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Book Review

This contemporary Christian book is the second in the " Christy Miller" series by Robin Jones Gunn and is published by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Book House Company.

A Whisper and a Wish is written for kids ages 12 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Fifteen-year-old Christy Miller thinks her wishes are about to come true when her family decides to move from their farm in Wisconsin to California. She dreams about going to school with her summer friends and hanging out at the beach with her favorite surfer, Todd. However, Christy realizes that her new life is not going to be like her perfect summer in Newport Beach. Her parents rent a house in Escondido, where she attends a new school and must make new friends. Once there, Christy is surprised and excited to be accepted by a popular group of girls. She also attracts the interest of the school's heartthrob, Rick Doyle. When Christy tells Rick she is not allowed to date until she is 16, he says he can wait that long to take her out.

Before long, Christy realizes that her too-skinny friend Brittany may have a serious eating disorder. While Christy, Brittany and another new friend, Janelle, are vacationing with Christy's aunt and uncle in Palm Springs, Brittany convinces the other girls to go to the drugstore with her. She picks up diet pills prescribed for her mother, and three boxes of laxatives. She tries to leave the store without paying for them. When a security guard sees her and confronts the girls, Brittany slips the pills and the laxatives into Christy's purse and runs out of the store with Janelle, leaving Christy to face the guard by herself. Christy is taken to the police station where an officer questions her before releasing her to her aunt and uncle. Through this experience and through the insight Todd offers when he calls a few days later, Christy learns the importance of saying no to bad influences and yes to good ones. She also learns to rely on God; He is one friend who will never leave her.

Christian Beliefs

Back in Wisconsin, Christy tells her best friend, Paula, about how she gave her life to Jesus during the summer. Christy's new friend Katie tells her that she felt like a brand-new person when she gave her life to Christ. She also tells Christy that her pastor said you need to invite Christ into every area of your life if you want to grow as a Christian — otherwise, it's like inviting someone into your house and making him stand in a corner. Christy's Sunday school class questions whether "missionary dating," or dating someone who is not a Christian, is spiritually healthy. In response, the teacher asks Katie to stand on a chair at the front of the classroom and be "Katie Christian." He then asks Rick to stand beside the chair and hold Katie's hand as her boyfriend, "Peter Pagan."

When Katie tries to pull Rick up to her level, he barely moves. However, it takes Rick only a small tug to pull Katie down to his level. The teacher uses this example to demonstrate how easy it is for someone to be brought down by negative influences. Christy's summer friend Tracy sends her a card quoting Deuteronomy 31:8; Christy reads this verse for comfort when she is apprehended by the security guard at a drugstore in Palm Springs.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Christy wishes she could talk to her parents as easily as she talks to Uncle Bob. Janelle's mom helps the girls toilet paper Rick's house during a sleepover. Uncle Bob and Aunt Marti take Christy, Brittany and Janelle on a weekend trip to Palm Springs. When Brittany tries to walk out of a drugstore without paying for her items, a security guard takes the girls to the back office for questioning. While the guard's back is turned, Janelle and Brittany run out of the office and hide behind a Dumpster until the guard stops chasing them and goes back inside.

Meanwhile, Christy obediently stays in the office until he returns. After the police question her, Uncle Bob tells her dad that he is proud of how Christy stuck to her convictions. Nevertheless, Christy's parents put her on restriction for two weeks.




Katie and Janelle plan to freeze a girl's bra at Janelle's sleepover. Brittany is surprised when Christy tells her she only kissed Todd once over the summer, because Brittany thinks that being close to a guy means being more physically involved with him. However, no mention is made of the girls sleeping around.

Discussion Topics

If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:

  • What does Christy discover about her relationship with Paula after she returns to Wisconsin at the end of summer?
  • How does she feel about this?

  • How are Christy's new friends in Escondido similar to Paula's new friend?

  • How do you feel when a close friend gets a new friend?
  • What can you do about it?

  • How is the situation with Christy and her new friends similar to that of Katie Christian and Peter Pagan in her Sunday school class?

  • What happens to Christy when she follows the bad influence of her friends?
  • Read 1 Corinthians 15:33.
  • What does this verse say about how the wrong people can hurt you?

  • What word does Christy practice saying over and over again after she gets back from Palm Springs?

  • Why does she do this?
  • What kinds of things does Todd encourage her to start saying yes to?
  • What things does God want you to be saying yes to?

  • Why is Christy hesitant to tell Aunt Marti about Brittany's eating disorder?

  • What should you do if a friend has a problem that endangers his or her health?

Additional Comments/Notes

Book reviews cover the content, themes and world-views of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

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