Book review: Tree By Leaf

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Author:Cynthia Voigt
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 12 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 8 and up
Year of publication:1988

A gloomy book about the effects of war and weather on real bodies and minds. And about how a child can come to feel responsible for the acts of man and nature.

My ten year old found it compelling, but depressing. Without an understanding of the hideous weapons used during World War I, the descriptions of the injuries were difficult to understand. (Not that I'd have wanted them to be graphic.)

A child might take the moral of this scary fairy tale to be "Be very careful what you wish. Very careful." And, yes, I approve of that message as it's presented in Into the Woods. "Be careful the wish you make. Wishes come true. Not free."

And I do think it's good for all people to think through the full ramifications of their actions and their wishes. And through the main character, the book does help us to think about how to formulate effective, clear, less dangerous wishes.

But do we want our children to worry that their possibly less-than-perfect wishes will come true?

If you found this review helpful and/or interesting, consider supporting our book habit: Buy this book!: Tree By Leaf

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