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Written to please the censors. I still read it to my kids and appreciated the writing, but overall the story was a little shallow and benign. Basically a tree speaks up for immigrants harassed by the locals.
We are reading this now as required reading for my rising 3rd grader. This book is not appropriate for younger readers. They vocabulary is very mature and i had to help my son with many of the words from a pronunciation and definition perspective, which was sometimes difficult to explain given his age. Words like 'dioecious', 'bedraggled' and 'crepusular' are not words I understand let a lone an 8 year old. The subject matter was a little beyond his 'worldliness' and I felt the message could have been conveyed a little more innocently to this young audience. I would say this book is much more appropriate for a 4-5th grade audience to 2-3rd.
This book is good. I don't love Applegate's writing style. The chapters are so short. I believe there are 52 chapters, some are not even a page long. I didn't love the reasons behind all the animal names. It felt distracting. I probably wouldn't read this book again.
Didn't understand this was a book for older children/adults. I was looking for a picture read aloud book with a 5 year old. It is difficult in the description to know this, but I'll hold onto it for when she has longer attention span because it's so well recommended