by S. Terrell French
Three children team together to save an old-growth redwood forest from being cut down. The three characters are likeable and laugh-out loud funny, as they attempt stunts that include a fake press release and an indefinite protest and standoff in a treehouse. Along the way, the book educates the reader about the environment and the great redwoods on the California coast.
- Readers of all ages
- Readers who love nature and outdoors
Read This Book For These Reasons:
- Laugh-out funny dialogue and interactions between the main characters.
- Exciting plot, includes the main characters climbing up to a treehouse and staying there to stage a protest.
- The description of farm life at Robin's home (one of the main characters)
- How the main character, Julian Carter-Li, deals with racism against Asians by his father's side of the family.
- How the main character does the right thing, even when others are trying to attack and criticize what he is doing.
Things to Keep in Mind about this book:
- There are some slightly inappropriate words (like 'stupid' and 'moron').
- Never give up.
- Speak truth to power (the children stand up to a powerful corporation owned by one of the main character's uncle)
- Stand up for you think is right
- We should all care about the environment.
Meggie (Rating: Exceptional)
I really loved this book because it is about a favorite topic of mine: nature. For once the plot was an exciting, but straightforward adventure story, unlike other recent books I have read which had Very Serious Settings like World War II, or the Berlin Olympics. The characters are brave and determined, and I felt myself rooting for them. Lastly, even though the theme of the book was environment and ecology, the book was very funny in parts - the interactions between the characters kept me entertained.
Mo (Rating: Exceptional)
I loved this book, for many of the same reasons as Meggie. It is a page-turning story about three children trying to save an old-growth redwood forest. The main characters are well-written, and the dialogue between them is laugh-out-loud funny. I'd read this book again just for the snappy dialogue between the main characters. Also, unlike many other books I've read, it has both a boy and a girl portrayed in a positive light (some books have a boy main character, and the girls around him are annoying - or vice versa).
Exceptional books deserve multiple readings, and new layers of meaning emerge after each reading. This is such a book. At its surface, it's a well-written adventure story with a satisfying, yet believable ending. On top of it, the author adds nuggets of information about redwoods, their history and why they are so unique. I learnt a ton about redwoods from this story. Lastly, there's an under-current of how the main character deals with racism - his father married a Chinese-American, and his father's side of the family shuns him, partly for that reason. The main character deals with it well, even though it bothers him.
The author has been a forest ranger, a Harvard graduate, and a graduate of Berkeley law. Her love for redwoods and ecology shines through in this book.
This is an excellent book, I'll be reading it again.