Parents' Guide to

Write Before Your Eyes

By Stephanie Dunnewind, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

An unoriginal fantasy plot, but some good discussion points.

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Some readers might relate to Gracie's experiences as the middle child in a dysfunctional family or how she feels mousy and nondescript. There's plenty for kids to talk about around the idea of this book, though it should have been developed better.

A magical diary is the central clichh in WRITE BEFORE YOUR EYES; the "be careful what you wish for" message is supported by a host of other clichhs, including a grinning Cheshire cat, a subplot where Gracie doesn't know if her brainy crush likes her for real or because of her wish in the book, and an invisibility mishap. Several subplots remain undeveloped (the principal at Gracie's school is fired then reinstated; Dylan doesn't remember that Gracie manipulated his feelings for her). Unappealing characters don't help either: Gracie's shallow older sister Jen tells her jobless dad, "It's so humiliating to tell people we live in this apartment. I don't even want to invite anyone over." The writing often feels forced; when their mother insists she wasn't really mad, "all three kids looked at each other as if they'd been send at Warp 7 on the Starship Enterprise to another galaxy." Even Star Trek fans will say "Huh?" to that allusion.

Book Details

  • Author: Lisa Williams Kline
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • Publication date: October 14, 2008
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 192
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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