Robin Hood, Hollywood, and wishes come together to make a wonderful, bittersweet story. Janette Rallison (who also writes under the pen name C.J. Hill) is one of my favorite authors, and she crafts a tender, funny romantic comedy in Just One Wish which was published by Putnam Juvenile in 2009. This story will make you laugh and cry as Annika goes on wild escapades and learns acceptance and faith.
Annika knows the power of positive thinking, so when her six-year-old brother, Jeremy, has a surgery scheduled to remove his tumor, she decides to help him think positively. Annika tells Jeremy that she got three wishes from a genie, she has already used her first wish, and Jeremy can use the third to make sure the surgery goes well. As for the second wish, Annika tells him he can ask for anything he wants. She knows that he will ask for the Teen Robin Hood action figure, since Teen Robin Hood is his favorite TV show. And she has it waiting right under her bed.
However, Annika’s plans go awry when Jeremy asks for the real Teen Robin Hood to come and shoot arrows with him. Now Annika must drive to the Teen Robin Hood set in California and somehow convince actor Steve Raleigh to come to Nevada and visit her brother before the surgery. Janette Rallison brings in excellent comedy while also inputting more serious elements of death, faith, and acceptance in this story.
Book Group Questions
- Annika has struggled with her faith in God ever since Jeremy was diagnosed with cancer. How do her views on God change throughout the story?
- Robin Hood is a major theme in this story, not just because of the TV show, but because of the characters asking “What would Robin Hood do,” and emulating his example. Discuss when this happened in the story.
- Annika helps to improve Steve’s relationship with his family based on the idea that even though things aren’t real, they are still true. What are your thoughts on this? How does it relate to the Robin Hood idea in question 2?