- Grade Level: 4 - 6
- Paperback: 370 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 17, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1461135788
- ISBN-13: 978-1461135784
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,401,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Leaf & the Rushing Waters (Twig Stories Book 1) Paperback – November 17, 2011
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"This story had me hooked from the very beginning because of the action and excitement ... It is a great choice for young advanced readers and middle grade kids. I think parents and kids will like the message of appreciating the environment too. Five out of five book worms for “Leaf and the Rushing Waters!”
Erik, This Kid Reviews Books
"This epic-style adventure is both fast-moving and action-packed. The characters are likeable, and the plot is filled with excitement. Young people, in addition to reading an engaging story, will learn important facts about beavers and other aspects of the natural world around us."
Wayne Walker, Home School Book Review
"Marshall’s whimsical tale is brilliantly conjured. Both its characters and winding plot tell a good story and a lesson well taught. Leaf is a sparkling, likable protagonist and will win over the hearts of his readers. The environment around him is beautifully described and will engage young readers, as well as inform them ... this philanthropic novel should not be missed, nor should its sequels."
A. Masri,The San Francisco Book Review
"Leaf & the Rushing Waters is an engaging, evocative and fast-moving adventure story....This new work is relevant to today's major challenge of climate change, and, simultaneously, is a delightful read for young people or anyone who enjoys nature."
Sharon Brown, Director, Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife
"This book offers a remarkable opportunity to instill a sense of environmental awareness in children which is so necessary today. Readers, young and old will surely find themselves engulfed in this tale of adventure, strength and doing what's right."
Amanda Swan, Director of Development/Communications, The Lands Council
"With unexpected grace, Jo's charming fantasy helps make the daunting world of beavers and climate change more accessible."
Heidi Perryman, President/Founder, Martinez Beavers
From the Author
I hope young readers enjoy Twig Stories and are encouraged to investigate novel solutions for climate change impacts for even the smallest creatures help protect our natural world.
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Leaf lives with his family (Pappo Needles, Mumma Ivy, younger sister Fern, and baby twin brothers Buddy and Burba) in the Old Seeder tree not far from the river known as Rushing Waters. Jo introduces us to various animals that inhabit this region. Her anthropomorphism is exemplary and beavers, chipmunks, squirrels etc retain their natural qualities while individual characters are portrayed in depth and detail. Leaf is a young Twig eager to prove his courage and valour. One night a huge storm causes the glacial ice dam way up in the peaks above the Old Seeder, to break, producing flooding down the valley. All the family except Leaf, are trapped in their not hole in the Old Seeder.
Following his father's urgings Leaf sets off to find a renegade, but friendly Twig called Rustle, whose help he entreats to find the "chompers" (beavers), in whom Needles has confidence to save the Twig family. Leaf thus sets off on an epic adventure. He makes many new friends; "a hummer" (a hummingbird), the twigs Rustle and Feather, and Feather's friends, the "chippies" (chipmunks); they battle enemies such as screechers (owls) and "poppers' (prairie dogs) and eventually find the great granddaddy of the chompers, Slapper. Will these great dam-building beavers agree to help a skinny family of Twigs down the mountain? Is young Leaf brave and persuasive enough to persuade Slapper and his family to help?
This is truly an epic adventure story with a young hero who sets out on a quest. The fate of his family lies in him overcoming the odds and succeeding. is both fast-moving and action-packed. The characters are superbly developed and believable in this mountaineous/forest world. Even Leaf's baby twin brothers with their drooling and baby antics are appealing and unique individuals. The somewhat elf-like Twigs are an endearing creation with feisty characters one cheers along. Jo has done a great job in creating this natural world, with attention to detail in flora, fauna and plant life. The plot is filled with excitement and despite fairly detailed descriptive passages, moves along at a comfortable pace.
The black and white illustrations add just enough Twig world detail to urge back into the forest! Doesn't the front cover just beckon you to adventure?
The environmental truths and concerns are subtly interwoven into the story, and middle grade readers will absorb the importance of the beavers and the concerns about glacial melt, without realizing they are being educated in this way. This is a great stand alone naturalistic adventure story, but also an asset to any middle grade classrooms looking at environmental issues. This novel is a charming well written fantasy that will appeal to a wide range of readers.
I am thrilled that a percentage of all profits from the sale of this and other Twigs Stories books are donated to nonprofit organizations involved with with wildlife protection, climate change research, nature conservancy, and forest preservation. Book two in the series is entitled LEAF AND THE SKY OF FIRE, and the third, just released this month, is LEAF AND THE LONG ICE. I can't wait to read the sequels, and I am hoping we will encounter Feather and her chippies again, as I have a soft spot for this Twig!
Delightful selection of her story line.
Delightful description of the things and places in her story.
Delightful solutions for the disaster caused by the 'Rushing Waters.'
Cover, front - Rushing WatersTo me, the book had the feel of an epic—like The Hobbit, only focused on the environment instead of fantasy. I appreciated the description of nature. Because the Twigs are so small, they appreciate the magnitude of elements of nature that humans tend to forget. I am one to sit outside in nature for hours, appreciating every nuance, so these details resonated with me. If I had read this as a kid, I would no doubt have gone outside and gotten into all sorts of things, come back to the house covered in mud and leaves and such, and told my mom (as I protested a bath) that I was out pretending to be a Twig all day. I am definitely going to share these books with my little one when she is old enough.
My only wish for the book—and this is because I like dark things—is that I wanted the beaver (an integral part of the story) to appear even more intimidating. Of course, seeing as this book is for kids, that might have been a little overboard :-)
All in all, I enjoyed this work and look forward to reading the next books in the series.
Oh, and did I mention that you should really check out that artwork!
In accordance with FTC guidelines, please note I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.