Survivor Tree
Survivor Tree

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Annotation: This hopeful story of a resilient tree that grew (and still grows) at the base of the twin towers is a simple introducti... more
Catalog Number: #312141
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Illustrator: Becker, Aaron,
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-48767-8 Perma-Bound: 0-8000-1253-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-48767-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8000-1253-3
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2019031302
Dimensions: 30 cm
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
Observing the 20th anniversary of 9/11, this nonfiction picture book follows a Callery pear tree, growing -at the foot of the towers- for almost 30 years, that was rescued from the rubble following the attacks. Colleen frames the narrative through the tree-s seasonal displays (-Winter, spring, summer, fall. Bare, white, green, red-) and its history, employing spare, elegant prose as she traces its journey before its uprooting, its decade of recovery in the Bronx-s Arthur Ross Nursery, and its replanting at the 9/11 Memorial: -The/ tree/ hesitated/ to/ fill/ the/ empty/ sky.- Rendered in watercolor and colored pencil, lush illustrations by Caldecott Honoree Becker realistically reflect the city setting and the story-s natural elements while leaving space for images of a varied array of human characters. A sensitive, accessible entry point into a relatively recent tragedy. Back matter includes more information on the Survivor Tree and notes from the creators. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)

Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A remarkable tree stands where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once soared.Through simple, tender text, readers learn the life-affirming story of a Callery pear tree that grew and today still flourishes “at the foot of the towers.” The author eloquently describes the pre-9/11 life of the “Survivor Tree” and its heartening, nearly decadelong journey to renewal following its recovery from the wreckage of the towers’ destruction. By tracking the tree’s journey through the natural cycle of seasonal changes and colors after it was found beneath “the blackened remains,” she tells how, after replanting and with loving care (at a nursery in the Bronx), the tree managed miraculously to flourish again. Retransplanted at the Sept. 11 memorial, it valiantly stands today, a symbol of new life and resilience. Hazy, delicate watercolor-and–colored pencil artwork powerfully traces the tree’s existence before and after the towers’ collapse; early pages include several snapshotlike insets capturing people enjoying the outdoors through the seasons. Scenes depicting the towers’ ruins are aptly somber yet hopeful, as they show the crushed tree still defiantly alive. The vivid changes that new seasons introduce are lovingly presented, reminding readers that life unceasingly renews itself. Many paintings are cast in a rosy glow, symbolizing that even the worst disasters can bring forth hope. People depicted are racially diverse. Backmatter material includes additional facts about the tree.A lovely 20th-anniversary tribute to the towers and all who perished—and survived. (author's note, artist's note) (Informational picture book. 5-8)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 tragedy comes this eloquent picture book about loss and healing. When the Twin Towers filled the sky, a Callery pear tree grew below, unnoticed through the seasons til that fall. As workers cleared rubble from the Twin Towers' collapse, they discovered unexpected green, a bit of life amid so much destruction. Colleen's spare, lyrical text continues to describe how the tree was taken to fresh soil, where it healed for nine years before it was replanted in its original home, now the 9/11 Memorial, and became known as the Survivor Tree. Caldecott Honor winner Becker's soft, evocative watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations tell another story. Readers not only watch the tree first grow, but a younger brother and an older sister play around and stroll past it over the years, until the sister walks off the page and presumably into one of the towers for work. Amid the floating debris after the collapse is a small childhood photograph of them with the tree. In the final scenes, the brother, now a husband and father, visits the 9/11 Memorial with his family. Together, they reach out to the tree and become survivors, too. A concluding note fills in more information on the Survivor Tree. A moving history and tribute to resilience.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (4/1/21)
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly (4/1/21)
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3

This hopeful story of a resilient tree that grew (and still grows) at the base of the twin towers is a simple introduction for young readers to gain an understanding of September 11th and the impact it had on America.

One September day, the perfect blue sky exploded. Dust billowed. Buildings crumbled. And underneath it all, a tree sprouted green leaves in its distress. Pulled from the wreckage, the tree saw many seasons pass as it slowly recovered far away from home. Until one day, forever scarred and forever stronger, it was replanted at the 9/11 Memorial.

This story of the real Survivor Tree uses nature's cycle of colors to reflect on the hope and healing that come after a tragedy—and assures readers of their own remarkable resilience.


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