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I am not above reading children’s literature because one, I have a child and two, children’s literature gives you all the warm, happy feelings. Don’t be fooled by the genre, this one is not a picture book. It’s about 200 pages long, but you could read it in one night. If I had to guess on the age it’s intended for, I would say… 10 year olds? I don’t know, I’m not there yet. Ask me when my daughter is 10 if I think it’s appropriate for her reading level. Anyhow, I found Wishtree at a library used book sale for $.50, and let’s be real, that’s basically a steal.
by Katherine Applegate
Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, Wishtree is about an old oak tree in the city, Red, who serves as the neighborhood “wishtree”. Once a year, on May 1, a long time tradition begs people to write their wishes on a piece of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. The warm, happy feelings that come with community traditions like this, however, subside when someone takes to the wishtree with prejudicial actions toward the neighborhood’s new residents, a muslim family. Red, along with her animal residents, work together to make right the wrongs of the hurtful human before it’s too late.
It is a great gift indeed to love who you are.
― Katherine Applegate, Wishtree
Awards (based upon my brief research):
An Amazon Top 20 Children’s Books of 2017
New York Time’s Bestseller
My Overall Rating:
4 – My gut reaction was to give a 3, demoting it from a 4 simply because it’s “children’s literature”, but I let this post sit for a while because it just didn’t feel right. I’ve always appreciated children’s books that tackle deep, political issues in a way that a child may or may not fully understand at the time of reading (like much of Dr. Seuss’ writing, for example). Wishtree takes a modern day, controversial, political nightmare, and speaks love into it through nature. (Like… I think I’m talking myself into moving this up to a 5 just because of that last sentence.) It’s a cute story. It’s educational. It’s thought-provoking if you allow it to be. I have to highly recommend this book, and even to adults, which feels odd, but oddly right.
P.S. What wish would you tie to the wishtree?