The Giving Tree was published in 1964 by Shel Silverstein. The story begins with a tree that deeply loves a young boy. The young boy plays with the tree daily by picking up her leaves, climbing on her limbs, and eating the apples from the tree. When the boy grows tired, he takes naps against the tree. As the boy grows older, he falls in love with a girl and begins to spend more time with her than the tree. One afternoon, the boy returns to the tree but only because he wants money. For the remaining times that the boy visits the tree, it is only because he wants something. Over the years the tree has given all it has to offer until all thats left is a stump for the boy that is now an old man to sit on. For an activity, I will cutout and and staple a large paper tree to our classroom bulletin board. I will then allow my students to name things or objects that can be given. For example, hugs, kindness, help, clothes, food, etc. This book is a level 30 according to the DRA book leveling system.
I don't know why, but I simply couldn't connect with anything or any character in this novel. This book features a good well-paced story with somewhat interesting characters. It felt like something didn't click between me and this story.
Danica was a headstrong woman who knew what she wanted from the start. She was used to drawing a line in the sand and having people respect that. The "mystery" she was involved in was very janky and not set up all that well throughout the story. I liked her dynamic and eventual relationship with Zed.
Zed was a sweet and caring guy. It was a nice change of pace compared to the last few books I've read. Character's like him are few and far between, especially when most novels feature "alpha" douche bags as the hero. I loved how he respected her space but at the same time was straightforward about what he was looking for/wanted and how they could compromise.
The ending was sweet and predictable (which wasn't a bad thing for this story). I would have liked the secondary characters to have been more memorable and to play a bigger part in the story.
The Audio Book:
I disliked Jonathan Davis's voice for Zed on SO many levels. At times he made it hard to understand him in basic conversations. Amanda Ronconi chapters were fine as far as understanding what the characters were saying. I listened to this audio book while trying to fall asleep so I don't really remember her accents or if she even had to do any at all.
I worked at a preschool and this book was my students' absolute favorite book. We had the c.d. and listened along while reading the book. This book is on a DRA reading level of 18, and can be read to students from kindergarten to second grade. It can be used with curriculum to teach colors or adjectives. This book is so cute, and I love the illustrations. It is a must have for teaching younger grade levels.