Wishtree
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.

Wishtree Details

TitleWishtree
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 26th, 2017
PublisherFeiwel & Friends
ISBN-139781250043221
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Fiction, Animals

Wishtree Review

  • Kate Olson
    January 1, 1970
    ALL THE STARS!!! This is THE middle grade book of fall 2017 and it should be on the pre-order list for every single library and middle grade classroom in the country. While it may be listed as for ages 10-14, I would read this book aloud as far down as first grade. WISHTREE is at first glance a middle grade novel about a tree and animals, but WISHTREE is also, and more importantly, a message book. It uses the medium of a beautiful middle grade story to spread a message about wishes and inclusion ALL THE STARS!!! This is THE middle grade book of fall 2017 and it should be on the pre-order list for every single library and middle grade classroom in the country. While it may be listed as for ages 10-14, I would read this book aloud as far down as first grade. WISHTREE is at first glance a middle grade novel about a tree and animals, but WISHTREE is also, and more importantly, a message book. It uses the medium of a beautiful middle grade story to spread a message about wishes and inclusion and friendship and religious tolerance in a time of great turmoil in the US. And yes, it also has great dialogue between Red the oak tree and Red's animal friends - that's what will first hook kids! But as teachers and parents share this book with children, Red and the animals will fall to the background as discussions about big topics arise.....big topics that we do need to be talking about. What Applegate has done with this book is exquisite, as she has wrapped this vital message up in a book that is incredibly accessible to to even the most reluctant middle grade reader - short chapters, simple sentences and manageable vocabulary are the perfect venue for a message like this. I will be recommending this as a staff book club pick this year and hope to have it read aloud to as many classes as possible in my school. It's THAT good. And THAT important. Please see the book website http://wishtreebook.com/ for resources and to register for a Wishing Day event on 9/28/17. Thanks to NerdCampMI and the publisher for the advance review copy of this title - all opinions are my own. This galley will now be passed on to the #kidlitexchange review network.
    more
  • Bmquiram
    January 1, 1970
    Wishtree by Katherine Applegate is a great story. It reminded me of the old sayings 'If walls could talk' and ' I'd like to be a fly on their ceiling'. I won't write a synopsis because there is already one on the book and there is always plenty of reviews with summaries available. I'll just jump right to what the writing style is like. This story is very well written. There are interesting facts sprinkled within the text but it doesn't read like a educational book. The facts are stated in a mann Wishtree by Katherine Applegate is a great story. It reminded me of the old sayings 'If walls could talk' and ' I'd like to be a fly on their ceiling'. I won't write a synopsis because there is already one on the book and there is always plenty of reviews with summaries available. I'll just jump right to what the writing style is like. This story is very well written. There are interesting facts sprinkled within the text but it doesn't read like a educational book. The facts are stated in a manner that it seems like the author is explaining part of the story to the reader. This technique is also used for some words that might be difficult for young readers. If all my children's school books were written like this I'd have a much easier time getting them to do their homework. The story was very easy for me to read. I can easily see any of my older children reading this story, and loving it. My younger child is just 8 months old, not reading yet, but I will definitely put this book somewhere special, and read it to her when she gets a little older. (It's to good to take the chance that she might rip the pages now.) My older children are 10,12,and 14. Girl, boy, girl, and I believe they would all love the story. This is a story for all ages.
    more
  • Donalyn
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful story about family and community.
  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    Powerful, powerful book.This book needs to be read by every child, every where.
