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Wishtree
Cover of Wishtree
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...
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...
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Description-

  • 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.

    Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, Wishtree is Newbery Medalist and New York Times–bestselling author Katherine Applegate at her very best—writing from the heart, and from a completely unexpected point of view.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Katherine Applegate is the author of several best-selling young adult series, including Animorphs and Roscoe Riley Rules. Home of the Brave, her first standalone novel, received the SCBWI 2008 Golden Kite Award for Best Fiction and the Bank Street 2008 Josette Frank Award. She lives with her family in Irvine, California.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 10, 2017
    The simplicity of Newbery Medalist Applegate’s graceful novel contrasts powerfully with the prejudice it confronts. Narration comes from Red, an enormous red oak near an elementary school that also serves as a “wishtree” for the neighborhood—once a year, residents deposit wishes in Red’s branches and hollows. Though trees aren’t supposed to talk to humans, Red cares for them deeply, especially when a lonely girl named Samar and her Muslim family move into the neighborhood and receive a chilly, then hostile, reception: a boy carves “Leave” into Red’s trunk, and the family endures taunts and other abuses. “I love people dearly,” Red muses. “And yet. Two hundred and sixteen rings, and I still haven’t figured them out.” Applegate creates strong parallel between these threats and those that Red faces, as neighborhood matriarch Francesca contemplates cutting the tree down. As tension escalates in both the natural and human realms, Red’s openhearted voice and generosity of spirit bring perspective gained over centuries of observation. It’s a distinctive call for kindness, delivered by an unforgettable narrator. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. Illustrator’s agent: Justin Rucker, Shannon Associates.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2017

    Gr 4-8-Newbery Award-winning author Applegate meets high expectations in this tale told by a tree named Red, a red oak who is "two hundred and sixteen rings old." Touching on religious bigotry and the environment, Applegate keeps the emphasis on her characters, the many animals and birds who find shelter in the tree's branches all year round. (All the birds and animals have names and the power to talk, just like Red.) Around the first of May, people write down their wishes on pieces of cloth and hang them from the tree's branches, giving Red a special place in the community. The pacing starts out slowly, with early chapters focused almost entirely on the natural world, but eventually readers meet the human at the novel's center. Samar, a recent Muslim refugee, is lonely and in need of a friend. A nameless boy uses the tree to convey hateful messages to Samar and her family. The owner of the tree is tired of roots in the plumbing and hopes all the nastiness will disappear if the tree is cut down, having forgotten the story of her ancestors and the beginning of all the wishes. Red decides to intervene and ask for help from the animals and birds. Even those who shy away from books with talking animals will find this believable fantasy elegant and poignant. Widening the appeal is a sparse word count, making this a great choice for a family or classroom read-aloud and an inviting option for reluctant readers. VERDICT Another stunning effort from Applegate. This thoughtful read is a top choice for middle graders.-Carol A. Edwards, formerly at Denver Public Library

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from August 15, 2017
    Generations of human and animal families grow and change, seen from the point of view of the red oak Wishing Tree that shelters them all. Most trees are introverts at heart. So says Red, who is over 200 years old and should know. Not to mention that they have complicated relationships with humans. But this tree also has perspective on its animal friends and people who live within its purview--not just witnessing, but ultimately telling the tales of young people coming to this country alone or with family. An Irish woman named Maeve is the first, and a young 10-year-old Muslim girl named Samar is the most recent. Red becomes the repository for generations of wishes; this includes both observing Samar's longing wish and sporting the hurtful word that another young person carves into their bark as a protest to Samar's family's presence. (Red is monoecious, they explain, with both male and female flowers.) Newbery medalist Applegate succeeds at interweaving an immigrant story with an animated natural world and having it all make sense. As Red observes, animals compete for resources just as humans do, and nature is not always pretty or fair or kind. This swiftly moving yet contemplative read is great for early middle grade, reluctant or tentative readers, or precocious younger students. A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph. (Fantasy. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • DOGO Books cgwong908 - The Wishing Tree is a red oak (named Red) where people write down a wish and tie it to Red. Red sees tons of things throughout his two hundred and sixteen rings (years) of life. A girl named Samar lives in the house in front of Red. Every night, she gets out of bed to lean on Red. All the animals that live in Red love her, including Red’s friend crow, Bongo. One day, she comes outside with a wish on a piece of fabric. While she ties it on to Red, she says “I wish I had a friend.” Samar’s neighbor is a student at her school named Stephen. In the beginning, they dislike each other. But, when Red tries to grant Samar’s wish, they become friends. One night, Red put plan #3 into action. He instructed Bongo to untie Samar’s wish and leave it on Stephen’s windowsill. Once he looks outside, he sees the wish, opens the window and reads it. He walked to the wishing tree and started a conversation. However, during the conversation, Red tells them a story, even though he broke the #1 rule, the no talking to people rule. Red is planted on a lawn. The owner of that lawn doesn’t like it there. So she tries to cut it down. But in the end, the animals saved Red from being cut down and that convinced the owner to keep Red alive. My favorite part is when the animals saved Red by perching on the branches to save Red. She didn’t want to hurt the animals, so she decided not to cut Red down. My favorite character is Red. He is a good friend of Samar’s and is so nice to her that he breaks the rules for her to have a friend. Even though he is sad, he overcomes many obstacles (such as someone carving the word “leave “ into his trunk) but in the end, everyone is happy. I recommend this book to people who love nature.
  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2017
    Grades 4-7 *Starred Review* Just a tree, huh? Beloved author and Newbery winner Applegate returns with a moving tale starring, of all things, an oak tree. Red has stood her ground for more than a century, watching over the houses in her neighborhood and befriending the animals that call her hollows home. Each May, her branches are strung with wishes, a tradition stemming from an Irish immigrant who once lived on the property. Red sees all, including an act of hatethe word leave scrawled into her trunk, aimed at new renters, a Muslim family. After so many years of keeping quiet, Red and the animals take action, aiming to connect Samar, a young Muslim girl, with her neighbor Stephen. Meanwhile, Red's owner considers cutting her down. Short chapters and a slim word count widen the audience of this beautiful tale. In less capable hands, the subject matter could come across as moralizing, but by introducing a charming cast of crittersopossums, birds, squirrels, and so onApplegate adds levity, humor, and balance. Though the story's happy ending is predictable, not all is wrapped in a tidy bow. Hate and prejudice still exist in Samar and Stephen's world, as in our own. Timely, necessary, and brimming with heart.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal, starred review "Newbery Award–winning author Applegate meets high expectations in this tale told by a tree named Red, a red oak who is "two hundred and sixteen rings old." ... Another stunning effort from Applegate. This thoughtful read is a top choice for middle graders."
  • Kirkus Reviews, starred review "This swiftly moving yet contemplative read is great for early middle grade, reluctant or tentative readers, or precocious younger students. A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph."
  • BookPage "This gentle yet powerful book is suitable for all ages...and its message remains more vital than ever."
  • Voices of Youth Advocates, starred review
    ________
    Praise for Crenshaw:
    "Inspires hope for positive change. Perfect for a powerful classroom read, Wishtree is another winner for Applegate."
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review "This accessible and moving novel demonstrates how the creative resilience of a child's mind can soften difficult situations, while exploring the intersection of imagination and truth."
  • School Library Journal, starred review "A compelling and unflinchingly honest treatment of a difficult topic."

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