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THE MOTHER TREE

De Cosmos, Andrea
Illustrated by Mavis Andrews Victoria, Beach Holme Publishers, 1992. 40pp, paper, $14.95, ISBN 0-88878-317-5, CIP


Grades 4 to 6/Ages 9 to 11

Reviewed by Adele Fasick

Volume 20 Number 4
1992 September


Coraan has a favourite tree which she loves because she and her late mother used to sit under it. On her thirteenth birthday the tree gives her a golden leaf, which Coraan can use to make wishes. Her wishes are the typical ones of early adolescence to find a friend, to play her harp in public, and to find a boyfriend. She achieves all of these with ease. A girl with a disfiguring birthmark on her face comes into Coraan's class. During recess, other students make fun of the girl, but Coraan defends her and becomes her best friend. Later, Coraan visits the dying father of an old friend of her father's and plays the harp for him. The son is so impressed by Coraan's playing that he arranges for her to appear in a Celtic festival he is arranging.

At the concert, a teenage boy who has recently become a paraplegic hears Coraan play and wants to meet her. He turns out to be the boyfriend of her dreams, and, by coincidence, the girl with the birthmark ala finds an attentive boyfriend in school.

All of these victories are too easy to bring any tension to the story. Not only is Coraan (lawless character, but the adults that surround her are equally loving and understanding. There is a sweetness in the story, but many readers will find it bland a slow moving.


Adele Fasick is a professor in the Faculty of Library and Information Science at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario.

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