If you listen to popular media, you might think that “tweens” — or what I call a marketing construct for children ages 9-12 — especially girls, are only obsessed with social media, each other, make-up, and shopping. Middle grade children are often stereotyped as narcissistic, hormone filled, and hot tempered. One look at the toy aisle, magazine rack, or book list for this set and you can see this.
But I know different. I’ve been teaching this age group for over 15 years. And I know they can be selfless, caring, passionate, and motivated. They have a deep sense of social justice and want to make the world a better place. They just need a little encouragement.
That is how the kids in my new eco-adventure book are. The Order of the Trees is being released today, May 15. Not that their road was easy though.
Cedar was found as a baby deep in the Vermont woods. We flash forward to her sixth grade year and she couldn’t be more different than the other kids. She finds her first true friend and shares her forest home with him. He quickly discovers her secret and has to race to find a plan to save their sacred woods and his first friend before both disappear forever.
Middle grade students need more choices and role models about how they can be in the world. There is not one singular story of a “tween.” We shouldn’t be in the business of limiting them, of forcing them into roles that they might not fit in to.
I’m hoping The Order of the Trees provides a story that is inspiring, connects kids to their environment, and shows them that they can make true change in their local communities.
Do you have a child in grades 4-8 in your life? The Order of the Trees was written just for this age group. The Order of the Trees is published by Green Writer’s Press, a Vermont publisher with a focus on giving voice to writers who want to make the world a better place. Ask for it at your local, independent bookstore today, or you can find it available on Amazon.
Feature image courtesy of Alexandre Dulaunoy