Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Title: Wishtree
Author: Katherine Applegate
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: September 26, 2017
Pages: 224
Source/format: Publisher//ARC

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from goodreads.com):

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.

M Y  T H O U G H T S

Every first of May, people will adorn Red the red oak tree with scraps of paper, bits of fabric and snippets of yarn with dreams, desires and longings. Trees can't tell jokes but they tell stories. They talk to some people but often will converse with nature. Red often chat with Bongo, the best friend who is a crow.

Red is not just any tree but he is a home for many and is important to the community. Samar is a ten-year-old who visits the tree at night when her parents fall asleep. She makes a one wish. Her wish is, "I wish for a friend." Samar has been bullied by others because she is Muslim. A carving on the tree is found telling Samar's family to leave and it upsets Samar. Stephen who lives next door to her becomes a friend over time with the intervention of Red and Bongo. Unfortunately, Red breaks the code of conduct between trees in order to make the friendship happen.

Francesca is the owner of the property of the tree and she is debating where to cut the tree down. After readers find out that Francesca is related to the person who first started the wishing, she changes heart and decides to protect the tree. A diary consists the first wish made by a young female back in 1848. Bongo was able to give the key to Samar in order to unlock the diary. The first wish was the gift of love. Eventually, love prevails!

Katherine Applegate has written a wonderful middle grade novel that delves into many current topics. The Wishtree is a novel that tackles topics such as friendship, environmental protection, diversity, bullying, community and love. It's a lovely book for all ages.

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