TITLE & AUTHOR: The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes
PUBLISHER: Little A
PUBLISHED: 1 May 2016
PAGES: 236 pages
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
Fourteen-year-old March Wong knows everything there is to know about trees. They are his passion and his obsession, even after his recent falls—and despite the state’s threat to take him away from his mother if she can’t keep him from getting hurt. But the young autistic boy cannot resist the captivating pull of the Pacific Northwest’s lush forests just outside his back door.
One day, March is devastated to learn that the Eagle Tree—a monolithic Ponderosa Pine near his home in Olympia—is slated to be cut down by developers. Now, he will do anything in his power to save this beloved tree, including enlisting unlikely support from relatives, classmates, and even his bitter neighbour. In taking a stand, March will come face-to-face with some frightening possibilities:
Even if he manages to save the Eagle Tree, is he risking himself and his mother to do it?
Intertwining themes of humanity and ecology, The Eagle Tree eloquently explores what it means to be part of a family, a society, and the natural world that surrounds and connects us.
I saw the Eagle Tree for the first time on the third Monday of the month of March, which could be considered auspicious if I believed in magic or superstition or religion, because my middle name of March, and this is the name that I like people to use to describe me, and I do not respond if you call me by other names. My mother continues to call me Peter, despite the fact that I have told her I am March.
WHAT I THOUGHT
The Eagle Tree is a wonderful book – sad, funny, touching and beautiful in all the best ways. This is the first book I’ve read where the narrator has autism. The author handles this really well. March is a fantastic character. I loved his voice. He was so real and so easy to sympathise with. I loved seeing the world through his unique eyes. March’s love of trees was really sweet and very interesting at times. There are a few moments in the book where I was moved to tears, especially towards the end. This book offered very good insight into the autism spectrum. The Eagle Tree is very insightful and profoundly moving at times. I started to fall in love with March, his story and his unique view of the world from page one.