Reviews /

The Family Tree

Authored by Mal Peet
Illustrated by Emma Shoard
Published by Barrington Stoke

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The Family Tree is a lyrical and powerful novella by Mal Peet. It tells the story of a family breakdown through the eyes of the child now an adult. Throughout the story, the narrator reflects on the reality he was living with an adult perspective – the smallest details come to have the most profound meaning.

The prose will pick you up and briskly take you through the intriguing and devastating tale of this family breakdown. Emma Shoard’s  (who also illustrated Siobhan Dowd’s The Pavee and the Buffer Girl) and since this title, The Good Boy illustrations capture the delicacy, depth and complexity of what the child, as an adult, can now see.

A poignant tale suitable for later junior years and older – mature and reflective children. The Family Tree would enable and open up discussions around family, breakdowns, mental health and relationships.

An entrancing read – with few words, it explores the immense complexity of reality and relationships.