“I wish I was somebody else,” Robin wished. And in that moment, she meant it. She blew out the candles.
After the worst eleventh birthday ever, Robin wakes up the next morning in the body of Fiona, an eleven-year-old girl from London with an amazing life. Fiona is gorgeous, with glamorous parents, and she’s the star of a major theatrical production. Why would Fiona have wished herself out of her own body? Slowly, Robin discovers a whole network of girls like her—girls who have gotten their wish and are living somebody else’s life. But what happens when Robin finally decides she wants to go home? Does anybody in the Wishers network know how to make this happen?
In this exciting first novel, Kathleen Churchyard asks: What if you wished for someone else’s life—and it came true?
Anyway, the moment she said it, I absolutely sparked. "That's a cool thought. Let's think about what that would look like." I was absolutely entranced, remembering how many times I'd wished to be someone else at her age. Unlike Emma, I struggled socially every day, not as a one-off. So wishing I was someone else wasn't just a passing thought for me -- I'd mapped it out, many times. I loved travel and I performed in the theater a lot as a kid, so I constantly imagined myself as a big star in another country. I was sure if I just got far enough away from home, I'd be wildly successful, because those strangers wouldn't know what a loser I'd been.
Ironically enough, I went back to my 25th high school reunion last fall, having just finished my edits on "Bye For Now." Wouldn't you know -- even the most popular girls from school heard my story and confessed they'd made the exact same "somebody else" wish at some point growing up. I wonder when the grass stops looking greener on the other side of the street?
Well, my daughter DID make this wish. I immediately assured her everyone feels this way at some point, because everyone has problems. I knew she'd argue the point, and I know she won't entirely believe me for many years. But the fact is, self-awareness arrives at this age, as magically and mysteriously as a wish. Kids just wake up one day and suddenly notice their friend of the last five years at elementary school is fat -- as if it just happened. And someone else has a funny odor. And kids are often cruel without meaning to be -- they're only saying it initially because they've never noticed before. But then someone laughs, and it's game on. It's a hard time, especially for girls, since there's such a stigma attached to a girls' physical appearance. If you're tall, you'd like to be shorter, and vice versa. If you're not yet developing, you wish you were, and again, same's true the other way around. The list goes on endlessly, because no matter what you look like at this age, someone's pointed out a flaw, real or imagined. You never stop to question whether or not it's true, because you're still trying to process why you never noticed this stuff before.
If I can get one message across to eleven year old girls it would be this: Remember that every day is perfect magic. You will wake up tomorrow -- and the day after -- as a Wisher. Every one of you. Because your life, your looks, and your thoughts will all be a little different than they were the day before. And that's scary, but it's infinitely exciting too.