The Family Tree

Author – Mal Peet39908097

Illustrator – Emma Shoard

Age – 14+ (Strong language)

A man, inexplicably drawn back to where he’d lived as a child, gazes up at the treehouse his father built him when he was young. Once grand with a balcony, doors, windows and steps that wrapped around the tree trunk, ‘The Nest’ now squats in the tree, wiped with moss, mould and rot.

He is taken back to the time it was built and the wonder of watching it form in the even-then-ancient beech tree. Spending time reading, talking and playing in ‘The Nest’ with his father was a wonderful time in his life, but in dark contrast, the treehouse led to becoming his father’s escape from his job, his wife and the world, as his mental illness enveloped him.

The good memories urge him to repair it for the young family who now live there, but his sad memories win.

A succinct, sobering story of love and confusion of a young boy watching his father’s battle with depression. Emma Shoard’s style of free and fast mark making illustrations portray the quiet mood of the story beautifully. By the winner of the Carnegie Medal and The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

(Award winning author, Depression, Mental Illness, The Black Dog, Treehouse, Memories)


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