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Wishtree
2017
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Author Notes
Katherine Applegate was born in Michigan on July 19, 1956. She writes science fiction, young adult romances, and pop-up books. She is the author of the Making Waves, Making Out, and Roscoe Riley Rules series. She writes the Animorphs, Everworld, and Remnants series under the pen name K. A. Applegate. She also writes under the pen names of C. Archer, Catherine Kendall and Elizabeth Benning. She has received numerous awards including a Golden Duck Award (Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grades) for The Message in 1997, the SCBWI 2008 Golden Kite Award for Best Fiction and the Bank Street 2008 Josette Frank Award for Home of the Brave, and the 2013 Newbery Medal and the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award (Illinois) for The One and Only Ivan. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Red (Female), Oak tree; people write their wishes and tie them to her branches; watches over the neighborhood; has a crow as a friend; a new family moves to the area
Genre
Fiction
Juvenile
Topics
Trees
Kindness
Community life
Wishes
Human values
Nature
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  New York Times Review

FANTASYLAND: How America Went Haywire: A 500History, by Kurt Andersen. (Random House, $30.) Andersen's romp through American history, from Anne Hutchinson to Donald Trump, contains a powerful message: For centuries the country has nurtured a "promiscuous devotion to the untrue." CAREERS FOR WOMEN, by Joanna Scott. (Little, Brown, $26.) This novel has a craftily arranged narrative with plot twists and publicists in midcentury New York City. Scott borrows the best aspects of crime fiction (pacing, stakes, excitement) and avoids its worst (gore, stilted dialogue, clumsy foreshadowing). BLACK DETROIT: A People's History of Self-Determination, by Herb Boyd. (Amistad/HarperCollins, $27.99.) In 29 chapters, spanning more than three centuries, Boyd celebrates the men and women of Detroit who would otherwise remain on history's margins. There are a lot of reasons to despair about the city's future. But Boyd remains hopeful. THE LIGHTHOUSE, by Alison Moore. (Biblioasis, paper, $14.95.) This suspenseful novel, a finalist for the Man Booker Prize in 2012, follows a lonely British hiker, recently separated from his wife, through an increasingly troubled, possibly dangerous, trek across the German countryside. A DISAPPEARANCE IN DAMASCUS: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War, by Deborah Campbell. (Picador, $27.) In the mid-2000s, when Campbell was an undercover journalist in Syria, her fixer was grabbed by the authorities and vanished. This searing account presents an unusual perspective on the horror of the police state - that of the outsider trying to navigate its treacherous shoals. THE BURNING GIRL, by Claire Messud. (Norton, $25.95.) The teenage girls in Messud's novel have always been best friends. Now they're getting older and growing apart. The consequences could be dangerous for one of them. And life-changing for both. GORBACHEV: His Life and Times, by William Taubman. (Norton, $39.95.) Taubman, the author of an awardwinning biography of Nikita Khrushchev, comes through again with what will surely be the definitive English-language study of the Russian leader who opened up the Soviet Union - and was hated for it. A KIND OF FREEDOM, by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton. (Counterpoint, $26.) This luminous and assured first novel shines an unflinching, compassionate light on three generations of a black family in New Orleans, emphasizing endurance more than damage. WISHTREE, by Katherine Applegate. (Feiwel & Friends, $17.99; ages 8 to 12.) Red, the character at the center of Applegate's beautiful and morally bracing parable, is a city tree who witnesses a neighborhood boy's hatred for a family of Muslim immigrants. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: nytimes.com/books

  Publishers Weekly Review

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. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Horn Book Review

Applegates contemplative novel on the theme of tradition and the necessity for change is narrated by Red, a 216-year-old oak tree that serves as a communitys wishtree. Every year on the first day of May, people come from all over town to adorn me with scraps of paper, bits of fabric, snippets of yarn, and the occasional gym sock. Each offering represents a dream, a desire, a longing. When an ugly act of Islamophobia (and vandalism of Red) threatens the neighborhood idyll, Red, along with crow buddy Bongo, rallies support--both animal and human--for newcomer Samars family. Kind Samar, in turn, helps Red, whos facing the hatchet. Interspersed chapters provide the backstory of a nineteenth-century foundling and give historical resonance to the theme of community prejudice and acceptance. Its a stretch to have a protagonist with no actual voice or physical action, but Applegate pulls it off with good-natured aplomb. Intriguing botanical facts are dotted throughout the story (Red is monoecious, having both male and female flowers); how various species name themselves is a resilient running joke. Bongos touch of cynicism balances the wise elders tendency toward pontificating, and Applegate boldly does an end-run around the fact that Red doesnt speak to humans. Short chapters and a clear, unadorned writing style invite reading aloud. sarah ellis (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
<p> The New York Times- bestselling story of kindness, friendship, and hope. <br> <br> 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>This book has Common Core connections.</p>
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