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The Hollow under the Tree: 01/08/19

The Hollow under the Tree

The Hollow under the Tree by Cary Fagan is set in Toronto in 1925. It begins with a poorly maintained circus train, a tight schedule, and the inevitable derailment.

From there it moves to Sadie, a girl living in Toronto who is the daughter of a pie maker. She happens upon Sunny the lion, now hiding in High Park. The rest is her story of how she attempts to care for the lion and ultimately finds people who can rescue it from the park before too many dogs are eaten or anyone is hurt.

The author includes a chapter where he recounts hearing the source of the book as a story told to him by his grandfather. Whether the story is true or not is left up to the reader.

For a middle grade fiction, it's a short book. It's really more of a novella than a full on novel. It's 128 pages and the book's dimensions are tiny. There are no wasted words on excess description, filler, or even adverbs. It's the sort of book that could be read aloud by a teacher to a class in a couple after recess sessions. Although short, it is entertaining and memorable.

Four stars

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