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Fiction Club Archive > Fiction Club - Jan '18 - Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

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message 1: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 160 comments The poll winner for the Good Reads Best of '17 is Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. It is a quick read with several themes.

Happy Reading in 2018!

message 2: by Peak (new)

Peak  | 1 comments Love, love, loved this book! Talked with students about being trees and watching what happens around us, (good and bad) and the importance of being part of the conversation when we have something to contribute or can enact change. Also discussed what we can do if we don’t feel like we can join the conversation.

message 3: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6551 comments Mod
Ordered, looking forward to it!

message 4: by Megan (new)

Megan (appaloosa05) | 14 comments I read this book a few weeks ago and enjoyed it very much. It was a fast, engaging read that dealt with important, current themes in an approachable way. I especially appreciated Applegate's creativity with the naming of the animals.

message 5: by Gulshan (new)

Gulshan Naqvee (x1f98agulshanx1f970x1f970) I am looking it up at the library. Will update here once I find it and start reading! I'm sure I will love it

message 6: by Cynthia E (new)

Cynthia E Sherman (cynthiaesherman) | 5 comments I have never read this book. I will look into it, and then join in.

message 7: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 1 comments I enjoyed this story. At first I missed the special quality it held. Seeing the theme come together through the actions of the animals matching the actions of the people the tree was describing made it outstanding. I liked the voice of the tree and the interesting details the author added that made it seem like a tree really was having those thoughts. It feels like a great read aloud. Not sure it is one my students will enjoy on their own. What do others think?

message 8: by Denise (new)

Denise Del gianni | 1 comments A quick read and again Applegate did not disappoint. I was pleased to see her dive in and tackle difficult and relevant issues through the voice of the knowledgeable tree. The addition of the sweet and humorous animals will delight children and assist teachers in making connections with the books message. I’m so glad this book was chosen to start off the new year.

message 9: by Momo (new)

Momo (momotimetoread) | 20 comments Trying to get this book here in Australia. My local shop won’t have it until July! None of the libraries have it. I need to go to a big chain store in the city. Hope to read this book soon.

message 10: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Jan 19, 2018 06:44PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2530 comments Mod
I read this book back in November, and really enjoyed it. I loved all the different animal families that lived in and around the about 200 year old tree. And I liked how the tree and animals were instrumental in getting the people in the neighborhood to accept the new Muslim family that had moved in. The black-and-white illustrations were also a big plus.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I really enjoyed this fast read. The messages it sends are real to the world we live in today. Making sacrifices, bonding, being there for one another and believing there is still hope. I could go on and on.

message 12: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6551 comments Mod
I agree that this is an important book, and of course it's easy to teach. I really did like the vocabulary. But I just didn't particularly care for the story, and I don't think I would have when I was a child, either.

message 13: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 160 comments I've waited to comment till the end of the month to not taint anyone's experience of the book, however I did not enjoy this one. Ms. Applegate is a true favorite in recent children's fiction but I found this book extremely contrived. I appreciate the topics of environmentalism, immigration and being good citizens however this book just didn't resonate. I think it may have been trying to cover too much.

message 14: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6551 comments Mod
Oh, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only spoilsport!

message 15: by Manybooks (last edited Mar 14, 2019 04:44PM) (new)

Manybooks | 8182 comments Mod
Well, I finally got around to reading this (for another group) and I for one found the talking tree annoying and the messages while important really heavy handed and didactic. I mean, this feels like it is supposed to be realistic fiction but the talking tree as well as the baby animals with their sit-in on the tree to keep it from being cut down, it feels artificial and fantastical and might have worked as a fairy tale but not as a story dealing with realistic 21st century issues such as immigration and ethnic stereotyping.

message 16: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6551 comments Mod
I actually think a mix of fantasy and realism might have worked, in a better book, but it certainly doesn't here. Definitely too 'heavy-handed' for any reader with any experience.

message 17: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8182 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I actually think a mix of fantasy and realism might have worked, in a better book, but it certainly doesn't here. Definitely too 'heavy-handed' for any reader with any experience."

I still do not think I would have loved a talking tree in a novel based on reality, but yes, if Red had been a bit more believable and not such a know-it -all and if the storyline itself had been less didactic and less contrived, I probably would have liked Wishtree a bit better (although I still do not think the novel would have totally resonated with me).

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