Cover image for The wish list
The wish list
Colfer, Eoin.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Miramax Books/Hyperion Books for Children, 2003.

Physical Description:
252 pages ; 21 cm
Meg Finn is in trouble. She's dead, but not at peace--she's in limbo, her good deeds perfectly balanced against her bad deeds; Heaven or Hell wait, a tip of the scale away. So she's back on Earth trying to tip the scale to the good by helping her last victim, and her former "partner" is also back, trying to force her to tip the scale to the bad.
General Note:
Originally published: Dublin : O'Brien Press, 2000.
Reading Level:
520 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.0 7.0 72358.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.1 13 Quiz: 34178 Guided reading level: W.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Eoin Colfer has made millions of fans around the world with his much-loved character, Artemis Fowl, the star of his hugely best-selling series. Now, in a beautifully written novel that is already breaking records in his native Ireland, Colfer introduces readers to a lovable but troubled heroine, who has been given the opportunity for a special kind of redemption.
Meg Finn is in trouble-unearthly trouble. Cast out of her home by her stepfather after her mother's death, Meg is a wanderer, a troublemaker. But after her latest stunt, finding a place to sleep is the least of her worries. Belch, her partner in crime, has gotten her involved in the attempted robbery of an elderly man, Lowrie McCall. And things go horribly wrong. After an accidental explosion, Meg's spirit is flung into limbo, and a race begins between the demonic and the divine to win her soul.
Irreverent, hilarious, and touchingly hopeful, The Wish List takes readers on a journey of second chances, where joy is found in the most unexpected places.

Author Notes

Eoin Colfer was born in Wexford, Ireland on May 14, 1965. After taking a three-year degree course in Dublin, he qualified as a primary teacher in 1986. Returning to Wexford he began teaching in a local primary school by day and wrote at night. In 1991, he left Ireland and spent the next four years working in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. Resettling in Wexford after his arrival back in Ireland, he recommenced his teaching career, continuing his habit of writing after school. His first book, Benny and Omar, was published in October 1998. His other works include Benny and Babe, the O'Brien Flyers series, and the Artemis Fowl series. He became a full-time author following the success of Artemis Fowl. The Wish List won a Bisto Merit Award in 2001.

In 2015 he won an Irish Book Award in the children's category with his title Imaginary Fred.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-9. The author of the Artemis Fowl books offers a cheeky look at life after death and how the ethical decisions made on earth influence one's ending up in heaven or hell. Within the first few pages, 14-year-old Meg Finn and her partner, Belch, along with his pit bull, are blown to smithereens while attempting to rob elderly Lowrie McCall. Belch and his dog meld into one unearthly creature headed straight to hell, but Meg's good deeds and bad are of equal weight. St. Peter and Beelzebub agree to give her a last chance; they arrange for her to help old McCall complete his wish list. But Beelzebub isn't about to play fair; he sends Belch after Meg to make sure she screws up. A dying curmudgeon's wishes may not be the most compelling plot device for young readers, and the narrative is so breezy that it's sometimes hard to follow--especially when the characters are often inhabiting one another's bodies. Yet the moral underpinnings of the story--why people do bad things and the idea of obtaining redemption--are presented in an interesting, amusing way. Surprisingly thought-provoking. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl books, turns his keen wit to the afterlife in this darkly humorous tale. Left in the care of a brutish stepfather after her mother's death, troubled 14-year-old Meg Finn gets more than she bargains for when a break-in at the home of Lowrie McCall, an elderly neighbor, goes horribly wrong and her soul is "knocked clean out of her skin." A last-minute change of heart (Meg keeps her accomplice from killing the old man) earns her the rare distinction of a balanced life account ("dead even")-which means a return trip to earth as a ghost with a chance to redeem herself. Meanwhile, her partner in crime-now an unearthly amalgam of thug and pit bull-is sent back as a "Soul Man" charged with tipping Meg's balance sheet in evil's favor. Fueled by wisecracks, the story is also unexpectedly tender in its delineation of the bond that forms between Meg and Lowrie, whom she joins on his unlikely quest to right his life's wrongs before he dies. With its appealing Irish setting and strong characterizations-including a Gameboy-playing Satan with a, well, devilish sense of humor; his platinum-blonde receptionist ("The Lord of Darkness will see you now"); and a hilariously jaded Beelzebub ("A lawyers' convention bus goes over the edge of the Grand Canyon this afternoon. We're expecting a bit of a glut")-the tale will have readers rooting for plucky Meg, who, in a moving conclusion, winds up altering more fates than just her own. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Meg, kicked out of her house by her stepfather after her mother dies, becomes a troublemaker. When she and her friend Belch attempt to rob Lowrie McCall, an elderly neighbor, a nearby gas tank inadvertently explodes and she finds herself in a tunnel, hurtling toward the beyond. Meanwhile, Saint Peter and Beelzebub argue over Meg's soul-she is not really a bad kid but neither is she a very good one. In order to decide her fate, they send her back to Earth, where she must try to patch things up with Lowrie. After a rough beginning, she and the dying man embark on a quest to help him right the mistakes that he made during his life. Their adventures are both humorous and poignant, as Lowrie confronts his regrets and Meg strives to attain salvation. Whether the events are set in Ireland or in a hereafter complete with computer technology, Colfer concocts a delightful novel that is written in a much lighter vein than his "Artemis Fowl" books (Hyperion). He brings together several unforgettable characters, including an irascible old man, a mouthy heroine, and a malevolent spirit that attempts to stop Meg from completing her mission. The interaction of the heavenly-and not so heavenly-beings adds an unexpected dimension to the novel. An entertaining and compelling read.-Janet Hilbun, formerly at Sam Houston Middle School, Garland, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 Double Actp. 1
2 Dead as Doornailsp. 17
3 Unhappy Endingsp. 29
4 Unwelcome Visitorsp. 41
5 Makeoverp. 67
6 Kissy Sissyp. 90
7 Over the Fencep. 113
8 The Equalizerp. 131
9 The Sad Partp. 156
10 Burst Ballp. 175
11 A Spare Wishp. 185
12 Double Revengep. 200
13 From a Great Heightp. 221
14 Here and Thereafterp. 247