If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period
Kirsten's parents are barely speaking to each other, and her best friend has fallen under the spell of the school's queen bee, Brianna. It seems like only Kirsten's younger science-geek sister is on her side. Walker's goal is to survive at the new white private school his mom has sent him to because she thinks he's going to screw up like his cousin. But he's a good kid. So is his friend Matteo, though no one knows why he’ll do absolutely anything that hot blond Brianna asks of him. But all of this feels almost trivial when Kirsten and Walker discover a secret that shakes them both to the core.
- Paperback | 216 pages
- 129.54 x 193.04 x 15.24mm | 113.4g
- 06 Apr 2009
- HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
- Boston, MA, United States
"Choldenko has a flair for titles: "Notes From a Liar and Her Dog," "Al Capone Does My Shirts," now this. But books don''t fly on titles alone. Choldenko also has a spiky wit, an empathetic eye for kids'' foibles and fears, an ear for their distinctive voices and an impressive range. . . . "If a Tree Falls" unfolds in the less exotic setting of a fancy private school, but it treads more explosive ground as it switches between the viewpoints of two seventh-graders there -- Kirsten, who is white, and Walk, who is black. That catchy title is a metaphor for the uprooting that takes place when Kirsten and Walk learn they have a whole lot more in common than their "brilliance." At the same time, it signals this book''s real appeal for pre-teens: While it treats issues of race, class and marital discord fearlessly, it''s also one of the funniest they''ll read this year."
About Gennifer Choldenko
GENNIFER CHOLDENKO is the author of Al Capone Does My Shirts and Notes from a Liar and Her Dog as well as several picture books. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area.www.choldenko.com
Our customer reviews
Kirsten McKenna's got a lot on her mind, and on her body for that matter. She gained 30 pounds over the summer, thanks to her dysfunctional parents and their constant arguing. Maybe that's why her best friend, Rory, has stopped hanging out with her. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that Rory is now hanging with the popular crowd. Either way, Kirsten is relieved to find a new group of friends, including Walker "Walk" Jones. Walk is new at this school and it's a whole different world from the City school he came from. Everyone knows he's here on scholarship, and some kids just won't let him forget it. Good thing he has one friend, Matteo, to count on. Oh, and there's that girl, Kirsten, too. She's pretty cool. This was a quick read, but not because the content was simple. The plot kept the pages turning. The short chapters alternated between Kirsten's and Walk's perspectives, which was perfect for the pace of the book. It was portrayed as a simple middle school read, nothing out of the ordinary, but it delivered so much more. This book was very like something one might find from Judy Blume, in both voice and subject matter. Smart, insightful characters dealing with adult-world challenges while living with everyday life at school -- the good, the bad, and the downright nasty.show moreby TeensReadToo