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The Tree of Bells
     

The Tree of Bells

3.6 3
by Jean Thesman
 

In this delightful sequel to The Ornament Tree, Bonnie leaves for college, but before she leaves she urges Clare to keep her dangerous secret from the loving, unconventional family who lives in the big, old Seattle boarding house. But Bonnie's secret is not all that concerns Clare. While letters bring word of her cousin's determined pursuit of a medical career,

Overview

In this delightful sequel to The Ornament Tree, Bonnie leaves for college, but before she leaves she urges Clare to keep her dangerous secret from the loving, unconventional family who lives in the big, old Seattle boarding house. But Bonnie's secret is not all that concerns Clare. While letters bring word of her cousin's determined pursuit of a medical career, Clare wonders about her own future. She does not have Bonnie's fierce ambition, and she is unsure of what she wants for herself. She is in love with a man she believes loves someone else, and it often seems that everyone takes her for granted. But when Clare finds an abused child and his dog, their perilous world shows her where she is needed, and a mysterious young man shows her where she is wanted.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Very much a sequel to The Ornament Tree (1996), this starts off slowly as we get reacquainted with the family of strong Deveraux women and their boarding-house guests in Seattle in the 1920s. Bonnie is now off on a dangerous trip to China before starting medical school, and the viewpoint has shifted to her quiet, younger cousin, Claire, who at 16 decides that she doesn't want far-off adventure and a blazing career but rather independence and self-sufficiency at home. Through Claire's eyes, we see the attraction of her lively, politically active community, led by her "ferocious" women relatives who fight injustice and help the poor, and who do it with style. No one is idealized, neither the women nor those they help, including a small boy and his dog, who find shelter in the boarding house. Best of all is the half-reluctant romance that grows between Claire and one of the guests, a warm, cranky, partially blinded World War I veteran who loves her. Booklist, ALA

"Keeping secret her cousin Bonnie's plans to travel to China, sixteen-year-old Clare Harris contemplates her own future in this sequel to THE ORNAMENT TREE. Clare becomes more interested in helping the underprivileged in 1920s Seattle and more involved in the small dramas taking place at her family's lively boarding house. For those who enjoyed the first book, this installment will more than satisfy." Horn Book

School Library Journal
Gr 7-9-Readers of Thesman's The Ornament Tree (Houghton, 1996) will enjoy catching up with the happenings at the slightly down-at-the-heels yet genteel boarding house in Seattle during the 1920s. Clare, the 16-year-old granddaughter of the proprietor, is left behind when her cousin Bonnie returns to college. Sworn to secrecy about Bonnie's plans to do medical missionary work in China in order to help her gain entry into medical school, Clare wonders why she has no desire for the adventurous life her cousin has chosen. Meanwhile, Clare is attracted to a blind, cynical young man who seems to view her as a child. Then the Ornament Tree, on which the family members have been placing notes containing their wishes, is felled by a storm. Although it is soon replaced by a tree upon which bells are hung along with hopes, things take a turn for the worse. A boy the family had rescued from a bad situation runs away to rejoin his abusive father; Clare's best friend contemplates leaving town rather than being forced into marriage; and word arrives that Bonnie has been seriously wounded in China. Although Thesman's rather repetitive message is that education and self-sufficiency are the best remedies for social ills, she structures Clare to be a more traditional, home-loving female than Bonnie. While the plot lacks the punch and pace of the previous book, fans of the characters will probably be interested in learning more about them.-Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395905104
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/28/1999
Edition description:
None
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.94(d)
Lexile:
690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Jean Thesman is the author of more than a dozen books for young readers. She makes her home with her husband in Bothell, Washington.

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Tree of Bells 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SandraHeptinstall More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed books set in a different time period. I love reading about how things were before I was born. The language that was used is fascinating to me. This book is interesting and is set in the year 1922. We read about a young girl named Clare, who lives in a boarding house, with her mother and grandmother who own it. Clare is trying to figure out what she wants in life. In her heart she knows she secretly loves one of the tenants of the boarding house. She has no desire to go to college, even though she knows it is what her mother and grandmother expect. This book is not just a love story, we also learn about how child labor laws were ignored in some states. For me personally that is a major reason that kept me reading. The characters were trying to keep their boarding house going and also help children. The story exposes the truths about how some children during that time period were treated. Children who are beaten by a parent or a boss, because they are not working as hard as they think they should. Children forced to work with little food to eat and barely clothe. While I did enjoy this book the ending was terrible. I mean you are reading along and then just blank. Dang, I felt like picking up my dog Gracie and clicking my heals and saying,”give us an ending MS. Thesman.”
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVED the 'Ornament Tree' and this book was wonderful as well!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book isnt all that great. I got mixed up with the charecters and stuff...i dont know i just didnt get into it!