Title: The Secrets of Tree Taylor
Author: Dandi Daley Mackall
Summary: Teresa “Tree” Taylor is growing up in the small rural town of Hamilton, Missouri. It’s 1963, and she has set two goals for the summer before her freshman year: to write an investigative journalism article that will get her a spot on the school newspaper, and to kiss a boy. So when a gunshot rings out of the creepy house across the street, she thinks this is the perfect opportunity to get her big story. But as Tree begins to learn more about her elderly neighbors, she starts to realize that other people’s secrets aren’t so easy to tell. This is a wonderfully inspiring and funny summertime story about a warm-hearted girl and the colorful characters – family, friends, and not-so-friends – that surround her as she embarks on a coming-of-age adventure that will teach her that truths are not always as simple as they seem.
I started reading it because it looked like a fun girly book. It ended up far exceeding those expectations!
I kept reading because I was drawn into the atmosphere of Hamilton, Missouri, and I wanted to read more about its people and their lives. Although the plot of the book was pretty predictable, my interest in the characters kept me reading.
If Tree was in a yearbook, she would be voted “best dancer” or “most likely to become a famous political poet.”
Six word summary: Tree writes and learns about life.
I would recommend this to dreamers and writers (thirteen-year-old girls or otherwise), anyone who likes small towns or the 1960s, and anyone who loves people. This book is full of great music and characters created with a realism that will leave you smiling about the human experience.