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Up the Learning Tree Paperback – Illustrated, September 1, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 16 ratings

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Paperback, Illustrated
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Editorial Reviews


Ably written by Marcia Vaughan and . . . impressively illustrated by Derek Blanks, Up the Learning Tree is a very thoughtful story for young readers ages 4 to 8 with powerful underlying messages about history and personal drive. -- Children's Reviewer "The Midwest Book Review"

Blanks's dense, deep oil paintings subtly juxtapose the lush green grass around the schoolhouse and in the leaves of Henry's tree against the hard, red clay around the Grismore plantation. This inspiring collaboration makes a solid contribution to most collections. -- Children's Reviewer "Publishers Weekly"

The focus on one brave child will bring listeners close to the cruel historical facts and the message about the power of literacy. -- Children's Reviewer "Booklist"

From the Back Cover

Henry Bell is not allowed to learn to read and write. In fact, most enslaved children like him are severely punished if they are even caught with a book. But Henry is curious. He suspects there is something powerful in books, and he wants to know what it is.

One day Henry finishes his chores quickly, then runs to the schoolhouse. He hides in a sycamore tree just as the teacher begins reading a story. His heart pounds as he listens with astonishment, and right then he makes up his mind to learn to read. Henry's fierce determination and bravery in the face of serious consequences lead him to a special friendship, and a journey of discovery that changes his life forever.

Set in the pre-Civil War South, Up the Learning Tree is a story of hope and humanity during difficult times, and a poignant reminder that the freedom to learn should never be taken for granted.

Product details

  • Lexile Measure : AD660L
  • Grade Level : Kindergarten - 4
  • Item Weight : 5.2 ounces
  • Paperback : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1600604455
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1600604454
  • Product Dimensions : 7.9 x 0.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Publisher : Lee & Low Books; Illustrated Edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Reading level : 5 - 8 years
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 16 ratings