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Survivor Tree

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Survivor Tree is a picture book by Marcie Colleen and illustrated by Aaron Becker. It tells the true story of the Callery pear tree that stood at the base of the World Trade Center for 30 years and was almost destroyed, only to be pulled from the rubble, coaxed back to life, and eventually replanted as part of the 9/11 memorial.


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Survivor Tree is a picture book by Marcie Colleen and illustrated by Aaron Becker. It tells the true story of the Callery pear tree that stood at the base of the World Trade Center for 30 years and was almost destroyed, only to be pulled from the rubble, coaxed back to life, and eventually replanted as part of the 9/11 memorial.

30 review for Survivor Tree

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Survivor Tree is a children's picture book written by Marcie Colleen and illustrated by Aaron Becker. It centers on a remarkable tree, which stands where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once soared. Since today (11 September 2021) is the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attack, I thought it would apropos to read this book today. A Callery pear tree became known as the "Survivor Tree" after enduring the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center. Colleen's text is r Survivor Tree is a children's picture book written by Marcie Colleen and illustrated by Aaron Becker. It centers on a remarkable tree, which stands where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once soared. Since today (11 September 2021) is the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attack, I thought it would apropos to read this book today. A Callery pear tree became known as the "Survivor Tree" after enduring the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center. Colleen's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and informative. Colleen frames the narrative through the tree's seasonal displays and its history, employing spare, elegant prose as she traces its journey before its uprooting, its decade of recovery in the Bronx's Arthur Ross Nursery, and its replanting at the 9/11 Memorial. Backmatter includes more information on the Survivor Tree and notes from the creators. Rendered in watercolor and colored pencil, lush illustrations by Caldecott Honoree Becker realistically reflect the city setting and the story's natural elements while leaving space for images of a varied array of human characters. The premise of the book is rather straightforward. Observing the 20th anniversary of 9/11, this nonfiction picture book follows a Callery pear tree, growing at the foot of the towers for almost thirty years, that was rescued from the rubble following the attacks. All in all, Survivor Tree is a lovely 20th-anniversary tribute to the towers and all who perished and survived.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Davis

    With beautiful spare and lyrical language author Marcie Colleen paints the picture of the Callery pear tree that survived the attacks at the WTC on 9/11. Becker's warm color palette captures the turning of the seasons and it's parallel to the regrowth and resilience of the Survivor Tree. Paired together, the art and text remind us that hope and light can emerge from the darkest of days. As an educator, I've taught about the Survivor Tree and look forward to using this story to supplement my teac With beautiful spare and lyrical language author Marcie Colleen paints the picture of the Callery pear tree that survived the attacks at the WTC on 9/11. Becker's warm color palette captures the turning of the seasons and it's parallel to the regrowth and resilience of the Survivor Tree. Paired together, the art and text remind us that hope and light can emerge from the darkest of days. As an educator, I've taught about the Survivor Tree and look forward to using this story to supplement my teaching and make the topic accessible to children.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Miller

    This book is a heartbreakingly beautiful, seemingly simple, and delicate story about 9/11 for children (and adults.) There are a number of picture books about this tree and 9/11; this one really blows me away with the subtle references and light touch.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    In simple, spare text that follows the progression of the seasons, author Marcie Colleen tells the inspiriting story of a tree's resilience and renewal before and after the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Colleen doesn't go into detail on the Towers but the beautiful illustrations make it clear that something terrible and catastrophic has happened. A great book for commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this fall. I accessed a digital ARC via Edelweiss. In simple, spare text that follows the progression of the seasons, author Marcie Colleen tells the inspiriting story of a tree's resilience and renewal before and after the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Colleen doesn't go into detail on the Towers but the beautiful illustrations make it clear that something terrible and catastrophic has happened. A great book for commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this fall. I accessed a digital ARC via Edelweiss.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Metcalf

    This breathtaking book broke me with one word—one spread—and put me back together again by its hopeful ending. I can't think of a better way to open conversations with young readers who did not experience 9/11. This picture book respects its readers, both young and experienced, with beauty, lyricism, and simple grace. Just stunning. I'm still crying. This breathtaking book broke me with one word—one spread—and put me back together again by its hopeful ending. I can't think of a better way to open conversations with young readers who did not experience 9/11. This picture book respects its readers, both young and experienced, with beauty, lyricism, and simple grace. Just stunning. I'm still crying.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Zimmers

    Poetic Powerful Heart wrenching Hopeful Marcie Colleen's story is beautifully brought to life by Aaron Becker's stunning illustrations, with the story of the tree entwined with the story of the people of the city. Poetic Powerful Heart wrenching Hopeful Marcie Colleen's story is beautifully brought to life by Aaron Becker's stunning illustrations, with the story of the tree entwined with the story of the people of the city.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Darshana Khiani

