Magic in Real Life
'The 11:11 Wish' by Kim Tomsic basks in the power of the unthinkable, yet totally imaginable. Every young person (and adult, for that matter) has moments when they wish that things could go their way, even if just for a little while, to make the universe seem right and in order with what they feel will give them happiness. So it is for Megan Meyers as she finds herself worried about whether she will fit in at her new school after a move and a big change in her family.
Along with her dad and her sister, who provide just the right amount of empathy and care, even though they don't always know what's going on with her, Megan works to fit in at Saguaro Prep. This is made all that much more difficult when she unwittingly finds herself smack in the middle of a power struggle for Spirit Captain between two of the more popular girls in school, Ally and Rhena. While Ally befriends Megan and makes her feel like she isn't alone, Rhena tacks on a lot of phony kindness of her own, showing her true colors, yet at the same time causing Megan to question herself about how she wants to fit in at her new school and what the best way to do that is - even if it's not necessarily what would be considered the "right" way to go about it.
Between her love of animals and her crush on a guy she's just met but feels connected to, Megan has a lot going on as the school year begins. When she wishes on a clock in the shape of a cat in one of her classrooms, life takes some crazy turns, bringing magic and mystery to everything Megan desperately longs for but thinks she can't have without wishing for it.
Even though the fantasy aspects of the story were beyond the realm of reality, the underlying themes of figuring out one's own way of fitting in, learning how not to care what others think, and keeping a promise to oneself that might include owning one's own voice and not letting others speak on one's behalf are all incredibly relevant themes for young people nowadays. Tomsic has crafted a strikingly real world with a magical touch always surrounding it. It shows that wishes can come true, and maybe sometimes even through one's own means.