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A Tree for Peter Paperback – November 24, 2014
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"A Tree for Peter is an inspiring chapter book that once read will be long remembered. This is a treasure of a book with much chance for meaningful dialogue!" --Jane Claire Lambert, author of Five In A Row
"A moving story of a little lame boy whose faith and dreams transformed Shantytown from a place of ugliness and desolation to one of beauty and hope." --ALA Booklist
Not every child would like this story, but those who see beyond the immediate implications of the story itself to its spiritual significance, its idealism, will love it. A boy in a Pullman car glimpses briefly the little lame boy of shanty town -- and never forgets his urge to do something about lives like that. Years later, now a successful "builder", he comes west to meet another "builder" -- and finds his little shanty town boy grown up, and learns the story of how a mysterious friend brought faith and light and happiness, not only to the little lame boy, but to his neighbors in shanty town. --Kirkus, Starred Review
About the Author
"A small blond boy is seen clinging to a rusty iron fence against a rain-drenched backdrop of any 'shanty town' and A Tree for Peter happens. "From such small sparks were all my books written. I never really know what the story is going to be; soon after I start writing, the very people I am writing about take over and tell me what they want to do." Kate Seredy
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The book is probably one of the best i have ever read. Enjoyed it tremdously.
We used it as a read aloud with my 8 year old. My 16, 14 and 10 year old read it independently in about an hour.
They enjoyed it also.
I would give this book 10 stars.
I'd heard about A TREE FOR PETER for years, but never had a chance to read it until its recent republishing. There is a Christmas element to the story, but it's not really a Christmas story—but yet it is, if you believe in the story of hope and renewal that is essential to the Christmas mythos. Small Peter is a lame boy who lives in a shantytown of abandoned homes, the only place his mother can find to live after his father's death and medical bills have stripped her of everything. She works in a laundry six days a week to feed and clothe them, while Peter stays alone. Shy and afraid, six-year-old Peter hides from the rough boys in the area and even the tall policeman who comes every day, until he befriends a tramp also named Peter, Peter King. It's "King Peter" who stills his fears and brings joy (and the gift of a little red spade) to his life—and doing so plants a seed of hope in the community.
Cynics will find it a corny story. The rest of us will find it inspiring, a modern-day parable about what kindness and community can do. One wishes the illustrations in the new edition were not so muddy, as they are beautiful examples of Seredy's art.
A few years ago, after the book I read in childhood was passed on to my brother (his name is Peter), leaving me without a copy, I contacted several publishers trying to get them interested in reissuing the book. The only publisher that got back to me (and will remain nameless here) said that the content was too outdated. I believe they were referring to the overt Christian imagery. Although I'm not a practicing Christian, I was infuriated by this implication. I hope some enterprising publisher reads these reviews and reissues the book.