  • Ivonne Rovira
    January 1, 1970
    Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan is one of the finest books I’ve ever read. Not one of the finest children’s book. Not one of the finest illustrated book — although the drawings are breathtaking. No, one of the finest books, period. I have harangued countless adults to please, please give Ivan a chance!So it pains me to say that Wishtree is no The One and Only Ivan. Yes, as is in Applegate’s 2013 Newbery Medal winner, Wishtree has an important message: We should accept people even if Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan is one of the finest books I’ve ever read. Not one of the finest children’s book. Not one of the finest illustrated book — although the drawings are breathtaking. No, one of the finest books, period. I have harangued countless adults to please, please give Ivan a chance!So it pains me to say that Wishtree is no The One and Only Ivan. Yes, as is in Applegate’s 2013 Newbery Medal winner, Wishtree has an important message: We should accept people even if they’re different and get to know them before we judge them. But whereas a gorilla as narrator worked so perfectly in The One and Only Ivan, Red the oak tree as narrator seems twee. And who is the audience for this book? The message, as portrayed in the book, is probably too subtly expressed for most 8- to 9-year-olds to follow but too heavy-handed for adults, even kid-lit lovers like myself.In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Feiwel & Friends in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Mary Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful, unique, touching. But most of all, real . It's just what I needed to read today, this week, this year.
  • Andy Plemmons
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone needs hope. Who knew so many current topics could be brought up through the point of view of a tree. Applegate leaves the setting generic which makes it apply to almost any community with a tree and an elementary school 😁. The book is filled with community, love, hope, and the complexities that we face in our diverse world. I hope readers will take time to reflect on our world and how we can all support one another's hopes and dreams.
    more
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Wishtree is the story of Red, an optimistic oak tree who is home to many wild creatures living in harmony in her branches and hollows. Every year, the residents who live nearby come to tie their wishes onto Red's branches in hopes that they will come true. One wish in particular comes from Samar, a young Muslim girl whose family is the target of a hateful act from one of their neighbors. Samar wishes for a friend, and Red, being the optimist she is, wants to do everything she can to grant this l Wishtree is the story of Red, an optimistic oak tree who is home to many wild creatures living in harmony in her branches and hollows. Every year, the residents who live nearby come to tie their wishes onto Red's branches in hopes that they will come true. One wish in particular comes from Samar, a young Muslim girl whose family is the target of a hateful act from one of their neighbors. Samar wishes for a friend, and Red, being the optimist she is, wants to do everything she can to grant this little girl's wish. Wishtree is a poignant, cleverly written tale that will have readers laughing out loud and crying tears of heartache and joy. A very timely message for readers of all ages!
    more
  • Mary Lee
    January 1, 1970
    Right story at the right time. Pair with COME WITH ME.
  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    I'll save quotes til publication gets closer (I read an advanced electronic copy from Netgalley). Just 1) I "wish" there wasn't a need for books like this; but 2) there is. And this one is lovely.
  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    My wish is for classrooms across the country to use this story as a read aloud to nourish community this year and beyond.
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the TreelineRed is an oak tree who has been around for over 200 years. She has a number of animal families inhabiting her branches, along with her best friend, the crow Bongo. It is tree policy not to talk to humans, but when a boy carves "Leave" into her bark in an effort to scare off Samar's Muslim family from living in the neighborhood. The tree makes an effort to make Samar's wish come true, and employs various animals in various ruses in order for next door neighb E ARC from Edelweiss Above the TreelineRed is an oak tree who has been around for over 200 years. She has a number of animal families inhabiting her branches, along with her best friend, the crow Bongo. It is tree policy not to talk to humans, but when a boy carves "Leave" into her bark in an effort to scare off Samar's Muslim family from living in the neighborhood. The tree makes an effort to make Samar's wish come true, and employs various animals in various ruses in order for next door neighboor Stephen to talk to her and become friends. Francesca, who owns the houses where Stephen and Samar live, decides to cut down the tree, which is pushing up the sidewalk, interfering with the plumbing, and causing problems on "Wishing Day" when people follow an old Irish tradition of tying wishes to the tree. Red isn't happy, but starts to make her peace with leaving, although she does break her policy and tells Samar and Stephen the story of a baby left in her care years before. The animals who live in her are less than pleased, and work on a plan. Bongo gives Samar a key on a ribbon; it's the key to Francesca's ancestor's diary, which Samar locates in a storage shed. Stephen rallies his classmates around the tree, and around Samar's family, but will it be enough to save Red from being cut down?Strengths: This is certainly on point with current topics in the news, and with multicultural awareness. The sign at left is appearing more and more in my neighborhood. Applegate is a lyrical, effective writer, and I have to admit that I cried a little at certain points of the book. I can see this being used in classrooms, like Palaccio's Wonder, to promote kindness and awareness. I wouldn't be surprised if this won a Newbery Honor.Weaknesses: This is a very gentle, slow book, narrated by a tree. All of my readers seem to want books that are more fast paced or humorous. Perhaps this would do better with elementary readers. What I really think: Will probably not purchase. It's a lovely book, but I don't think I have the readers for it.
