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Item - The Three Wishes




Series: Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers — no. 15
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Skylark 3 Box Set (Collection)
Translated Into: Els tres desigs (Catalan)
Los tres deseos (Spanish)
Author: Gilligan, Shannon
Illustrators: Reese, Ralph (cover)
Dodson, Bert (interior)
Date: April, 1984
ISBN: 0553152416 / 9780553152418
Length: 54 pages
Number of Endings: 7
User Summary: Your aunt Louise gives you a charm which will grant you three wishes....
Demian's Thoughts:

Considering that there was already a book in this series about the granting of wishes (The Genie in the Bottle), this book seems a bit redundant. Then again, wishing is a rather open-ended topic....

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

Is Aunt Louise the same aunt who gives you the Persian rug in The Flying Carpet? Possibly, but I doubt it. Your aunt in that later book from the Bantam Skylark Choose Your Own Adventure series goes unnamed, but she's a world traveler, and I'm not sure that sounds like Aunt Louise. You're looking forward to seeing your aunt when she visits for dinner this Sunday. Aunt Louise went out of her way to confirm you in particular would be home, so she must have a reason. Your speculation bears out when she draws you aside into the living room and produces a golden bell charm on a chain necklace. It's been in the family for centuries, she says. The charm grants its wearer three wishes, and she's giving it to you. Is the bell truly enchanted? How will you test it out?

Perhaps you should ask a few questions before bolting off and making wishes. If you do, Aunt Louise informs you it will be your responsibility to pass the bell on to the next generation once you've exhausted your wishes, but that's a long way off. For now, you want to test the charm's power, but should you think up a wish on your own or consult your older sister Alison? On your own, you'll decide to wish for a million dollars, but the charm doesn't seem to work. Why did it send a puppy instead of money? You could keep the puppy—though you'll have some explaining to do to your parents, and your cat, Lewis, won't be pleased—or you can let the dog leave when she dashes out of your bedroom and heads outside. You aren't acquainted with the bell's modus operandi, so don't assume too quickly that your wishes are being ignored. If you ask Alison's opinion before wishing, you both end up teleported onto a small boat in the middle of the ocean. An island is in sight; you could go befriend the natives, who welcome you into the community. You can have adventures with them or just Alison, depending on your choices, but keep a wish or two in reserve for when—and if—you want to return home. If you paddle toward a patch of rocky land instead of the island, you encounter some men who look none too friendly, but you have the bell if you need to evacuate. Taking caution with your limited supply of wishes is advisable.

Run off as soon as Aunt Louise hands you the bell charm and you have an entirely different set of adventures. Your first wish comes with only a moment's thought: to fly like a bird. Rising high over your neighborhood, the houses, trees, and cars look like toys. In the distance are mountains you've always wanted to see, and here's your chance. You can land on the snowy slopes and even wish for skis and the expertise to use them. Just don't forget, you only have three wishes. If you fly over your neighborhood instead, you spy a house on fire, smoke billowing from a window on the second floor where a boy frantically gestures for help. Can you be, for today at least, a superhero? The golden bell's wishes are yours to save or squander, but by the end of the day you'll participate in an adventure or two. You have Aunt Louise to thank for the thrill of a lifetime.

The Three Wishes is better than average for this series, but still of inconsistent quality. The story branch where you wish for a million dollars and a puppy appears is the best of the book, clever and internally cohesive; if the rest of The Three Wishes were as good, it might be the pinnacle of Bantam Skylark Choose Your Own Adventure. The story thread with Alison on the ocean is average at best, and a few others end abruptly, but overall this is a solid book. It's about as good as Jim Razzi's The Genie in the Bottle from earlier in the series: both are fun, quirky, and a bit smarter than usual. I'll enjoy pulling The Three Wishes off the shelf for an occasional reread.

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Special Thanks:Thanks to Ken G. for the back cover scan.
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