    A story of loss, renewal, and hope. The author's lyrical language guides us through the seasons and years effortlessly from pre-, during, post- 9/11.. The illustrator's gorgeous watercolor artwork shares a tear-inducing 2nd story, that is a helpful gateway when discussing this horrible event that touched so many lives. This is picture book perfection. I read a digital review copy. A story of loss, renewal, and hope. The author's lyrical language guides us through the seasons and years effortlessly from pre-, during, post- 9/11.. The illustrator's gorgeous watercolor artwork shares a tear-inducing 2nd story, that is a helpful gateway when discussing this horrible event that touched so many lives. This is picture book perfection. I read a digital review copy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Katona

    This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking tale about a tree that survived the 9/11 bombing. I hadn't heard this story before, and it's so wonderfully told. Devastation, re-growth, and renewal. Gorgeous illustrations as well. This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking tale about a tree that survived the 9/11 bombing. I hadn't heard this story before, and it's so wonderfully told. Devastation, re-growth, and renewal. Gorgeous illustrations as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    On a bustling street in New York City, a small tree grew along the tall steel buildings. It was there for almost thirty years, marking the seasons. Then one September day, there were explosions and buildings fell to rubble, crushing and burning the tree. The tree was found in the wreckage with a few green leaves and taken far away to fresh soil. For several seasons, the tree stayed bare, then one day blossoms and buds arrived. For ten years, the tree grew there until it was time to return home. On a bustling street in New York City, a small tree grew along the tall steel buildings. It was there for almost thirty years, marking the seasons. Then one September day, there were explosions and buildings fell to rubble, crushing and burning the tree. The tree was found in the wreckage with a few green leaves and taken far away to fresh soil. For several seasons, the tree stayed bare, then one day blossoms and buds arrived. For ten years, the tree grew there until it was time to return home. Home to a newly empty sky, where people stopped and wept, and where the tree with its burns and scars offered a way to bridge past to present. This picture book is based on the true story of the tree that survived the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Through seasons of bustling city streets to the attack itself to seasons of healing afterwards, the tree shows an inspiring resilience for us all. Using delicate prose, the author writes of the beauty of the tree even when people were not stopping to notice it. The survival of the tree is told with a gentle admiration for its very survival. Becker beautifully captures the New York City setting of the tree as it changes from before the attack and afterwards. He offers not just a story of the tree itself but an accompanying story in the illustrations about a family growing up alongside the tree and then there loss and memories after the attack. It is this subtle human connection of people to the tree that add much to the book. A haunting and beautiful look at 9/11 and the tree that survived it and continues to inspire. Appropriate for ages 5-8.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chana Stiefel

    September 11, 2021. Many of us are having trouble processing that 20 years have passed since 9/11. On top of that, we struggle with how to teach young children about the horrors of that terrible day, which changed our lives forever. Some tools for teaching this moment in history are through books, poetry, and art. All three combine beautifully in the new picture book SURVIVOR TREE by Marcie Colleen, gorgeously illustrated by Aaron Becker. This is the true story of a pear tree that grew for years September 11, 2021. Many of us are having trouble processing that 20 years have passed since 9/11. On top of that, we struggle with how to teach young children about the horrors of that terrible day, which changed our lives forever. Some tools for teaching this moment in history are through books, poetry, and art. All three combine beautifully in the new picture book SURVIVOR TREE by Marcie Colleen, gorgeously illustrated by Aaron Becker. This is the true story of a pear tree that grew for years in the shadows of the Twin Towers. Through use of color, the author and illustrator take us through the seasons. Then…”One September day, the perfect blue sky exploded. Under the blackened remains the tree lay crushed and burned.” Yet from beneath the wreckage workers miraculously discovered green leaves. A sign of hope. The tree was moved and replanted in fresh soil and through the seasons, it persevered. After 10 years, it was “time to go home.” At the 9/11 Memorial, “People no longer rushed by. Instead, they stopped and wept beside two forever-filling pools.” All who read this book will be comforted in knowing that the Survivor Tree stands there today as a symbol rooted in our nation’s persistence and hope in the face of unbearable tragedy. After multiple readings, I discovered that the illustrator included another silent story of a family’s loss and resilience after 9/11. “A million red hearts” for this powerful book that took my breath away.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    In telling the somewhat fictionalized tale of the Callery pear tree that somehow survived being buried under tons of rubble on 9/11, Colleen uses the four seasons to highlight the change from tragedy to hope and memory. The spare text paints a poetic picture of the tree and its journey to recovery. Becker's beautiful illustrations take the text and show in stunning detail how the tree was discovered to be alive and spent years recovering before returning to stand near the memorial created to rem In telling the somewhat fictionalized tale of the Callery pear tree that somehow survived being buried under tons of rubble on 9/11, Colleen uses the four seasons to highlight the change from tragedy to hope and memory. The spare text paints a poetic picture of the tree and its journey to recovery. Becker's beautiful illustrations take the text and show in stunning detail how the tree was discovered to be alive and spent years recovering before returning to stand near the memorial created to remember those lost. Colleen focuses on how the tree stood silent and almost invisible in the 30 years before the tragedy, and how it now stands as a testament to the resilience of life as the new growth arises from the scars of that tragic day. This remarkable book makes for an interesting contrast to Sean Rubin's This Very Tree. Both books share the same general story and themes, but it's portrayed in such different ways that comparing the two makes for a very interesting exercise.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This pretty book honors 9/11 through a Callery pear tree tree that was found alive in the rubble of the twin towers. The badly damaged tree was taken to a nursery in the Bronx where botanists thought it would not recover. Miraculously, it did, so they transplanted it at the 9/11 Memorial in 2010 where it blooms in the spring and colors red in the fall to this day. There is a visible line of demarcation on the bark indicating the day the towers came down. In the author's note in the back, Marcie This pretty book honors 9/11 through a Callery pear tree tree that was found alive in the rubble of the twin towers. The badly damaged tree was taken to a nursery in the Bronx where botanists thought it would not recover. Miraculously, it did, so they transplanted it at the 9/11 Memorial in 2010 where it blooms in the spring and colors red in the fall to this day. There is a visible line of demarcation on the bark indicating the day the towers came down. In the author's note in the back, Marcie Colleen noted that Callery pear trees have a short life span often topping out at twenty years. This tree has lived twenty years since 9/11. Ooo, chills. This would be a great read aloud to upper elementary or middle grade readers.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Heise

