Witty and whimsical, I Wish I May by David Stahler, Jr. is a delightful novel-perfect for middle-grade readers drawn to fantasy and humor. A clever combination of the story of Aladdin from The Arabian Nights and The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs, this novel brings these classic tales into a contemporary setting. The main character is Thurston Pickering, a boy whose life experiences should have made him jaded and bitter, but instead have produced a generous and kind-hearted soul. Thurston is a true innocent faced with a cruel world. Either ignored or ridiculed and bullied by everyone around him, Thurston resignedly accepts his outsider role and finds comfort in solitary pleasures. His hobbies include collecting fireflies and readings comic books, quaint pastimes that recall a simpler time. Even his own parents cannot stop arguing long enough to notice his existence. When he opens a captivating jar in his attic, Thurston unexpectedly releases a Jinn that has been captive inside for a century. He is granted wishes from the mischievous genie, and Thurston learns some hard but important lessons about what truly matters in life. Stahler’s narrator is funny and charming, directly addressing the reader and drawing him/her into the tale. I Wish I May would be appropriate for both the young and anyone looking to recapture some of its magic.