Tree by Leaf

Tree by Leaf

4.8 19
by Cynthia Voigt
     
 

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Clothilde Speer's life is falling apart. Her father, the son of a wealthy and proper Boston family, enlists in World War I, only to return disfigured in body and soul. He moves to the boathouse of their Maine property and refuses to see anyone. Clothilde's mother, too, is changing in dark and unsettling ways. She fires Lou, the family servant and Clothilde's only

Overview

Clothilde Speer's life is falling apart. Her father, the son of a wealthy and proper Boston family, enlists in World War I, only to return disfigured in body and soul. He moves to the boathouse of their Maine property and refuses to see anyone. Clothilde's mother, too, is changing in dark and unsettling ways. She fires Lou, the family servant and Clothilde's only friend. Miserable, confused, adrift, Clothilde wanders deep into the Maine woods, where she hears a Voice, a Voice that can grant all her wishes — but at a very dear price.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set on the New England coast in the summer of 1920, Voigt's beautifully written novel traces the course of a few eventful days in Clothilde Speer's life. Clothilde, 13, lives in genteel poverty with her mother, sister and brother; her father has just returned from the war, alienated and horribly scarred. Slowly revealing Clothilde's life, the plot defies encapsulation, but it turns sharply on a single moment, which may or may not be a dream. It's an ambiguous encounter, an almost transcendental conversation with a God-like Voice. Afterwards, Clothilde seems to have the ability to see into other people's minds and understand deeply what pain they feel, as if she's been given some of the Voice's omniscience. Her sudden insight and compassion is not so much magic as growth, and when Voigt has woven together her themes of love, war and loss, it is miraculously convincing and moving. Ages 9-13. (March)
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
In Cynthia Voight's novel, we meet Clothilde Speer. She is a thirteen-year-old who is living on the coast of Maine in the summer of 1920. Clothilde is learning the unfairness of life at a tender age. Her father has returned from World War I terribly disfigured, her wealthy grandfather refuses to help her family in any way and Clothilde's precious peninsula, that she inherited from her great-aunt, may have to be sold to support her family. Clothilde also hears a Voice. Depressed and bewildered at life, Clothilde hears this Voice at a time in her life when she is most vulnerable. Is it God she wonders? Is it the Voice of nature or is it her own imagination? The reader never finds out, but the Voice helps Clothilde arrive at the decisions she must make in her life. The Voice adds an element of fantasy to tie together Voight's themes of love, loss and war. 2000 (orig. 1988), Aladdin Paperbacks, Ages 12 up, $15.95 and $4.99. Reviewer: Sue Reichard—Children's Literature
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9 When 12-year-old Clothilde's father left to fight in World War I, her wealthy grandfather was so angered that he refused to support their family. With nowhere else to go, the family moved into an abandoned farmhouse on the rocky coast of Maine, which was left to Clothilde by an eccentric aunt. Now her father has come home from war, and Clothilde hopes that he will be able to solve their problems. Instead, he just adds to them. He is so scarred, both in body and soul, that he doesn't want them to see him and spends all his time alone in a small shack. Meanwhile, older brother Nathaniel is being seduced away by grandfather's wealth; their servant, Lou, is being beaten by her drunken, abusive father; and to raise enough money to survive, they may have to sell Clothilde's land. Unfortunately, the writing is not up to Voigt's usually high standard. Much as the characters are reserved with each other and hold themselves at a distance, so that readers are kept at a distance, even from Clothilde, the narrator. There is also a good deal of confusion caused by a mystical voice that speaks to Clothilde when she's in the forest. Is it God? Is it Mother Nature? Is it Clothilde's imagination? One never finds out, and it is a jarringly fantastical element in an otherwise bitterly real novel. Susan M. Harding, Mesquite Public Library, Tex.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780833533869
Publisher:
San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/28/2000
Product dimensions:
4.39(w) x 7.11(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

Meet the Author


Cynthia Voigt won the Newbery Medal for Dicey's Song and the Newbery Honor Award for A Solitary Blue, both part of the beloved Tillerman Cycle. She is also the author of many other celebrated books for middle-grade and teen readers, including Izzy, Willy-Nilly and Jackaroo. She was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 1995 for her work in literature, and the Katahdin Award in 2004. She lives in Maine.

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Tree by Leaf 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A shecat walks up to coin. I have been looking for a tom
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I pad in with three pieces of prey and put them on the pile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I need a mate
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Join Hazelclan at "hazel clan" result one. *hazelstar
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is locked out!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mommy? Where are you? The little kit mewled. She looked around the unfarmiliar camp for rowanglaze
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He crys softly. Hugging the kits. Lizzardpaw sat alone. His eyes grew wide sudenly and turned white. "Iz this thing on?" He said in Spades voice. He floated twi feet off the ground. "Flamespirit. Cougarclaw. Sunraykit is safe with me in starclan. He wants you to know that he will be always watching over you and that he loves you very mucj." Lizzardit collapsed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He looked at wolfpaw"you okay?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you. Any toms available?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She runs in circles "weee!!" -willowkit-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't be on tonight. Sorry kits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She smiled. "Here." She entwind her tail with his.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sure river welcom ti the awesomly small spy clan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well it sounds like a good book from friends
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*A pretty gold shecat with pink paws, tailtip, and ear tips and brilliant silver eyes with a heart pupil pads up* Hi I'm RosieCrystal. Could I please join? *Fidgets. You notice that her rear and front legs are covered in scars* I have a intresting story, you see..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[•Wispstar•]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He smiled and looked at the kits, laughing.