Wishtree (By Katherine Applegate, Illustrated by Charles Santoso)
AGES 10 AND UP
Wishtree is a multifaceted story that is narriated by a 216 year Northern Red Oak tree named Red. It is versatile in that it tells a story from Red’s point of view. He is a shelter provider, he tells jokes, he is a listener, an observer, he is a wishtree and a story teller. As the story unfolds and the reader learn about Red, the reader is aware that his days might be numbered. While every creature and human that knows him is exasperated by his possible demise, Red is optimistic and instead of focusing on his death he focuses on a girl that needs his help. The girl made a simple wish to Red to have a friend, and Red made it his mission to help her. The girl Samar and her family are immigrants, because of this it caused one boy to carve “leave” into Red. Red with the help of the animals that shelter in his tree succeed in finding a friend named Steven, and the two of them in turn help Red live. It is rare to find a book for children so full of optimism while the main character faces great diversity. Red is a wonderful narrator who has an incredible history and as much as he wants to be a change in the world he realizes it is the greatest of gifts to love who you are.
A Bookish Decree: This story is filled with love and friendship in big and in subtle ways.