Watch this video by Barbara to learn more about Wish.

Fifth Grader Charlie (do not call her Charlemagne) has been sent from her city home in Raleigh, North Carolina to live with her aunt and uncle in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains.

Her father, Scrappy, is in jail for assault. Her mother, Carla, is unfit to care for Charlie and her 17-year old sister Jackie (who gets to stay at a friend's house in Raleigh that has a swimming pool).

Charlie is dreading her exile. She's been told by a friend that she would hate it; 'There's just red dirt roads and hillbilly kids and they probably eat squirrels.'

She is terrified that the wish she has been making every day since the 4th grade may never come true. Her anger spills out against the kids at school who make fun of her and occasionally even against those who show her kindness.

But she finds a loving home, true friendship, and a stray dog in this new rural home and it changes Charlie. Could this be what she's been wishing for?

However, her new life is turned upside down once again when Charlie is visited by a Social Services lady and learns that her absentee mother wants her to come home.

Speaking in an honest voice revealing her hurt, resentment, and vulnerability, Charlie shares this engaging, heartfelt journey that strongly resonates with kids of all ages and families of every kind.

Main Characters

Learn more about the characters and the story behind them

Charlemagne Reese aka “Charlie”

”Almost 11”- year old fifth grader—she has no favorite subjects in school, describes her family as “bad” and when asked what her favorite hobby is she answers “fighting”. She inherited a fiery red temper from her father “Scrappy” (currently serving jail time for…fighting). She has a list of all the ways there is to make a wish. And she needs them because she needs to get a wish, the same wish, in everyday or else. She’s tired of hearing “the apple doesn’t far from the tree” which as a troublemaker, she hears a lot.

Howard Odum

Charlie’s “backpack buddy”. He’s a jovial, good-hearted, overly-eager red-haired redneck with freckles whose legs are different lengths. Some kids call him “Pogo”. He goes up-down-up-down when he walks and makes sneaker squeaks on the ground because he drags one leg. He wears black rimmed glasses. He seems to always be flushed red and sweaty. He follows the rules and asks lots of questions. And he’ll kill you with kindness, if his four brothers don’t get to you first!

Wishbone (Dog)

A skittish stray dog (with some “Beagle in him”) that Charlie sees fighting another dog from the bus on her way home from school. The skinny brown-and-black dog with long, floppy ears appears from the bushes by the garden but when Charlie approaches it darts away.

Aunt Bertha

Sister to Charlie’s mother. Married to Gus. Resides in Colby, North Carolina. A talker, unlike her sister. Striking resemblance to Charlie’s mom. Never sits still. Proud of her garden. Her and husband Gus always wanted to have children but were unable.

Uncle Gus

Married to Bertha. Religious church goers. Quiet and easy going with a slow way about him. Always in a baseball cap with his scraggly brown hair poking out from under it. The brown bill is always covered in greasy fingerprints. Knowledgeable on star constellations. Proud of his garden. Is known to call Charlie “Butterbean”.

Scrappy (Charlie's Father)

Hot tempered. Serving time in the county jail in Raleigh, North Carolina for fighting and maybe other bad things too but nobody tells Charlie anything. Scrappy and Charlie used to go fishing, play poker and would even watch the Wheel of Fortune together but that was a long time ago.

Carla Reese (Charlie’s Mother)

High school drop out. Estranged from her sister Bertha. It’s complicated. According to the social services lady, she is unfit to care for Charlie due to being bedridden by depression. Constantly surrounded by empty soda cans and dirty dishes. Always in a bathrobe, stoop shouldered and red-eyed.

Jackie (Sister)

Inky black hair. Social and popular. A senior at Raleigh High School. Jackie is much older than Charlie and gets to stay with her friend Carol Lee instead of being shipped off to “kin” to the foreign hillbilly town of Colby, NC like the younger Charlie. Blue streaks in her hair. Boyfriend Arlo and a guitarist in a band friend named “Cockroach”. She has a friend Shayla who she may move to Fort Lauderdale with or maybe she’ll just become a dental assistant.

Audrey Mitchell

Charlie’s bully. A fifth grader who Charlie kicks for mocking her white boots that belong to her older sister.
Make A Wish!

Every day, Charlie makes a wish - the same wish, but never the same way.

• Blow on a dandelion and wish!
• Wish on the night’s first star
• Count to thirteen when you see a truck full of hay, then wish!
• See Three birds perched on a telephone wire? Wish!
• See a white horse? Wish!
• See a black horse? shake your fist 3 times and wish!
• If a butterfly lands on you: Wish!
• See a camel shaped cloud? Wish!
• Lightning bug lands on your ring finger and glows? Wish!
• Is there a cricket in your house? Wish!
• If you see a yellow railroad car: Wish!
• … and many more

Charlie's Wish

Charlie knows if you say your wish out loud it won’t come true.

That’s why she keeps her wish a secret.

As the story unfolds, it becomes evident that her family has been torn apart and she’ll do anything she can to wish it back together.

And like the very best of wishes, this one comes true in magnificent fashion, providing her with valuable lessons about friendship, family, faith, and perseverance.

Wishes are sometimes realized in the most unexpected ways.

In Development as a Feature Film

Making a wish is a magical experience that allows us to tap into our deepest desires and aspirations. It is a moment of hope and possibility, where we can envision a future filled with happiness and fulfillment. Whether it's blowing out candles on a birthday cake or tossing a coin into a fountain, making a wish is a powerful act that connects us to our innermost dreams. It reminds us to never stop believing in the power of our own desires and the potential for them to come true.

So go ahead, close your eyes, make a wish, and let the universe conspire to make it a reality!