Sunday is my leisure reading day. It’s one way that I set the day of rest apart from the other days of the week. Not that I don’t enjoy my regular reading. I’m blessed that I have an overflowing pile of books (both in print and ebooks) that people send me to review, but once a week it is a pleasure to read something I’ve picked out for myself, whether that be a magazine, novel, or work of non-fiction.
Today’s pick was Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. I had been on the holds list at the library for a while on this one and was so pleased to have it come this week. This is a middle grade book but is suitable for anyone that age or older.
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for trees, and this story is told from the perspective of a special northern red oak that has seen quite a lot in its 216 years. It is used as a wishing tree, where people tie their wishes to its branches every spring in the hopes that they might come true. But when a mean-spirited teen carves a hateful message into its bark aimed at a new family in town, it seems like the tree’s days might finally be numbered. The tree is resigned to its fate, but is determined if at all possible to grant one last wish.
Applegate is a Newbery Medal winning author and she knows how to weave a story well. This one is a tale of belonging and friendship and welcoming the stranger which we so desperately need in our angry world. I was sitting at the park crying my eyes out as I read this. It’s sweet and beautiful and meaningful. It will only take you an hour or so to read and you might just decide to pass it on to some young person in your life.
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