Memorial

Memorial

by Gary Crew, Shaun Tan
     
 

A Moreton Bay Fig tree, planted as a memorial to Australian soldiers killed in World War I, is slated to be cut down by the local council. A young boy tells the moving story of the tree, as related by his great grandfather, grandfather, and father, each of whom has participated in wars over the years. Interweaving themes of war, memory, and conservation, this book

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Overview

A Moreton Bay Fig tree, planted as a memorial to Australian soldiers killed in World War I, is slated to be cut down by the local council. A young boy tells the moving story of the tree, as related by his great grandfather, grandfather, and father, each of whom has participated in wars over the years. Interweaving themes of war, memory, and conservation, this book blends a sensitive text with brilliantly original collage art by Shaun Tan to bring an important lesson to young readers.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A conversation among an unnamed boy, his great-grandfather, grandparents, and parents reveals a sense of community and remembrance that grew up around a statue and fig tree planted when Australian soldiers returned from the First World War. Each man in the family participated in a different war and shares memories of returning home afterward. The protagonist's inquisitiveness turns to idealistic outrage when local officials propose removing the tree since its roots are lifting the pavement ("bitumen" in Australia), causing a traffic hazard. The boy believes that the tree is as much a memorial as the statue, and that it houses animals and plants that are valuable to the town. An aura of sadness and pessimism pervades the story: the boy's great-grandfather says, "They'll beat you, son. The big boys will beat you every time. They'll chop you to bits-." The town council does take down the tree, but the youngster is consoled by reflecting on his great-grandfather's opinion that it is people's fighting spirit that is remembered in the end. Detailed, engrossing, multimedia collages draw in readers and hint at hard war times, warm family times, and stages in the life of the tree and in the community. It's undeniably a powerful package, but one that will have a hard time finding its audience; middle-school art and social-studies teachers may be the key to its success.-Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781894965088
Publisher:
Simply Read Books
Publication date:
05/01/2004
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
7 - 12 Years

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