TITLE: The Tree of Us
GENRE: MG Coming-of-Age
Connected through the South American orphanage where they first meet,
three 13 year-old girls form a bond through a shared journal that
travels across the Americas and brings the girls closer to each other
and to the truth about the circumstances of each of their births.
Secretly, Mari had doubted that the package would arrive. She stared
down at the box covered in colorful stamps waiting for her on top of
her bed. Someone had written "frágil" in red magic marker to the left
of Boston, Massachusetts. Mari didn't know why she hesitated in
opening it. With her fourteenth birthday just days away this was the
Mari called herself a realistic dreamer whenever people asked her if
the glass was half full or half empty. This was almost like saying,
"it depends," a phrase that Mari inherited from Dear Old Dad. Although
she and her siblings Matt and Sarah complained that, "it depends"
often really meant no, the truth was that her chances were about 60/40
just not always in her favor.
In the case of an after school photography class she wanted to join
the previous year, "it depends" meant yes after a two-month long
campaign to convince her parents that she was serious about this new
hobby. Winning an argument against her mother, a well-known litigator,
was no easy feat. Now Mari never left the house without her silver
Pentax K1000 film camera.
Mari had been pleasantly surprised with the series of photographs
from her recent trip to Colombia. She developed the film six weeks ago
when she returned from visiting her orphanage there. Her teacher said
they were her best work yet but she hesitated showing them to the
other students because then she would have to talk about being