Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate

Wishtree is the story of an oak tree whose best friend is a crow. Red–the tree–is wise and provides shelter and friendship to a menagerie of animals. Once a year, everyone in town writes down a wish and ties it to one of Red’s branches. One day, a new family moves into the house right next to Red. Red and the animals are thrilled to have a new family in the neighborhood, but not everyone is as welcoming.

In the dark of one night, a boy carves a message of hate and fear in Red’s trunk. When the annual day of wishing comes, it will take a whole neighborhood to help the healing begin.

Given the state of our world today, Wishtree is the best kind of story for both children and adults. It carries a powerful and compelling message of inclusion, tolerance, and acceptance.

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