Today I am a reviewing a book called Forest Secrets by Laurie Woodward.
The book is 150 pages and written for young adults. The heroine is 11 years old, and I feel the best age for reading the book would be 8-13 years of age.
At the root of it, this book is about friendships. Daisy is new to the area and meets a mystical creature in the forest named Calliandra. Calliandra, a tree that can take a form resembling a human, is searching for her parents. Daisy is searching for adventure and new friends. In the process of discovering what has happened to Calliandra’s parents, they meet Albert, who quickly joins with them in their search. The search leads them to discover the underhanded operations of some unscrupulous men whose only goal is to make money. The friendship between the three keeps them going, even when they get into some tight spots. In the end, good and friendship triumph over evil.
This book does touch on the environmental issues of logging and endangered species, but does it in a tasteful, non-preachy way. A good portion of the book takes place in the forest. Calliandra, while having some aspects of humanity, is a natural being. The soil is her home and she cannot survive without it.
I really enjoyed this book. I even cried (happy tears) at the end. I think the only negatives I saw was the occasional words in Spanish that were used, simply because they seemed like an afterthought to me. Daisy is Hispanic, but her cultural background is rarely brought up in the context of the book or the plot itself. It wasn’t distracting per say, just seemed a little awkward. I will definitely keep this around for my girls to read when they get older.
I did receive this book at no cost in return for my honest opinion.