Wishtree - Katherine Applegate

Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this "wishtree" watches over the neighborhood.

You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.

Katherine Applegate does it again with Wishtree. In this book, the wishtree examines its life and recounts stories from its 216 rings of experience. Some of the stories are funny, others are sad, but all of them are important. With her usual spare writing style and empathetic characters, Applegate explores friendship, love, family connections, and even the complex issues around racism and immigration. Though Samara and Stephen are important to the narrative, the protagonists of the novel are instead anthropomorphized animals and, of course, the wise old wishtree.

Beautiful, nuanced, and hopeful, this quiet narrative with have you laughing and maybe even crying a little bit, as you learn about what friendship and love are really all about.

Highly Recommended

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