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Arrow has spent his entire life living in the rainforest, raised by the Guardian Tree and at peace with the creatures who live there. But the curtain that hides the rainforest from the desolate human world is beginning to tear and the Anima, the magic at the core of the forest’s spirit, is fading. And then the humans begin to arrive.
First a plane crashes, leaking gasoline into the earth, and then a herd of human children stumble in through one of the tears in the curtain. Though the Guardian Tree fears the humans, Arrow is intrigued to finally see creatures of his own kind. And when a baby human is sick with a rash, Arrow disobeys the Guardian Tree’s orders to stay hidden and emerges to help. Arrow and the human children soon become friends. But the children aren’t the only humans to stumble on the forest, and when the forest is threatened with destruction, Arrow will have to figure out where his loyalties lie and whether he has the strength to protect the Anima himself.
Told in first person narration by the Guardian Tree, this inventive middle grade fantasy is charming and inspiring. Readers will love the adventure and teachers and librarians will find plenty of fuel for book club discussion in the environmental message and the coming-of-age story. This book will be best suited for readers in grades 4-6.