Circles of Hope

Overview

Young Facile wants to plant a tree in honor of his new baby sister, but he faces many obstacles. The first seed he plants is eaten by a goat, the second seed is washed away in a storm, and another seed is burnt by a scrub fire. Will Facile ever be able to plant a tree that will grow strong for baby Luc�a?

In this story of determination, faith, and love, author Karen Lynn Williams introduces readers to the realities of rural life in the mountains of Haiti. Imbued with brilliant ...

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Overview

Young Facile wants to plant a tree in honor of his new baby sister, but he faces many obstacles. The first seed he plants is eaten by a goat, the second seed is washed away in a storm, and another seed is burnt by a scrub fire. Will Facile ever be able to plant a tree that will grow strong for baby Luc�a?

In this story of determination, faith, and love, author Karen Lynn Williams introduces readers to the realities of rural life in the mountains of Haiti. Imbued with brilliant colors, expressive characters, and vivid landscapes, Linda Saport's illustrations capture the indomitable spirit of hope.

After many futile attempts to plant a tree in honor of his new baby sister, a young Haitian boy discovers the perfect solution.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Everyone has a gift for the new baby, Lucia, except her brother, Facile. With Papa working far away in the city there is no one to plant a tree for her. Traditionally, a fruit tree is planted when a child is born in the mountainous villages in Haiti, and the tree grows up to be a guardian of the child. With no one to plant Lucia's tree, Facile realizes the planting will be his responsibility. Facile places a mango seed in the earth, waters it and waits for it to sprout, but is soon eaten by a goat. Two other attempts are made by Facile, and each time the seed—and his hope of a gift for his sister—are lost. Lucia grows quite ill, and is taken to the doctor far away in the city. Facile is determined to have a gift for Lucia on her return, but learns he must have hope to plant a tree. In one last effort, a seed is planted and a tree is born. Healing has come to Facile's family—Lucia is well, Papa returns and the tree thrives because Facile had hope. Exuberant charcoal and pastel illustrations ooze of the disparity as well as the intensity of Facile's emotions. The story is energized with color—from contrasting sky and earth, to the soothing, comforting shades of the grass and tree. An important reminder that there is always hope. 2005, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Ages 4 to 8.
—Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-When his sister is born, Facile wants to find just the right gift for her. Recalling how his father planted a mango tree for him, he decides to carry on the tradition and, after several fruitless attempts, seeks advice from villagers on how to "plant a tree that will grow strong." When his sister becomes ill, Mama takes her to the doctor in the city; while waiting for them to return, Facile plants his mango seed in a protective circle of stones and joyfully watches the tree begin to grow. At last, after many months, Mama comes back up the mountain, and Facile proudly shows his "gift of hope" to his little sister. As the children grow up, more trees are planted in "circles of hope" throughout their Haitian home. This heartfelt story is supplemented by a glossary of Creole words and an author's note explaining the Haitian custom of planting a fruit tree at the birth of a child. The vibrant charcoal-and-pastel full-spread illustrations are rich with color and add an exotic, dreamlike quality to the story. This hopeful tale of family unity can be paired with Karen Lynn Williams's Painted Dreams (HarperCollins, 1998), another portrayal of island life seen through the eyes of a resourceful child.-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When Lucia comes into the world, Papa is away working in the city. Facile, her young brother, tries to plant a tree for her to match the tree planted for him by his father. Facile watches as successive seedlings are destroyed by forces both natural and manmade, while Lucia falls ill and must be taken to find medical care. Facile finally builds a circle of stones around a seedling and it grows strong, as does the baby when she's able to return home. A note explains that the stone circles are currently being used to aid reforestation. Deforestation and the lack of jobs and health care in rural areas are serious problems in Haiti and are presented simply, but realistically, here. Saport depicts the hot, barren countryside in intense, glowing pastels, but the growing areas of green provide oases of hope. A story of sibling love and responsibility, written without didacticism or sentimentalism. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802852762
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Lynn Williams has written several books about the difficult lives of children around the world, including Galimoto (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard), Tap-Tap (Clarion), and Circles of Hope (Eerdmans). Karen has lived in Haiti and Malawi, but now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Linda Saport has illustrated many distinctive picture books, among them Subira Subira (Clarion), Before You Were Born (Eerdmans), and The Face at the Window (Clarion), which earned the Americas Award. Her work has also been exhibited in the Society of Illustrators annual show. Linda Saport lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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First Chapter

Circles of Hope


By Karen Lynn Williams

William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

Copyright © 2011 Karen Lynn Williams
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5396-7


Chapter One

Everyone brought a gift for baby Lucía. Facile sat high up in his mango tree and watched. It was the only tree on the whole dusty mountaintop. Papa had planted it for him when he was bor n. "A strong tree protects its timoun," Papa said. Now Papa worked far away in the city.

Facile had no gift for his baby sister. No tikado at all. He ate a juicy sweet mango, licked his sticky fingers, and thought, "Papa is not here to plant a tree for baby Lucía." He studied the large white pit of the mango and knew what his gift would be.

Carefully he held the mango pit and climbed down from his tree. With a rusted tin he dug a hole in the dry earth. He placed the seed in the hole and gently covered it with dirt until only the tip was showing.

Facile walked in the hot sun down the treeless mountainside to the stream in the valley. When he returned, his arms shook with the weight as he removed the bucket from his head and poured cool water over the seed.

After many days, the seed began to sprout. But when Facile came up the mountain with water, he found only an empty hole and the neighbor's goat blinking stupidly. "Look what you have done." Facile shook his fist. Once again he had not even a small gift for his new sister.

"How can I plant a tree that will grow strong?" Facile asked cousin Solvab.

"You must make a fence of cactus," his cousin told him. And so Facile planted another seed, and this time he protected it with stalks from the kandélab.

Dark gray clouds piled up behind the mountains. An early rain came crashing down on the dusty mountaintop. Facile danced in the puddles. Lucía laughed. But when he went to check on his sister's tree, Facile could not believe his eyes. "Gone," he cried. There was only a piece of cactus fence and beyond that the lifeless seed.

Facile asked Mama, "How can I plant a tree that will grow strong?"

But Mama was worried about Lucía, who was very hot. Lucía was not eating and she did not laugh at Facile's games. "I must take Lucía to the doctor in the city. You will stay with Tonton." Then before she carried his sister down the mountain, Mama said, "You must make a step to plant Lucía's tree."

Facile dug a flat step in the mountainside so the rain could not steal his seed. Again, Lucía's tree began to sprout. Facile waited, but Mama and Lucía did not return.

Then one day the men in the village made scrub fires to clear the land for planting. At night the sparkling flames crisscrossed the mountain. The smoke stung Facile's eyes.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Circles of Hope by Karen Lynn Williams Copyright © 2011 by Karen Lynn Williams. Excerpted by permission of William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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