ALL THE STARS!!! This is THE middle grade book of fall 2017 and it should be on the pre-order list for every single library and middle grade classroom in the country. While it may be listed as for ages 10-14, I would read this book aloud as far down as first grade.
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
(Feiwel & Friends – September 26, 2017)
WISHTREE is at first glance a middle grade novel about a tree and animals, but WISHTREE is also, and more importantly, a message book.
It uses the medium of a beautiful middle grade story to spread a message about wishes and inclusion and friendship and religious tolerance in a time of great turmoil in the US. And yes, it also has great dialogue between Red the oak tree and Red’s animal friends – that’s what will first hook kids! But as teachers and parents share this book with children, Red and the animals will fall to the background as discussions about big topics arise…..big topics that we do need to be talking about.
What Applegate has done with this book is exquisite, as she has wrapped this vital message up in a book that is incredibly accessible to to even the most reluctant middle grade reader – short chapters, simple sentences and manageable vocabulary are the perfect venue for a message like this. I will be recommending this as a staff book club pick this year and hope to have it read aloud to as many classes as possible in my school. It’s THAT good. And THAT important.
Thanks to NerdCampMI and the publisher for the advance review copy of this title – all opinions are my own. This galley will now be passed on to the #kidlitexchange review network.