Wish Upon a Sleepover

224p. Imprint. Aug. 2018. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781250109743.
Gr 4–6—Leilani really wants to join the Haileys, six friends since first grade because they share the same name. But it's by invitation only and, despite her best eavesdropping and spying, Leilani hasn't been invited; nor is her name Hailey. Her plan? To invite the Haileys to a luau-themed sleepover, something her family knows all about because of their Hawaiian heritage. But when great-grandmother, Tutu, sends her pineapple invitations to the kids on the "Do Not Invite" list, Leilani's plan is ruined. Instead she must spend the weekend with her best friend and three kids she'd rather not be around. When the children follow Tutu's recipe for Sleepover Soup, a Hawaiian tradition requiring teamwork and chicken broth, things unexpectedly change for the better. With the right balance of tension and humor, Selfors's writing perfectly captures the tone of teenage angst and the struggle to fit in. Also of note is the theme of selective mutism which plays a large role. Through her retelling of "Stone Soup," Selfors reinforces the importance of kindness and manners by crafting a tale of inclusivity, acceptance, and cooperation, in a way that never feels heavy-handed or forced.
VERDICT A delightfully funny, relatable tale for anyone struggling to fit in. A plus for fiction collections.

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