Tell Me Why The Jack Pine Grows
Tell Me Why the Jack Pine Grows is a middle grade novel in verse. While its age-appropriate social-emotional themes offer a broad range of appeal for readers in grades 5-8, this book’s simple verse structure, embracing controlled vocabulary and short chapters, make it accessible to reluctant and struggling readers as well.
Meadow is enjoying a carefree country summer, tending her beloved 4-H chickens and freely exploring the outdoors. Content at home with her father, brother, and Nanna, Meadow wishes she could stay a kid forever. Everything changes the day the man in the green car stops her on the road, alarming her with an uncomfortable request. The brief encounter fills her with a strange new anxiety that she can’t share with anyone. As fear fills her every move, she makes her world smaller and smaller to feel safe. But when a friend is also approached by the driver of the green car, Meadow realizes she must talk about what happened to protect others. Like the Jack Pine growing from the rocky cliff, Meadow can’t fight growing up any longer, but maybe she can change her corner of the world for the better.
“The power of a novel-in-verse lies in its economy of words in a lyrical telling of a story distilled to its essence. Author D.J. Brandon does this skillfully in Tell Me Why the Jack Pine Grows with emotions and images conveyed by both the words themselves and their artful placement across the white space of each page. It is a beautifully written and important story.”
Edith M. Hemingway
author of That Smudge of Smoke (BeaLu Books) and Road to Tater Hill (Delacorte Press)