Author: Jake Smith
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-4143-9154-0

Would you rather spend that time sitting next to him watching ball games with him on TV? Or would you rather make his dying wish come true and be on that TV, playing for him?” Emily asks James in Jake Smith’s his book, Wish.

This three hundred and twenty page paperback targets those that like realistic, emotional fiction involving debilitating diseases such as lymphoblastic leukemia and how they affect a family, especially in regard to a young child. With no profanity, there is minor slang. The heart-wrenching topic of illness and possible death may not be apropos for naïve readers.

In this touching tome, quick-tempered James McConnell and his wife have spent the last four years helping their nine year old son, Aaron, get his leukemia into remission. Being healthy the last five months, Aaron has a keen obsession knowing all national baseball players’ statistics, rules, and nuances. Although he has never played the sport, he idolizes his father who was a college athlete with a good batting average.

When the illness takes a turn for the worse, James and his wife rush the child to the same hospital for testing, only to learn the cancer has returned. The boy is transported to a state-of-the-art hospital for more evasive treatment with the hope of a bone marrow transplant.

While at the medical facility, Aaron meets Curt Howard, the short-stop for the boy’s favorite team, the Detroit Tigers. Howard willingly grants the sick boy a dying wish: to let his father play in one professional major league game.

Told mainly from the father’s emotional roller-coaster perspective, James agrees to attempt playing, starting in the minor leagues as he works his way up to the professional team. With his heart by his son’s bedside during treatment, the father’s mind is torn between his loyalties to family versus his love of the game.

Praying to God for a bone marrow match, the family vacillates from hope of Arron becoming a patient or a survivor. As James’s wife encourages him to give his all to playing the game, he tries to focus on being in the zone.

Written with emotion, Smith creates believable characters that would do anything to save a loved one. After finishing the last page, readers will want to provide simple cheek swabs to be listed in a bone marrow registry to save lives.

Thanks to The Book Club Network, Inc. for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.

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