My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree by Shelly Reuben and Illustrated by Ruth McGraw Book Review

Book Description (via Goodreads): Once upon a time, Samuel Swerling, a World War II veteran and inventor, decided to build a park. It would be filled with trees trained to grow in such a way that children could easily climb them. To this end, he bought two acres of land, hired Alonso Hannah, a one-armed arborist, and began to turn his dream into the reality. After five years, Alonso and Sam had created a small, privately-owned park in a big publicly-run city. Sam married Ghita, bought an apartment across the street from his park, and had five children. People fell in love at the Samuel Swerling Park. Painters painted pictures; dogs chased Frisbees; pretty girls basked in the sun; and timed stood still. Most of all, though, children did what the park had been built for them to do: They climbed trees. The narrator of this book is one of Sam’s climbing trees. He thrives on human contact, and in his long and happy life, he has had a few disappointments. Lately, however, he is being subjected to life-threatening injuries by Jarvis Larchmont, a power-hungry politician who was thrown out of the park for bullying when he was twelve-years old. Time passes. Sam’s grandchildren, particularly Esther Swerling, are now in charge of the park. Esther is young, beautiful, and like her grandfather, an inventor. She is also ferociously protective of her heritage. When a hurricane floods the area, she and her family provide food, warmth, and shelter in the park to those seeking refuge. At the same time, the City’s beloved mayor is hospitalised, and Jarvis Larchmont is put in charge of the Department of Parks. Still bitterly resentful at having been thrown out of the park as a child, he joins forces with ecco-terrorists to destroy Sam’s creation. Suddenly, our narrator and his fellow climbing trees are separated from people. Separated from all that they know and love. Separated from children. They cry …and they begin to die. Then Esther, her friends, and her family organise. And they fight back.I received My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree by Shelly Reuben in exchange for an honest review. I have given this book five out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

To be completely and truly honest with you guys, this book is one of my favourite reads of 2018 so far! It’s such a unique story, reading from the perspective of a climbing tree, which I hadn’t had the experience of reading from any perspective other than a humans before.

There were a lot of characters throughout the book, but through the descriptive writing style of Reuben’s, I found them easy to remember who they were and what role they played in the book. I became attached to quite a few characters and thought it was extremely clever to be able to connect with characters through the perspective of a climbing tree. I thoroughly enjoyed reading stories the climbing tree had to share which I found most of them were very emotional and deeply touching.

This book is an absolute masterpiece with creative, delightful words by Shelly Reuben and gorgeous illustrations drawn by Ruth McGraw.

Have you read or are you interested in this book? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading,


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