    more
  • Jen Petro-Roy
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. This book was utterly beautiful. Sensitive, touching, deep, and so, so important. Recommended for all ages, kids to adults, basically.
  • Brynn
    January 1, 1970
    This was a easy read, a really nice read. I really enjoyed reading this book, and actually hope that somehow Kathreine comes out with another book to start up a series. Thanks for te pretty amazing book! <3
  • Suzanne Maley
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful story! And very timely in a a subtle way. I think it would also make a good read aloud.
  • Niki (Daydream Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    This book has my heart!!! A must read! The book we need right now!
  • Rosemary
    January 1, 1970
    I received an eARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. And honestly? This is a beautiful book for late elementary/middle grades readers. The narrator is a 200-year old Red Oak, whose inclination to devolve into "Wise Old Tree" cliches is undercut by his crow sidekick, Bongo. While "Red" is the narrator, though, the real story is taking place in the human space around her. When an angry teenager carves the word "LEAVE" into Red's trunk, on the side facing the house where I received an eARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. And honestly? This is a beautiful book for late elementary/middle grades readers. The narrator is a 200-year old Red Oak, whose inclination to devolve into "Wise Old Tree" cliches is undercut by his crow sidekick, Bongo. While "Red" is the narrator, though, the real story is taking place in the human space around her. When an angry teenager carves the word "LEAVE" into Red's trunk, on the side facing the house where a Muslim family has recently moved in, the Wise Old Tree decides to take matters into its own hands (branches?) and do something to help young Samar, the family's daughter. The way _Wishtree_ approaches the issue of Islamophobia is indirect but nevertheless potent: this isn't an edgy, brutal look at the issue, but rather, one that puts what's happening to Samar's family in the historical context that only a 200-year-old tree that's witnessed the arrival and the hardships of wave after wave of American immigrants can provide._Wishtree_ is also realistic: when the tree's varied occupants--squirrels, possums, birds, and skunks--all come together to prevent the tree from being cut down, they still grumble at each other. They can come together for a common cause, but it doesn't erase their differences. Similarly, while Samar and her neighbor Stephen become friends, "their parents still don't talk to each other" at the book's end. Some readers might be unhappy that the book doesn't offer a more explicit or enthusiastic "lesson" about multiculturalism, but I liked the fact that _Wishtree_ doesn't patronize its young readers by telling them what they were supposed to learn. And the fact that Stephen and Samar stay friends despite their parents' failure to is a hopeful reminder that children really are the future, and that many of them are more open, compassionate people than the adults in their lives.
    more
  • Kathie
    January 1, 1970
    Sigh...finally! I felt like I waited to read this book for a very, very, long time, and I'm so glad that I understand what all the buzz is about.I loved Red, the oak tree, as a protagonist. This was unusual and worked very well for me (although the lack of dialog in the first part of the book made me a bit nervous about where it was going). I think this perspective was unique and will open some readers eyes about the affect they have on nature.I loved Samar, and her quiet way with the animals. I Sigh...finally! I felt like I waited to read this book for a very, very, long time, and I'm so glad that I understand what all the buzz is about.I loved Red, the oak tree, as a protagonist. This was unusual and worked very well for me (although the lack of dialog in the first part of the book made me a bit nervous about where it was going). I think this perspective was unique and will open some readers eyes about the affect they have on nature.I loved Samar, and her quiet way with the animals. I loved her wish, and the very shy but budding relationship she developed with Stephen. I also loved the history of the tree, and its relationship to people who have lived in its houses, and how that becomes an important part of the story.This is a must read this year as I have no doubt it will be on many award lists, and there are timely issues to discuss in classrooms, for a wide range of ages.
