‘Wishtree’ author appears; actual tree awaiting slips

More Community Read activities planned

“Wishtree” author Katherine Applegate will do a livestreamed talk Thursday evening via the Port Townsend Public Library website.

“Wishtree” author Katherine Applegate will do a livestreamed talk Thursday evening via the Port Townsend Public Library website.

PORT TOWNSEND — “I’ve always known how to keep a secret. You have to be discreet when you’re a wishtree. People tell trees all kinds of things. They know we’ll listen.”

So says Red, the oak tree and title character of “Wishtree,” the acclaimed author Katherine Applegate’s book about how it feels to be part of a community.

The illustrated novel is a Community Read selection this season, so the Port Townsend Library will host a free livestreamed meet-the-author talk on Thursday.

“You don’t have to have read the book to participate,” Library Director Melody Sky Weaver has said of this and the rest of the Community Read activities in March.

Applegate’s talk, which will include time for live questions from the audience, will start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, with a Zoom link provided in advance at PTpubliclibrary.org under the Upcoming Events box at the left side of the home page.

While “Wishtree” is a children’s book, the library has picked another Community Read selection this year for teens and adults: “The House in the Cerulean Sea” by TJ Klune.

An online discussion of that book — featuring Jumping Mouse Children’s Center director Kimberley Gorman — is set for 7 p.m. March 24.

Then Klune himself will give a livestreamed talk at 6:30 p.m. March 31.

“Wishtree,” at the same time, has inspired an actual attaching of heart-shaped wish slips onto a tree outside the Port Townsend Library.

The biodegradable slips can be found inside the building at 1220 Lawrence St., so for the rest of the month, people of any age can write down their wishes and affix them to the tree’s easily reachable branches.

Yet another tree-inspired children’s activity is slated for 10:30 a.m. March 22 when author Toni Yuly presents her new book, “Some Questions about Trees,” for kids ages 0 to 6.

Details about these Community Read offerings can be found at PTpubliclibrary.org, while copies of “Cerulean Sea” and “Wishtree” can be checked out at the library.

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Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or durbanidelapaz@peninsula dailynews.com.

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