The Boy Who Grew a Tree


Timi worries about Mum and this new baby sister. It seems all is not as it should be. What’s more, Timi’s sent to stay with one auntie and then another. It means that his plants will dry out, while there’s no time to buy compost for the seedlings he’d planned to pot on.

It seems he’s a boy who exists in his own world, seeing and feeling things that others don’t, such as the natural world about him. Therefore, when the children at after school club dare each other to venture into the old library, it’s not too unexpected that Timi finds himself alone there. That, despite the stories of ghosts. However, as Timi takes in the giant emptiness, he discovers a tiny green sapling with two green leaves struggling between the floorboards. He waters it.

What’s more, Timi finds ways to visit the old library, each time taking in the astounding growth of his plant. It’s like it is reaching out to him, drinking in his care and friendship, while Timi finds constancy in the growth and attention of his plant.

Yet, how long might the plant remain hidden? Thereafter, what of the demolition of the library? Might it be that The Boy Who Grew a Tree might grow friendships and then reconnect with his family?

Bookwagon loves this thoughtful, caring and aware story. We recommend The Boy Who Grew a Tree as an ideal read aloud choice.

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist


The Boy Who Grew a Tree

Polly Ho-Yen, with illustrations by Sojung Kim-McCarthy

(Knights of Media)

Timi notices seedlings and green shoots more than other people, it seems. What’s more, he’s focused on growing plants about his house too. Therefore, when he is the first and only one of the after school club to dare to step into the old library, it seems only right that he sees the sapling.
The old library is due for destruction. Abi and Mo have stories about ghosts that have scared the group. However, Timi is intrigued. Thereafter, when he alights upon ‘the tiny green seedling- in the narrow gap between the floorboards’ he’s captivated. It seems that this sapling depends on Timi to water and care for it, nurture and talk to it. What’s more, as Timi shuttles between after school club and busy aunties, his secret is something constant. It means he doesn’t have to worry about Mum and the new baby.
Bookwagon loves How I Saved the World in a Week from Polly Ho-Yen. However, this title is more of an allegory, and then ideal for a wider reading audience, including less confident chapter book readers. What’s more, it holds themes of hope, constancy and family bonds with such care and maturity. Bookwagon recommends The Boy Who Grew a Tree as a title to read aloud and share. It is a subtle, meaningful and beautiful story.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The Boy Who Grew a Tree”

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like…