The Story Behind I Wish by E.B. Tatby

I remember when I was little—I must have been five or six; I lay with my stomach pressed flat against the rusty floor of a merry-go-round at the park near my house. My feet stretched out behind me, resting on the octagonal shape in the middle, my long sun-streaked hair dangling in messy I Wish 2lines over the outside edge. I kept my eyes fixated on one thing: finding the stick in the dirt mote that encircled the perimeter as we slowly turned. My older sister had announced that she’d “dropped it” and it was up to me to grab it when I saw it lying in the dirt. When I did, I yelled, “Got it!”

We’d called this game “Dropped It, Got It” and that title spoke to the very simplicity of a child lost in time—sometimes hours—in blissful uninterrupted play.

On one of those sun-filled afternoons, I remember finding a stick that resembled a wish bone. My sweet sister was kind enough to let a neighbor kid and me have the honors of breaking it so one of us could claim the wish. After the twig snapped and I stood there with the long end still in my hand, my sister jumped up and down and told me to squeeze my eyes shut so I could make a wish.

I did as she instructed, butterfly nerves dancing up through me, and squeezed my eyes shut so hard it hurt… and I wished—the voice of a child echoing powerfully through the channels of my innocent mind, careful not to breathe a word of it out loud for fear I would give the wish away.

My wish? To be able to keep making wishes.

My fascination with wishes was born that day and it has followed me over countless hills and through various twists and turns along the road of life. As a teenager, I became enchanted with the Disney movie, Aladdin. In college, I had the opportunity to travel to an exotic land in North Africa called Morocco and I jumped at the chance. It was there that I learned that—to the natives—genies are real. And they’re not called genies; they’re called jinns.

That became the inspiration for I Wish, the story of Kenza Atlas, a strong sixteen-year-old from Omaha who never believed her immigrant father’s stories about Moroccan jinns until one of them, the one with undulating tattoos and mysterious black eyes whisks her 500 years back in time.

Do you believe in wishes? You might after reading I Wish.


E.B. TatbyE.B. Tatby was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. She is living her life-long dream of being an Author and is passionate about inspiring others (especially teens) to follow their dreams. Above all, she wants to remind them of the power to wish.

I Wish, a YA story, is her first published novel. She is currently working on a sequel.

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