The Orphan’s Wish / by Melanie Dickerson. 2.15.2019

Thomas Nelson ISBN 9780718074838

YA Grades 9-12 Rating: 5

Award-winning author Melanie Dickerson continues her medieval retelling of fairy tales, this time using the folk tale Aladdin.

In The Orphan’s Wish, orphaned Aladdin travels from his Arab homeland to the German orphanage where he meets Lady Kirstyn, daughter of the Duke of Hagenheim. Kirstyn’s mother is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives. They become childhood friends in spite of the differences in their stations.

Aladdin works hard to secure a position serving the Duke. He loves Kirstyn but believes he cannot overcome his family background without a fortune. Aladdin leaves the Duke’s service to make his fortune, leaving her open to fortune hunters. When she is kidnapped, he returns to rescue her. Will he be in time? Will they have a future together?

The Orphan’s Wish is told more from Aladdin’s point of view. Aladdin is hard-working and determined to prove himself in order to improve his chances for a future with Kirstyn. Both Aladdin and Kirstyn struggle with self-worth and self-acceptance, but through their love for one another, they manage to overcome. Kudos to Dickerson for creating an interracial relationship and promoting acceptance and love between all people, regardless of race, class, or fortune. Readers will be delighted to meet old friends from Dickerson’s earlier books in this series.

Dickerson’s tales feature wholesome relationships, making this a good choice for teen readers. Dickerson excels as a storyteller with a carefully crafted plot and characters who learn the meaning of sacrifice and nobility as they adjust to life’s difficult situations. As in her earlier books, the faith element is not preachy but clearly evident. Recommended for young adults and adults who are young at heart.

Carol R. Gehringer,

Earlier Series Titles Reviewed by CLJThe Silent Songbird (Jan/Feb/Mar 2017), The Golden Braid (Nov/Dec 2015), The Captive Maiden (Mar/Apr 2014), The Fairest Beauty (April 2013), and The Merchant’s Daughter (April 2013).