“Wishtree” by Katherine Applegate is about a tree named Red and two children named Stephen and Samar. Red is a 216-year-old tree and Samar is only 10. Red is the neighbourhood “wish tree” where people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Red has seen a lot over the years when a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experience as a wish tree are more important than ever.
As the grade 6 students in Ms. Wilk’s and Ms. Gallello’s class read this book, they saw the importance of kindness. “A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph” (Kirkus Reviews). These are the traits we need in the time we currently live in. The students put up a beautiful paper tree in our main foyer and invited students to add their wishes to our version of the wish tree. “Never lose hope. Wishes have a way of coming true.”
Many wishes on our tree was around COVID-19 coming to an end or a vaccine found to cure it. But other wishes included: “I wish to grow myself so I can help others grow”; “I wish I could help the homeless”; “I wish people to accept whom others are”; “I wish for a puppy”; and “I wish for unlimited chocolate milk!”