Review Detail

Middle Grade Fiction 72
A beautiful story on coping with grief
(Updated: June 06, 2024)
Overall rating
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"Last times come for everyone...
first times come for everyone too."

Grief is a complicated emotion, one that everyone experiences and one that everyone expresses differently. Telephone of the Tree takes a young girls experience of losing her best-friend and the way she copes with this loss.

The story is continuous, instead of broken up into chapters, keeping the pace light. The text is lyrical and poetic. I found myself distracted by the way the text was displayed, with part being "in verse." However, the repetition of phrases, spaces, and other techniques were utilized to exude emotion and feeling. You will need tissues.

The sense of community was palpable, loving and welcoming. From the seemingly nosy neighbor across the street to the annoying little boy down the block, each character had a wonderful part to play in the story and helped me as a reader understand the pain that Ayla was feeling but couldn't quite process.

The inspiration for Telephone of the Tree was something I had never heard of before, so research I did. I love the idea of having a magic phone you can use to call loved ones no longer with us.

I loved the little illustrations on several pages. They really tied in the custom of planting a tree when someone is born, or in remembrance of someone that has passed.

Telephone of the Tree is a short story with very intense emotions that tackles tough topics that could be used as a tool for helping children grieve.
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