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Mock Newbery 2018 - Wishtree

by Mary Voors | Nov 08, 2017

Cover of book Wishtree

by Katherine Applegate
A Feiwel and Friends Book, 2017
215 pages

The summary offered by the publisher in our library's catalog is: "A red oak tree and a crow help their human neighbors work out their differences." This summary does not begin to express the complexity and thoughtfulness of this book.

Wishtree begins simply enough with a comment from Red, the main character: "It's hard to talk to trees. We're not big on chitchat."

The story revolves around Red, an oak tree who is "two hundred and sixteen rings old" and his friend, Bongo, a crow. Red watches over the neighborhood while protecting the natural community which takes shelter among its leaves and branches and hollows of its trunk. He also watches over the people in his neighborhood.

While I am not normally a reader who enjoys "talking animals" stories, I totally fell for this book; a story which can be read on many levels. It will serve well as a read-aloud to primary level children about the importance and value of friendship. At the same time, its beautiful metaphors make it an amazing parable about welcoming and embracing diversity, not judging others before getting to know them, and recognizing that difference can bring strength.

I can't wait to talk about this book at our Mock Newbery discussion which will be held on February 3rd, 2018 at the Main Library in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Or add your comments below!  We'd love to know what YOU thought of this title.

Each week, beginning the first week of November 2017 through the last week of January 2018, we will be discussing one (or more) of the titles on our 2018 Mock Newbery list. (The complete list of titles we'll be discussing can be found here.)

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