Review Detail

Kids Fiction 180
strong middle grade story with important themes
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
TREE OF DREAMS is a story about facing yourself, healing, standing up for/with others, and environmental activism. Coco is a 13-year-old who knows and loves chocolates. She helps her mother run an upscale chocolate shop called El Corazon, which buys fair trade beans. However, business has been decreasing in the expensive resort town where they live and work. Coco would do anything to help keep the shop afloat, and so, when she has a dream about a tree in the Amazon rainforest which has a treasure below, she knows she wants to go.

When a dessert making contest appears with the prize of a trip to the Amazon, Coco knows it is fate and creates the perfect chocolate masterpiece to enter. She is surprised at the contest to compete against her former BFF, Leo, who had rejected her months before, choosing to hang out with the popular crowd instead. When they are both announced as the winners, they embark on a journey to somewhere they never could have imagined.

When they arrive in the Amazon, they witness the realities of logging and oil extraction as well as the problems the indigenous peoples are facing. The forest is being destroyed. With a little luck and magic, maybe Coco and Leo might be able to find a way to help- and find Coco’s tree with the hopeful treasure to save the shop.

What I loved: This book really brings the current problems facing the Amazon rainforest to the forefront with a narrative exploration and description that shows the devastation they face. It is easy to connect with the characters- including the tree whose perspective we get in small sections throughout. This is a great book to introduce the concepts to a younger audience and help them to understand these issues.

Beyond the environmental issues, the book also raises concepts about regret and anger in terms of what they do to an individual and how to make amends/move on. These can also be valuable lessons for a younger audience who can empathize with the characters. Coco is a great and insightful main character that will appeal to the middle grade audience well.

There is also a bit of magical realism with the dreams and a couple other things (that I won’t say to avoid spoilers) that add a unique air to the book. It’s really a lovely middle grade read.

Final verdict: Overall, this is a fascinating story that will appeal to the middle grade audience with lessons about regret, anger, and the devastation facing the Amazon rainforest and its inhabitants. Great for chocolate lovers and people who are looking for a touching read, this book has broad appeal and important themes.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 3 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...
Ashes (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #3)
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
"The truth was, I wasn’t on anyone’s side except Claire’s....
Fire (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #2)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After being killed by demons, former angel Adam wakes up...
Spark (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #1)
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
"It came out of nowhere. A sweep of emotions. Love,...
The Twin
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
After their parents divorced, 10-year-old twins Ivy and Iris were...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain sight...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo, a...
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Mr. Penguin―Adventurer (And Penguin!) When Mr. Penguin...
Famous by Default
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jax Buried, By my family's fame. Dying to escape...
Sword and Pen (Great Library Book, #5)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With the future of the Great Library in doubt,...
Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and...
Jonny Lambert's Construction Site
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A beautifully illustrated book for babies featuring lots of noisy...

Latest Member Reviews

Look Both Ways
 
5.0
"I often hear it said that writers are bred, and sure you can breed some decent writers with whatever amount..."
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
"Mr. Penguins and his friends Colin the spider and Edith are trying to keep a rock safe from dastardly types..."
Pop-Up Peekaboo! Baby Animals
 
5.0
"POP-UP PEEKABOO! BABY ANIMALS is a charming lift-the-flap and pop-up picture book. Each spread features a parent animal who is..."
On These Magic Shores
 
5.0
"Twelve-year-old Minerva "Minnie" Soledad Miranda has big goals. She wants to be the first Latina president of the United States..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"I always struggle to review these types of novels--these black lives matter, civil rights-esque novels. I often go into them..."
Soldier Dogs #5: Battle of the Bulge
 
4.5
"Juliette's father is a baker in Belgium in 1944, and has been threatened by the occupying Nazis into giving them..."
Dog Days in the City
 
4.0
"In The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, Josie and her large family adopted Hamlet, a pig. When..."
Daniel Coldstar #2: The Betrayer
 
4.0
"Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central After the evens in The Relic War, Daniel, Jasper the..."
The Dragon Egg Princess
 
5.0
"Change is coming to Kidahara, a magical forest in the Joson, a kingdom in a diverse realm where there is..."
Efrén Divided
 
5.0
"Efrén and his family work very hard, but still struggle to make ends meet. His father works several jobs, and..."
Worse Than Weird
 
4.0
"Mac lives with her parents, Hank and Coral, in a small house in Portland. Small, as in she sleeps in..."
Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen
 
4.0
"Darleen comes from a long line of entertainers; her father and his siblings are all part of Matchless Studios, a..."
In the Red
 
4.0
"Michael Prasad and his family live on a colony on Mars, under a dome that controls the environment. His father,..."
Pippin No Lickin'
 
5.0
"As a family with 2 busy boys, 14 and 12, we appreciate Layne’s contribution to helping children understand the importance..."
Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party
 
5.0
"'Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party' by Kimberly & James Dean is a cute story about friendship and..."
The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly)
 
4.0
"Agatha loves the work of Detective Hercule Poirot. He's actually her imaginary friend and she uses his work to influence..."
Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell, #1)
 
4.0
"STARFELL is a charming and magic-filled middle grade fantasy that sweeps young readers away into another world. Willow Moss seemed..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"What an adventure I just had! From the moment, I opened the book, I was transported to the 13th century..."
Hey Grandude!
 
4.5
"'Hey Grandude!' by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, is a fun, colorful, and exciting adventure. The illustrations enhance the..."
The Peacock Detectives
 
4.0
"THE PEACOCK DETECTIVES is a story told by a young narrator, who is in Grade 6 but reads at a..."