Sharon Shier Releases THE WISDOM OF THE TREES
Author Sharon Shier shares an inspired experience of harvesting maple syrup in winter at a friend's farm. Her amazing new picture novel for young adults, "The Wisdom of the Trees", is really two sides of a coin in its intent. Since Sharon Shier is an avid maple syrup lover and had been curious about the actual process of taking it from the trees, she was thrilled to join in the fun and learn about the harvesting process too. Her experience with the trees during this tapping was so mind-boggling to her and she wanted to share it with children while they are young enough to incorporate a deeper appreciation of nature and it provides. The sharing, based on this actual experience, came out in the form of a children's fiction story (her new picture book set in Michigan).
In the story, Huxford's main character is a young, pre-teen aged boy named Ryan. His family, including a younger sister and several pets, has just moved from a city life into the country, and Ryan is not doing well. His unhappiness with the move affects everyone around him, with his parents worrying that they have made a mistake in thinking the move would be good for all of them. To make matters worse for Ryan, his sister is blissfully happy, while he mopes about wishing he were back with his friends and at his old school.
The turning point of the story occurs when the family decides on a winter outing to help out at a maple tree farm, with Ryan reluctantly accompanying them. During their time on the farm, surprising events occur that result in a powerful shift in Ryan's attitude, transforming his outlook and giving him a new sense of purpose. Since the experience itself was real, the liberties the author took were in creating a character who reflected herself at that age and what she wished might have happened to her while harvesting the trees.