by Evan Griffith
Quill Tree Books, May 2024
(via Dystel, Goderich & Bourret)

© Sam Bond

It’s one of twelve-year-old Holly’s Fundamental Truths of Life. And she has the evidence to back it up: Over the past few years her parents have divorced, her mom has remarried, and her dad has moved her all around the country to live in different places and attend different schools. Through it all, Holly has learned that it’s safer to never get attached to anyplace or anyone.

So when she spends part of her summer with her uncle Vincent in the tiny Vermont town of Arden, she knows better than to get involved. But soon she’s drawn into the drama splitting Arden in two: A local factory is planning to tear down a special grove of rare trees in the heart of town. As a budding forester, Holly knows a thing or two about trees. And she shocks herself by joining the fight to protect the grove— along the way, finding some unexpected allies and maybe even a few friends among the quirky townspeople.

However, not everyone is on Holly’s side. And when she accidentally takes on the most powerful family in town, Holly will have to dig deep to protect the one place she might actually want to put down roots.

Evan Griffith is the author of the middle-grade novel Manatee Summer (a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection) and the picture book biography Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist. His books have received multiple starred reviews and been recognized as Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, National Science Teachers Association Best Stem Books, and Chicago Public Library’s Best Informational Books for Younger Readers. His forthcoming titles include THE STRANGE WONDERS OF ROOTS and Wild at Heart: The Story of Olaus and Mardy Murie, Defenders of Nature.

Evan studied creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his MFA in Writing for Children at the Vermont College of Fine Arts where he now serves as faculty. He worked for several years as an editor at Workman Publishing in New York City, where he specialized in non-fiction for children and adults, and he continues to take on select editorial projects. He often teaches online writing classes and enjoys mentoring writers of all ages.

He lives in Austin, Texas with a mischievous tuxedo cat and several overflowing bookshelves.

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