Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Hollow Under the Tree by Cary Fagan - OPTIONAL

The Hollow Under the Tree by Cary Fagan, 105 pages. CHAPTER BOOK. Groundwood Books (House of Anansi Press). 2018. $13. 

Language: 6 (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.


There’s a monster in High Park! Well, that’s what 1925 Toronto newspapers report, as an assortment of squirrels, dogs, and even a peacock go missing. But Sadie Menken, daughter of a local pie-maker, knows differently. The “monster” is really a young, timid, and hungry lion that has escaped from a circus train. Sadie, with the help of a rich but lonely boy named Theodore, bring food to the lion and try to keep him a secret. But soon the authorities are on the hunt, and Sadie knows she needs help. Can she find a happy ending for the wild animal she has come to love?

I found this book to be an enchanting little story—once you get past the first chapter, which is a ponderous and rather old-fashioned beginning. The writing is succinct and understated. The characters in the book are nicely defined and very likeable, and the fact that these are real people (this story is based on a true event which happened to the author’s grandmother) makes them all the more enjoyable. Overall, this book would make a lovely read-aloud to elementary students. There will be some children who will plod through the first chapter on their own to discover the sweet story that follows, but the slow opening will be a deterrent to many readers.

Chris, K-8 Librarian

No comments: