Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. A beautiful book narrated by a two hundred year old tree named Red. Once a year Red's neighbors tie their deepest desires to its boughs. These wishes range from a homework robot, a friend, to someone to love. Red has watched many human families move in, make wishes, grow old, or move out. Red has also served as home to many critters, including currently a family of opossums, skunks, raccoons, owls and Red's best friend, a crow named Bongo. Things change when a Muslim family, including a young girl named Samar, moves into the house across from Red. The neighbors don't all welcome this new addition. One boy even carves the word "Leave" into Red's bark. Although Red knows it is against the rules for trees to interfere with human affairs, Red cannot stay silent and watch Samar suffer. A wonderful reminder of how newcomers, be they Irish or Muslim, have not always been welcomed. But when they are eventually embraced, the neighborhood is the better for it.
Recommended Age: 8-12
Lourdes - 8 stars. I liked how Samar got her wish to have a friend and her family stayed. I also like the story that the tree tells about Maeve and her wish was to find someone to love with all her heart. I didn't like how Maeve's great granddaughter, Francesca, wanted to chop down the tree. I also didn't like when the boy wrote "Leave" on Red.
Sabine - I give this book 9 stars. I think kids would like learning about wishing day, which is where you wish for something and tie the wish to a tree. I liked how Samar and Stephen became friends in the end. I liked how at the end all of the neighbors came together. I didn't like how Francesca wanted to cut down Red.
Finn - 9 stars. What I didn't like in the book was that Red hardly ever let Bongo make a deposit on anyone. I think kids would like this book because Bongo is funny. I liked this book because trees and animals talk and I like how Red has an opinion about everything. I didn't like that they didn't catch the boy who wrote "Leave."