A story of acceptance and community told from the perspective of a wise 216-year-old northern red oak tree named Red, I read the book Wishtree in one delicious (or is it deciduous) sitting. I laughed, I cried, and I was happy / sad when it was over. This is the book the world needs now more than ever. Pun-filled tree humor provides the laughter than opens the way to understanding that diversity is the key to a healthy, thriving society. Nature knows that. Nature has always known that. And it’s time for us to embrace it, too.
A new Muslim family moves into the neighborhood and faces the ugliest side of human nature. The power of friendship, bravery, and history are woven together in this tale, part magic, part science, and all love. In Applegate’s own words, there is a special kind of power in being able to stand tall and reach deep in all circumstances. Leave it to children’s literature to teach us (adults and children alike) to be the very best people we can be.