(This is a speech I made at the official launch of my middle grade fiction book on May 1, 2015, called The Order of the Trees. I feel so lucky that all these families came to talk about reading, ideas, and writing!)
I’m so excited and thrilled to see you all here. Thank you for making the time to come. It is truly an amazing community in which to live and work. I am very thankful.
Now about this book. You see, I have always written. In journals, late at night, while waiting, observing the world. I started writing for kids about 15 years ago. Over the course of that time I wrote, edited, and sent out work. I received many rejections. Some hand written, lovely and kind, but still rejections. I won’t pretend they didn’t hurt. But I have developed a policy.
The world will tell you NO. They will tell you all the problems with your ideas. The world is very good at that.
I was excited to see this pop up from fellow author Eric Andreas. He wrote (which I am avidly reading) Origins Rising, a post apocalyptic, futuristic thriller with humans that evolve with different skills sets–flying, running, and swimming and a whole bunch of new and scary animals that evolved with them. He posted this review of The Order of the Trees on Goodreads:
My review below includes a couple of plot points that could be considered spoilers. But if you’re a parent of a middle schooler looking for a helpful review of this wonderful book, read on.
When a couple finds a baby girl abandoned in the woods at the foot of a tall cedar tree, they don’t know what to make of it. Who would leave a babe in the woods? The trees know . . . but they can’t say. The couple adopt the girl and name her Cedar, after the tree where she was found. They know she’s special, just not how special. The kids in school make fun of Cedar because she’s different, but she’s able to spark up a friendship with another outcast named Phillip. Cedar opens up to her new friend and asks him to join her club—The Order of the Trees. Phillip quickly realizes that he and Cedar are the only human members; the other members are the trees and the animals in the woods where Cedar was found. But Phillip doesn’t mind, he thinks it’s cool. And it is! Cedar teaches him about the trees and animals and how special they are; it’s like she’s connected to the trees, feels what they feel, knows what they know. Does she? One day, Cedar and Phillip notice orange tape tied to all the trees in Cedar’s woods, and they learn that the land is going to be cleared for development. At once Cedar falls deathly ill. Nobody knows what’s wrong with her—but Phillip does. The problem is, he’s sure no one will believe him. What follows is some great derring-do by two kids determined to do the right thing.
Farber’s The Order Of The Trees is a enjoyable eco-adventure for middle schoolers. The author puts a loving touch on this book, and her writing is clear and crisp. Any middle schooler should be able to read this with no trouble, but at the same time won’t feel like it’s a “kiddy” book. The characters are also genuine, not stiff, and easily relatable. It was a joy to read and is a must have for any young nature lover in your family.
-Eric Andreas (author of Origins Rising)
I am so thankful for this review! Please join me on Goodreads so we can share great books. You can find The Order of the Trees on Amazon to pre-order before the May 1, 2015 publication date.
I am thrilled (and a bit nervous!) to announce that Green Writer’s Press, a homegrown, Vermont publisher with a focus on “authors who want to make the world a better place” will be publishing my first middle level/young adult novel in May. I couldn’t ask for a publisher that is more in line with the my values and this story. It makes me proud that the book will be printed on FSC certified recycled paper with soy based inks in the U.S.
The book is called The Order of the Trees– and is about Cedar, who was found as a baby under an old growth tree in the Vermont woods. This is the story of her sixth grade year, her first true friend, and how their fate is connected to the magical woods in which she was found.
The Order of the Trees is now available for pre-order through Amazon. If you order during the pre-order period and let me know (in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter) I would be happy to send you a previously unpublished short story about redemption on a junior high bus that was filled with spit balls, harassment and exclusion. This story created a forum for those who experienced similar traumatic events on junior high buses. Many found the story validating and I am so grateful for this as it has helped me to process this challenging time as well.
I couldn’t be more excited about my new publisher. Dede Cummings, literary agent and publisher, is a fireball of positivity and is bringing beautiful books to life this spring about sustainability, climate change, teaching and mindfulness. I am so excited to be included in this spring catalog.
I’m so lucky that two of my favorite Vermont authors for young adults wrote blurbs for the book after reading advance copies: Rita Murphy, author of Night Flying, and Doug Wilhelm, author of The Revealer and many other books. I will share those soon.
I would be so grateful if you could ask for this book at your local library, bookstore, and school. It releases on May 1st and I will fill you in on other details as the date draws near!