Inside the Tree

Inside the Tree : A Ewan Johns Adventure

4.4 (10 ratings by Goodreads)
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Ewan, Zane, and Ganix--three half-brothers take sibling rivalry to new lengths as they race each other across their homeland.

Magic isn't the only legacy Mr. Ian Johns wants for his bickering sons. The Postmaster hoped the boys would bond during a family trip, but they twist his vacation plans into a race. Ewan, Zane, and Ganix soon find themselves far from home, facing choices that are far from easy. Three routes stretch from coast to coast. The rules: each brother--and his two companions--must check in at post offices along their route. At these waypoints, they stamp in with their personal seal and report their progress by postcard.

Ewan is no longer alone, but his expenses have tripled. He finds work in a flour mill, and every evening, he and his girls count the coins he's earned. While Ewan saves for train fare, they board with Charter's school teacher, Nathan Saybrook. He's a man with a quirky house, a knack for storytelling, and a reason to smile. Tamaqua and Juniata learn why the day they discover that the big, old tree in the village green is being used as a mailbox.

Welcome to Liberty: Big cities and hill-country outposts thrive on busy byways, but people are scarce in the Wilds, where mythical creatures are alive and well. Folks commonly use lanterns to light their homes, and peace is kept by rangers on horseback. In the Byways books, readers will encounter dragons, griffins, river monsters, and rogue magicians.

Magic is a rare trait that runs in families. Some magical gifts are quite useful; others are downright quirky. Like the talent inherited by members of the Johns family. They're Changers who can take the form of an animal. Not that magic will make winning the race any easier for Ewan, Zane, and Ganix.

Educational Twist: Each of the Byways books is tied to one of the fifty states and borrows from its history and geography--icons, mottos, landmarks, people, places, and famous firsts. They're hidden throughout the story, turning the series into one long game of hide-and-seek. At the end of each Byways book, there's a master list that covers everything from the state tree to the state insect. Nicknames, sports teams, state heroes, and national parks also find their way into the story. States are covered in order of ratification. Inside the Tree takes its cues from "The Nutmeg State," Connecticut.

Chart your course to, where readers can stamp into the Waypoint Log and take part in a very special Hometown Challenge.


By the time they left, it was dark. A thin moon gave enough light to see by, so Ewan wasn't worried. Until a low growl made the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

"What was that, Mister Ewan?"

"That was a wolf," he said, tightening his grip on her hand.

"Are you sure?" Tamaqua asked.

"Yes," Ewan said. "I know a lot about wolves from my brother."

"Scary," whimpered Juniata.

Though he didn't say so, Ewan was frightened, too. Nathan had talked about a wolf pack coming out of the mountains and bothering the Granbys' animals. That meant the wolves were hungry. And they weren't even halfway home.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 62 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 8mm | 286g
  • English
  • Library ed.
  • 1631230220
  • 9781631230226

Review quote

2016 Moonbeam Children's Book Award, "Best Book Series - Chapter Books"
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Rating details

10 ratings
4.4 out of 5 stars
5 50% (5)
4 40% (4)
3 10% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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