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The Christmas Genie    by Dan Gutman & Dan Santat Amazon.com order for
Christmas Genie
by Dan Gutman
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2010 (2009)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Genies really do exist, as you'll discover when you read this very funny book about a genie who drops in on a fifth grade class on the last day of school just before Christmas vacation begins. When I say drops in, I'm not kidding. A meteorite crashes into the building and guess who is inside?

Even though some of the kids don't believe in genies, they quickly change their minds when Bob (that's his name) changes one of the kids into a cockroach! (Yes, Bob changes him back to human form also!) So the genie, being a very generous guy, says he will give the class one wish, but they have only an hour to decide what it will be.

Now, I'm sure you can guess that everyone has an idea of what that wish should be. With 25 kids in the room, there are lots of ideas. For example, one kid wants a truck full of candy, another thinks a million dollars would be cool, and someone else says she wants a class of students who are perfect angels and never argue or act disrespectfully. (I bet you can guess who this person is!)

If you think most of the wishes are me centered, you are right. But there are a few altruistic requests, too. One child thinks that having cars run on water is a splendid idea and another wants permanent peace in the Middle East. Then there is the girl who saya she really hopes for no poverty, no litter, no pollution, no cancer, no high gas prices, no crime and no disease. But then she blows it by also saying, 'I wish my brother would stop throwing his underwear at me!'

Enough already! I think you get the idea there are a lot of wishes but the genie said he'd grant only one request. What does the class come up with? You don't really think I'm going to tell you, do you? Of course I'm not! You'll have to read the book! But don't sweat it because not only is this a fast read and funny, but it has some neat illustrations too. So, happy reading!

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