Red is over 200 rings old and is a wishtree. Each May people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them on Red's branches. Red has seen a lot of things happen during her life. When Red and her friend Bongo, a crow, hear the girl who lives nearby wish to make a friend, Red wants to help make that wish come true. Especially when someone carves the word "LEAVE" into Red's trunk and there is talk of ending Red's life to help make things easier in the neighborhood.
Okay, that description does not come close to conveying the emotion of what is happening in this book. I will get back to all of that but let me start by saying that I was already enjoying it, but when I got to the wishing day part and I read about the messages being put on Red, I sobbed for the entire rest of the story. And I thought about reading it again, which is unheard of for me. AND I gave it five stars on Goodreads which is also unheard of for me. This is just a lovely, wonderful book that can be read on so many levels and still be lovely regardless of your age or understanding of the depths. In addition to the messages about acceptance and taking care of those around us, there is just some delightful interaction with all the animals in the book and the fun of the description of their naming conventions. Such as: all squirrel names start with "SQU" and skunks name themselves after things that smell nice and owls have sensible names, as you would expect. I want everyone to read this.