Wishtree Audio CD – CD, January 1, 2035
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Despite its unconventional narration, I found that my daughters remained riveted as we listened to Wishtree. I believe what makes this book shine is its accessibility. It has short chapters and the writing is straightforward. All levels of middle grade readers will be able to handle the writing and the themes, which focus on diversity, inclusion, kindness, and love. Exactly the themes our kids should be thinking and talking more about these days.
There is one word in Wishtree, one very simple word, that brought both my husband and I to tears. I won’t tell you what it is. You’ll know it when you get there.
Oh, my heart. This book is beautiful. I knew the instant I started reading it that I had to teach it. It's so powerful.
Red, a local oak tree, is the narrator of this tale. He is a Wishtree where people tie wishes, and his new neighbor, Samar, ha made a wish for a friend. She's new to town and Muslim and people are not treating her family well.
Through flashbacks that artfully parallel the era to the Irish and Italian immigration, more than a century before, we hear a tale of acceptance, bravery and loyalty told through the eyes of the community's longest and most loving resident....the tree.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
"Hollows offer protection from the elements. A secure spot to sleep and to stash your belongings. They're a safe place. Hollows are proof that something bad can become something good with enough time and care and hope" p. 5
"... Sometimes things happen that aren't so good. When they occur, I've learned that there's not much you can do except stand tall and reach deep." P. 35
"Real life, like a good garden, is messy." p. 209
This book is going to be very popular. It was published in September of this year and has already topped some major book lists. It's beautiful. Not just pretty to look at, which it is, but so sweet. I hugged the book when I finished, which isn't something I never do, but it's reserved for a special category of book.
A new Muslim family moves into the neighborhood and faces the ugliest side of human nature. The power of friendship, bravery, and history are woven together in this tale, part magic, part science, and all love. In Applegate's own words, there is a special kind of power in being able to stand tall and reach deep in all circumstances. Leave it to children's literature to teach us (adults and children alike) to be the very people we can be.
Top international reviews
I really enjoyed this book and had a lot of fun reading it out loud with my son. The story is told from the trees point of view which makes it unique, interesting and fun to read out loud! The story is meaningful, teaching valuable lessons on community, belonging, and so much more. I had a few tears in my eyes near the end that is for sure!
My son, whom typically prefers fast paced magical books still quite enjoyed this book and was always anticipating what was going to happen next! Although I think he may be just a bit young to grasp the entire meaning of the story I could see he took away some pieces of it and I feel like it could be a book he re-reads on his own in time and understand it even more.
A great book I would highly recommend, complete with a gorgeous cover and some beautiful illustrations scattered through the pages!