncle she had a difficult time adjusting. She was away from her home in Raleigh, her parents, and her sister, and living with Bertha and Gus, whom she barely knew. As Charlie begins to make friends she also begins to enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The setting of this story is an important part of Charlie’s change of character. For this primary source pairing, invite students to take a close look at a photograph taken by Carol M. Highsmith of the Blue Ridge Parkway overlook in Avery County, North Carolina. In the book, Gus tells Charlie the smokey blue haze that floats over the treetops is what gives these mountains their name (pages 204-205). Charlie is beginning to think of these mountains as home, which is maybe what she’d been wishing for all along.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • Find something small but interesting.
  • What do you notice that you didn’t expect?
  • How is the setting an important part of the story Wish?
  • Use text evidence to support how Charlie develops a love for the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • How does the setting of the Blue Ridge Mountains compare to where you live?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Distant view of Grandfather Mountain from a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook in Avery County, North Carolina: Library of Congress