Title: Tree and Sky: An Introduction to the Secrets of Meshyah’s World
Author: Judith Victoria Douglas
Published Date: August 15, 2012
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
This is a book containing three short stories, of a science fiction/environmental awareness nature, for middle grade children.
Tree & Sky is a book for middle grade children written by Judith Victoria Douglas. Although it is billed as a collection of short stories, it reads more like a book in that there are continuities between the three stories, or chapters. Each of the stories, however, had been published separately at an earlier time.
As the title indicates, the stories center around Meshyah Bluebird Garcia, a Hispanic-American of Lakhota Sioux descent. Also at the center with Meshyah – or, Shy, as she is called – are her two closest friends, Jasmine, of East African descent, and Ozwald, of British descent. The three of them live under a geodesic dome on the Antarctic continent at what has become the north pole.
In the first story, or Chapter, “The Tree on My House”, Shy and her friends are 10 years old. The story explains about the geodesic dome under which they live, as well as the Before Times. Shy and her friends make a remarkable discovery on the patio roof of Shy’s home: a little seedling. The little seedling grew into a big tree, a very unexpected tree under their dome.
In the second story, “The Day the Sky Fell”, Shy and her friends are 11 years old. We learn more about life under the geodesic dome and the immense amount of work it takes to maintain the dome. When an emergency occurs, the dangerous and fragile nature of the dome becomes apparent.
In the third story, “Under a Honeycomb Sky”, Shy and her friends are 12 years old. Although the main event in this story is Shy’s twelfth birthday party, it describes even more about life under the geodesic dome.
For her twelfth birthday, Shy received a five year journal. She and her friends planned to find a way to send the journal, with their stories, into the past to warn the people of the Before Times about the devastating events to come. At the end of the book, we are told that Shy and her friends will write two more stories, which will be published in a separate book.
My favorite story is the first, “The Tree on My House”. It reminds me of the Native American legends written by Tomie dePaola, and the tree is truly a wonderful character.
In my opinion, Tree & Sky is a science fiction/environmental awareness book for children in late elementary school and early middle school grades. The writing and dialogue sometimes feel a bit stilted, but it is a creative and interesting story. I enjoyed reading Shy’s stories!
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