by Katherine Applegate (2017)

A Sweet Spot, Intermediate, and Middle School selection. 

The Spanish edition of El árbol de los desos is imported from a foreign publisher and incurs an additional surcharge.

Listen closely.  Trees are great storytellers. And there is much to learn….

Welcome to the neighborhood, where Red watches over things and preserves the history of generations. Red has been the steady, constant source of peace, wisdom, and terrible jokes. Red surveys the happenings of the neighborhood and the dynamics of its inhabitants. But recently, anger and unkindness have pushed Red to the limit. Can Red work to make things  right? Can the neighborhood be saved? Red decides to risk it all. Action must be taken. But how? Red, you see, is a tree!

Katherine Applegate enchants her readers again with a lovely story written in her beautiful poetic prose. Red, the wise old oak tree, is willing to risk it all for the humans that need help. Red is a wishing tree, and when a new family is persecuted and unwelcomed, the gentle oak summons selfless bravery and decides to DO something to help Samar and her family. Using the talents of animal allies, Nature literally finds a way to save the neighborhood.

Families will enjoy reading about the antics of the animal families that live in the wishing tree. They will snicker and roll their eyes together as Red tries to tell jokes. They will rejoice as the community learns its most valuable lesson from its beloved wishing tree. Applegate takes on very heavy human issues such as love, hate, and friendship. But she does it with a delicate whimsy that will stimulate and inspire readers, young and old.

Student readers will be challenged to make their wishes come true by standing up for what is right and making a difference. Who knew a quiet, old, “punny” tree could teach us so much? Listen closely. Trees are great storytellers. And there is much to learn…