    more
  • Trin
    January 1, 1970
    Katherine Applegate marries her usual ardent environmentalism with a topical story about immigration and community. Gosh, I just made this sound so dry. It's not. It's a warm, big-hearted book. As usual, Applegate makes her animal -- and in this case, plant -- characters come alive with aplomb; I especially loved Bongo the crow. To me, the message of this book was somewhat unsubtle, but FOR GOSH SAKE TRIN IT'S A BOOK FOR KIDS. And Applegate doesn't talk down to them. Not to mention, she evokes g Katherine Applegate marries her usual ardent environmentalism with a topical story about immigration and community. Gosh, I just made this sound so dry. It's not. It's a warm, big-hearted book. As usual, Applegate makes her animal -- and in this case, plant -- characters come alive with aplomb; I especially loved Bongo the crow. To me, the message of this book was somewhat unsubtle, but FOR GOSH SAKE TRIN IT'S A BOOK FOR KIDS. And Applegate doesn't talk down to them. Not to mention, she evokes genuine suspense over Red the tree's ultimate fate. (Readers still scarred by The Giving Tree will understand.)This is gonna be a big hit, and it deserves to be.
    more
  • Christina Carter
    January 1, 1970
    I am a Welcomer and I can now with all certainty attest to the fact that, "Trees can't tell Jokes, but they can certainly tell stories" (Wishtree by Katherine Applegate). Boy do I LOVE Red and its unlikely tennants that surprisingly dwell harmoniously in its hallows; seldom cantankerously. We've much to learn from this bunch. Red is every bit an optimist and filled with hope as evidenced by the sentiment that, "Hollows are proof that something bad can become something good with enough time and c I am a Welcomer and I can now with all certainty attest to the fact that, "Trees can't tell Jokes, but they can certainly tell stories" (Wishtree by Katherine Applegate). Boy do I LOVE Red and its unlikely tennants that surprisingly dwell harmoniously in its hallows; seldom cantankerously. We've much to learn from this bunch. Red is every bit an optimist and filled with hope as evidenced by the sentiment that, "Hollows are proof that something bad can become something good with enough time and care and hope." Red is also very wise (with its 216 rings) and caring, and views the world through an empathetic lense. Red is there for the community in ways that they may never know. Red stands steadfast as a refuge in silent strength, garnished with the wishes of its immigrant neighborhood. When a new muslim family faces adversity, Red, with the help of a crow named Bongo, concots a plan sure to usher peace. In the end, we all have a voice. I will choose to use my voice to spread kindness. I am a Welcomer.Everyone needs to read this book. In fact, I am adding this book to my K-5 library for my students to enjoy. It is also the perfect read-aloud for the intermediate (3rd-5th grade) level. Katherine Applegate has very quickly become one of my favorite authors!
    more
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Red is a majestic red oak tree who has seen many seasons come and go. He is also the neighborhood 'wishtree' where people tie their wishes and aspirations to his branches. But when a Muslim family moves into the neighborhood, someone leaves a message of hate instead. This is a heartwarming story about the power of love and healing when a community comes together. It's sad that this book is so relevant today, but I'm grateful for authors who address this issue and tell an uplifting story with war Red is a majestic red oak tree who has seen many seasons come and go. He is also the neighborhood 'wishtree' where people tie their wishes and aspirations to his branches. But when a Muslim family moves into the neighborhood, someone leaves a message of hate instead. This is a heartwarming story about the power of love and healing when a community comes together. It's sad that this book is so relevant today, but I'm grateful for authors who address this issue and tell an uplifting story with warmth and empathy, interspersed with humor. Definitely a good book for the entire family.
