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They call Gabriela Tree Girl. Gabi climbs trees to be within reach of the eagles and watch the sun rise into an empty sky. She is at home among the outstretched branches of the Guatemalan forests.

Then one day from the safety of a tree, Gabi witnesses the sights and sounds of an unspeakable massacre. She vows to be Tree Girl no more and joins the hordes of refugees struggling to reach the Mexican border. She has lost her whole family; her entire village has been wiped out. Yet she clings to the hope that she will be reunited with her youngest sister, Alicia. Over dangerous miles and months of hunger and thirst, Gabriela's search for Alicia and for a safe haven becomes a search for self. Having turned her back on her own identity, can she hope to claim a new life?

Ages 12+

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062035707
List price: $9.99
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As explained in the author’s note, this book is based on a true story, although the protagonist’s name has been changed. Tree Girl tells the story of Gabriela Flores, a young girl who loves her family, going to school, and climbing trees to their highest branches. It is this last activity that christens her with the nickname “tree girl,” and it is also the one that saves her, repeatedly, when war breaks out shortly after her fifteenth birthday. Gabriela’s people, the Maya of Guatemala, are routinely massacred by the military without mercy. Climbing high into trees and hiding allows Gabriela to escape being murdered, but it also means she must remain idly by while watching horrific scenes take place below her. As such, this book is rather traumatic to read, and I find that the writing style does not help. There is nothing literary to the telling of this story, just the straightforward telling of tragic events without respite. There is also little character development or historical context, the latter of which I think is sorely missed as most readers will not even know when the events of this book are taking place without that information. Overall, I think this is an important story that needed to be told, but I wish that the telling had been better executed.more
Excellent book. I would read this book so much. Yes, there is depressing moments. I was sad when she lost her sister. Or when her brother died. When her canton was raided. What she saw in that tree over that other village. When Mario left. (What happened to him?) I give this book 20/10. Btw this may contain spoilers. XDmore
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Reviews

As explained in the author’s note, this book is based on a true story, although the protagonist’s name has been changed. Tree Girl tells the story of Gabriela Flores, a young girl who loves her family, going to school, and climbing trees to their highest branches. It is this last activity that christens her with the nickname “tree girl,” and it is also the one that saves her, repeatedly, when war breaks out shortly after her fifteenth birthday. Gabriela’s people, the Maya of Guatemala, are routinely massacred by the military without mercy. Climbing high into trees and hiding allows Gabriela to escape being murdered, but it also means she must remain idly by while watching horrific scenes take place below her. As such, this book is rather traumatic to read, and I find that the writing style does not help. There is nothing literary to the telling of this story, just the straightforward telling of tragic events without respite. There is also little character development or historical context, the latter of which I think is sorely missed as most readers will not even know when the events of this book are taking place without that information. Overall, I think this is an important story that needed to be told, but I wish that the telling had been better executed.more
Excellent book. I would read this book so much. Yes, there is depressing moments. I was sad when she lost her sister. Or when her brother died. When her canton was raided. What she saw in that tree over that other village. When Mario left. (What happened to him?) I give this book 20/10. Btw this may contain spoilers. XDmore
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