    Beautiful. And the story within the story told through the illustrations is poignant. The use of the changing seasons to tie into the passage of time and life of this tree are impactful. Overall, a hopeful story, while not focusing on the events or terrorist reasons for the events on the day of the attacks. Would be a good intro for our youngest students. The backmatter with additional information on the life of this tree, an author's note, and and illustrators note add depth and context. Beautiful. And the story within the story told through the illustrations is poignant. The use of the changing seasons to tie into the passage of time and life of this tree are impactful. Overall, a hopeful story, while not focusing on the events or terrorist reasons for the events on the day of the attacks. Would be a good intro for our youngest students. The backmatter with additional information on the life of this tree, an author's note, and and illustrators note add depth and context.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Holly Mueller

    Gorgeous. Aaron Becker continues to be one of my favorite children's book illustrators. I recently visited the 9/11 Memorial and am so sad I didn't know more about the Survivor Tree so I could have sought it out. Next time! I love trees and how they symbolize life and hope. Be sure to share this one every Sept. 11th! Gorgeous. Aaron Becker continues to be one of my favorite children's book illustrators. I recently visited the 9/11 Memorial and am so sad I didn't know more about the Survivor Tree so I could have sought it out. Next time! I love trees and how they symbolize life and hope. Be sure to share this one every Sept. 11th!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mindy Alyse Weiss

    This is such a powerful picture book with lyrical writing that reaches straight to your heart. It made me teary and hopeful at the same time. Without going into details of 9/11, the story of the Survivor Tree captures so many emotions. I think we can all use the hope this amazing tree gives us…that with nurturing, our world will be bright, beautiful, and thrive again.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Tears, chills, tears, hope. The words and images combine to make a beautiful, powerful, important picture book about September 11 for all ages.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Beautiful made me a little teary eyed

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    Reading for the Mock Caldecott Awards for January 2022.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Y.Poston

    lovely story with Aaron Beckers gorgeous illustrations

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sayak

    Excellent!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Lucianovic

    Gorgeous and heartbreaking with the hope it grows.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katelynne

    Interesting story if you don’t know about the Survivor Tree, timely with the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this year.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    When tragedy strikes our home, community, state, or country, we mark it with a memory. We cannot forget what we were doing when it happened. Some of the tragedies are profound enough the whole world remembers along with us. The events in the United States on September 11, 2001, are unforgettable. The news, as quietly as possible, flew from classroom to classroom at our elementary school. Adult staff members tried to proceed through the day as normally as possible although our hearts were heavy. A When tragedy strikes our home, community, state, or country, we mark it with a memory. We cannot forget what we were doing when it happened. Some of the tragedies are profound enough the whole world remembers along with us. The events in the United States on September 11, 2001, are unforgettable. The news, as quietly as possible, flew from classroom to classroom at our elementary school. Adult staff members tried to proceed through the day as normally as possible although our hearts were heavy. After school we gathered with our principal, many of us tears streaming down our faces. It seems impossible this was twenty years ago. Survivor Tree (Little, Brown And Company, August 31, 2021) written by Marcie Colleen with illustrations by Aaron Becker notes those events with an extraordinary story. Nature finds a way. My full recommendation: https://librariansquest.blogspot.com/...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steph

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Tolin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shirin

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nadia Salomon

  30. 5 out of 5

    Earl

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