    more
  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.it starts out slow. I wanted it to just get to the story already for many pages. once it did though, I was completely hooked on red, all the animals living in red and the families sharing space with the tree. very powerful and very relevant story of immigration, discrimination, community, and friendship. highly recommended for 4th to 8th grades but also for reading aloud to younger audiences, probably down to 1st. you'll laugh, you'll cr I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.it starts out slow. I wanted it to just get to the story already for many pages. once it did though, I was completely hooked on red, all the animals living in red and the families sharing space with the tree. very powerful and very relevant story of immigration, discrimination, community, and friendship. highly recommended for 4th to 8th grades but also for reading aloud to younger audiences, probably down to 1st. you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cry some more.
    more
  • Laura Mossa
    January 1, 1970
    The narrator of this inspiring story is Red, a wise, optimistic oak who is affectionately known in the neighborhood as the "wishtree." Each year on the first of May, people write down their hopes and tie it to one of Red's branches. In two hundred and sixteen years, Red though has learned sometimes "there's not much you can do except stand tall and reach deep." But after Samar and her family move in and some neighbors are not welcoming, Samar shares her wish that Red feels moved to grant. Red ma The narrator of this inspiring story is Red, a wise, optimistic oak who is affectionately known in the neighborhood as the "wishtree." Each year on the first of May, people write down their hopes and tie it to one of Red's branches. In two hundred and sixteen years, Red though has learned sometimes "there's not much you can do except stand tall and reach deep." But after Samar and her family move in and some neighbors are not welcoming, Samar shares her wish that Red feels moved to grant. Red makes the bold decision to intervene with the assistance of a pessimistic crow named Bongo and other tree-dwelling animals.Wishtree is beautifully written with a powerful message of acceptance, friendship, and hope. Red reminds us that "real life, like a good garden, is messy" but it is so important to always keep the faith for a better future.Thanks to the publisher Macmillian for providing our #bookexcursion group with an advanced reader copy of Wishtree.
    more
  • Mr. Steve
    January 1, 1970
    So good! My favorite book of the year (so far). It was sweet and sad and hopeful. Short chapters and low 200s page count make it a fantastic read aloud, even for as young as early elementary students (who might not get everything, but definitely enough to make a difference).Should definitely be on the Newbery shortlist and even have a chance at winning. I'll be cheering to hear the title called at Midwinter!
    more
  • Caitlin Zonder
    January 1, 1970
    This was a beautiful book. The best book I have read in a long time. Red is an unusual, but wonderful narrator. There were so many wonderfully written lines in the story. I loved the way the different animals chose their names. A lot of then had me laughing out loud. There was so much heart in this story. This book is needed right now.
    more
  • Ashlee Null
    January 1, 1970
    She knows how to tug at your heart strings and she isn't one to shy away from a tough subject. More than the narrator being a red oak tree, to adults it may seem a tad too optimistic for the circumstances but honestly sometimes adults and children just need a reminder that hope is real and needed. This book is hope.
    more
  • Tj Shay
    January 1, 1970
    It's not every book that has a tree as a narrator....it's not every book that has a gorilla as a narrator either....that's the magic of Katherine's storytelling....you believe. This book is Katherine Applegate at her very best. You fall in love with all of the characters and your are longing to go hang some wishes on the tree.....like the wish the book would never end.
    more
  • Melinda
    January 1, 1970
    This was me, reading this entire book on my lunch break today:12:15: This is too slow. This talking tree is no Ivan.12:30: This is didactic and heavy-handed.12:45: Ok, sniff.1:00: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.
  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    Wishtree is from the POV of a sentient tree, and tells a story of community, bigotry, and acceptance. The human characters are rather featureless. We don't get much of a description and the information we have about them is mostly inferred. I thought it worked well with the context here, considering the speaker is a tree. Overall a beautiful tale that I really enjoyed reading.
    more
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful story.
Write a review