Treasure Forest: Book One of the Forest Inside Trilogy


How can you retrieve a treasure from the bottom of a pond without disturbing the water?

This is the challenge left for Ben Maclennon by his grandmother, and the start of an enchanting new trilogy that will take readers deep into the heart of the natural world-and into the secrets of their own souls...

After Grandma Daphne dies, Ben and his sister convince their parents to live in her home for one year, in ...

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How can you retrieve a treasure from the bottom of a pond without disturbing the water?

This is the challenge left for Ben Maclennon by his grandmother, and the start of an enchanting new trilogy that will take readers deep into the heart of the natural world-and into the secrets of their own souls...

After Grandma Daphne dies, Ben and his sister convince their parents to live in her home for one year, in spite of their mother's misgivings, and in spite of the fierce hermit who lives beyond the swamp.

Ben is convinced that he and Sara can reawaken their parents' joy in the woods-to feel its comfort instead of fear. But it will take a wheelchairbound private eye with a threelegged bloodhound, a Zen-master-like woman, an acorn flute homing device, Grandma Daphne's invisible presence, a tree house knit right into a tree, and a golden thread to help them-and to discover the life-changing answer to the mysterious riddle of the pond.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
After their beloved, nature-loving grandmother passes away, 13-year old Ben, his younger sister, Sara, and their parents have the opportunity to spend a year living in her countryside home, which is located at the edge of a sprawling wilderness filled with beauty, wisdom, marvels...and a deranged hermit.

Cat Bordhi's debut novel -- a narrative adaptation of sorts involving the teachings of spiritual guru Eckhart Tolle (author of The Power of Now) -- is an all-ages contemporary fantasy with some very deep themes: the importance of love and the extended family, living a nature-based life, existing in the moment, transcendentalism, etc. After moving into their grandmother's house, Ben and Sara begin to uncover some of her mystical secrets. After each receives a letter of farewell from their revered grandmother, they begin their own journeys of self-discovery and spiritual awakening. Ben's involves a Zen-like riddle regarding a still pond, and Sara is introduced to a mysterious woman who teaches her about the powers of meditation. But when a hermit named Daggett abducts Sara, Ben must use everything he has learned to find his sister -- and Sara must use her knowledge to remain safe…

An unusual blend of pastoral coming-of-age tale à la Wilson Rawls's Where the Red Fern Grows and the esoteric wisdom of Lao Tsu's Tao Te Ching, Bordhi's novel raises deeply introspective spiritual questions (How can you retrieve a treasure from the bottom of a pond without disturbing the water?) that may be lost on some younger readers; but those who can wrap their heads around the profoundly moving story line will be forever changed. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
First published by a small press specializing in books on spirituality, Bordhi's young adult novel won the Nautilus Award at the 2004 BEA, but this relaunch is unlikely to win over older fantasy readers. The late Grandma Daphne's will requests that daughter Lily bring her family-husband, Peter; 13-year-old daughter, Sara; and 12-year-old son, Ben-to live in Daphne's forest house for a year. The children, sounding much younger than their given ages, immediately break all the rules set by their irrational, controlling mother. Ben almost dies at the hands of Daggett, Daphne's ex-lover turned woods-dwelling wildman, and then thanks him for the experience. Sara is whisked off by the spirit Esther to learn about inner peace, though this lesson doesn't include letting her family know where she is so they can also feel inner peace. Some may find Lily and Peter too flatly painted to take their eventual embrace of magic and wonder seriously, but all will cheer the one well-drawn character, a three-legged bloodhound named Matthias, as he leads the hunt for the missing Sara. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In this mysterious fantasy, Lily inherits her mother's house in Cedarwood. Although her husband is in favor of the move, Lily is scared to return to her childhood home. On the other hand, Lily's children miss their visits with Grandma Daphne and are ecstatic about the possibility of living near the forest. Along with the will, Grandma Daphne leaves a letter for each of Lily's children and includes instructions for the letters to be opened privately by each child. Lily's son Ben opens his letter right away and finds that it contains a riddle about retrieving treasure from a pond. The riddle intrigues Ben, who knows he can solve it if he can only explore the forest in Cedarwood. Lily's daughter Sara refuses to open her letter until she is alone in the forest. Youthful inquisitiveness and perseverance prevail in this simply told yet enchanting tale as Lily agrees to move to Cedarwood for one year, stating that if she even gleans a hint of danger, the family will immediately leave. Even before the family arrives, odd occurrences abound in Cedarwood, as Daggett, a strange hermit, tries to destroy Daphne's house and Archie, Grandma Daphne's lawyer, receives eerie phone calls. Daggett is certain to capture readers' interest with his highly inventive living arrangements and his past history with Daphne. Centering on the magical and spiritual forces in nature and within us, this fantasy provides a lightly suspenseful tale while offering readers a breezy, entertaining read. This title is the first in a planned trilogy and is also the 2004 winner of the Nautilus Award for YA fiction. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Penguin,Ace, 288p. map., Ages 15 to adult.
—Ginger Armstrong
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780441013692
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/4/2006
  • Series: Forest Inside Trilogy, #1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in San Francisco in 1951, Cat Bordhi spent part of her early childhood in a small village on the edge of the Black Forest in Germany, where she became utterly enchanted with nature. Returning later to the U.S., she continued to cherish, explore, and learn from her natural surroundings. She was educated at the Universities of California, Santa Barbara, and Western Washington. With dual careers as a textile artist and award-winning schoolteacher, she currently resides in the Pacific Northwest.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    Great reading.

    Excellent book for teenagers! I will look for more Nautilus Award winning books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2006

    Captivating for Young Adult Readers

    Easy to read and holds the reader's attention. This book is similar in style to James Redfield's 'The Celestine Prophecy' with it's simple acceptance of unexplainable events. I am looking forward to where the next book in the series will take us.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Asomewhat different thought-provoking fantasy

    When the grandmother of Ben and Sara dies from a heart attack, the children wonder if they will ever be able to play in the woods again that adjoined Daphne¿s home. Their mother Lily hates the woods and left home as soon as she could, never to return and only reluctantly sending her children to visit their grandma. Daphne leaves her home to Lily asking her daughter to live there for one year. Hesitantly Lilly agrees with the stipulation, but also arranges for someone to watch over Ben and Sara when they enter the woods.------- The children absorbed the Zen-like teachings of their grandmother and feel connected to the woods and each other. Ben receives a letter from his grandmother at the time the will was read she asks him to figure how to find a treasure at the bottom of a pond without moving the water. Sara was advised to heed the teachings of Daphne¿s mentor Esther. When Sara disappears with Esther to a place no one else can go, searchers seek the missing child, but only Ben connected to his sibling can find her if he can solve his grandmother¿s riddle.------ Even before the family moves into grandma¿s house, magical occurrences happen and the woods seem filled with an essence of an otherworldly mysticism setting, a fascinating atmosphere within a mundane world. The entire family learns from Sara¿s disappearance especially the young girl who seems destined to fill her grandmother¿s legacy. Cat Bordhi has written a somewhat different thought-provoking fantasy that magically charms her readers into needing to know what comes next.----- Harriet Klausner

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