Thursday, February 01, 2018

Simple, But Wise Wishtree a Beautiful Gem

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Although Red is a northern red oak—one of the most common trees in North America—he (really he/she because trees have no gender) has a personality all his own.  He likes to crack bad jokes; tease Bongo, his crow BFF; and shelter young animals in his sturdy trunk.  Over the 216 years he's been alive, Red has seen it all.  He's witnessed kindness and crime, conflict and peace, prosperity and poverty.  The people in his neighborhood think him magic—every year, they festoon his branches with their fondest wishes written on scraps of fabric hoping that he can make them come true.  

This year, the tender wish of a young Muslim girl pierces Red right down to his roots.  Already the victim of ignorance and hate, Samar wishes only for a friend.  Red isn't supposed to interfere in human affairs, but for once he's tempted to break the rules.  Can a tree without magical powers really make a difference in the world?  Red is about to find out ... 

I've become a big fan of Katherine Applegate's moving middle grade novels.  If you've read The One and Only Ivan or Crenshaw, you'll understand why.  Wishtree, her newest, only solidifies her position as one of my favorite children's authors.  This short tale is thoughtful and funny, simple and wise.  With a timely message about acceptance and inclusion, it's an important book for everyone to read.  Not surprisingly, I adored Wishtree.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Wishtree from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.


  1. I scored a copy of this at a thrift store. I need to read it soon.

  2. What an interesting concept! It also sounds inspirational and heart warming, which seems to be missing in most books.

  3. I'm so glad to hear you loved this one. I want to read all of her books after reading The One and Only Ivan. :)


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