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Groundwood Books

Three Wishes

Written by Deborah Ellis

For kids - 11 years old | Published June 01, 2004 | ISBN 9780888996459

Cover of Three Wishes

Regular price $9.95 CAD

112 pages | 8.5 in × 5.5 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Three Wishes

Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis presents the stories of children of the war-torn Middle East, based on interviews with Israeli and Palestinian children.

In a rehabilitation center for disabled children, twelve-year-old Nora says she loves the color pink and chewing gum and explains that the wheels of her wheelchair are like her legs. Eleven-year-old Mohammad describes how his house was demolished by soldiers. And we meet twelve-year-old Salam, whose older sister walked into a store in Jerusalem and blew herself up, killing herself and two people, and injuring twenty others. All these children live both ordinary and extraordinary lives. They argue with their siblings. They dream about their wishes for the future. They have also seen their homes destroyed, their families killed, and they live in the midst of constant upheaval and violence.

This simple and telling book allows children everywhere to see those caught in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as children just like themselves, but who are living far more difficult, dangerous lives.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:


Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.


Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).


Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

Awards and Praise
A balanced historical introduction provides background for the interviews in which children talk about how the choices other people have made have affected their lives. Ellis alternates Israeli and Palestinian voices and prefaces each of the accounts by an informative discussion of pertinent issues and a profile of the interviewee and his/her experiences...The candid and passionate voices in these narratives may be used to awaken interest and encourage discussion among young readers.
  • Commended Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) YA Top Forty (or so) List, 2005
  • Long-listed OLA Silver Birch Award, 2006
  • Long-listed BC Teen Reader's Choice Award Stellar Awards, 2006
  • Short-listed Rocky Mountain Book Award, 2007
  • Commended Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice - Best of the List, 2005
  • Commended CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection), 2005