Tree of Dreams

Laura Resau

Book - 2019

Twelve-year-old Coco Hidden has grown up in her mother's chocolate shop in Colorado, along with her friend Leo de la Cueva, but recently things have not been going well; the shop is failing, and Leo is hanging out with the other boys, and barely wants to talk to her--but when they both win a culinary contest, the two children and their mothers find themselves on a trip to the Amazon in Ecuador, where Coco hopes to find the rare ceiba tree, and where the plight of the native people and their... jungle gives her a new perspective and purpose in life.

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New York : Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc 2019.
First edition
Physical Description
315 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Main Author
Laura Resau (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Coco has only ever known Heartbeat Springs, and her mom's chocolate shop, El Corazón. She's comfortable with her familiar surroundings and her routine, alongside her mom, her best friend, Leo, and the only father figure she knows, Gali. But Leo has been drifting away from Coco, her mom is struggling to keep El Corazón in business, and Gali's health is failing. Coco feels like her life is in chaos, and her sleep is interrupted by strange dreams of a ceiba tree deep in the Amazon, calling for help. When the opportunity to travel to the actual Amazon presents itself, Coco has to take it. Here, she encounters deforestation and the local people who depend on the rain forest. She also finds herself, and will need to mend her friendship, heal her broken heart, and realize home can be anywhere. This novel is full of information about conservation, ecosystems, and people indigenous to the Amazon. A poignant tale about how one person can bring change where it is most needed.--Rosie Camargo Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-Coco's heart used to be full. Lately, though, there has been some damage to her previously fully functioning heart. Damage has come to Coco's left atrium, occupied by El Corazon, the chocolate shop she and her mother run. Ever since a major competitor, Donut Delite, moved in a year ago, business has slowed to a near halt and El Corazon is in danger of closing. And just as bad, her best friend Leo (the occupant of Coco's right atrium) has chosen to abandon her in favor of the seventh-grade royalty. Coco is despondent and angry until one night a tree, a ceiba, visits her in her dreams promising a treasure that could save El Corazon. By divine providence, (or perhaps orchestrated by a wise old friend with his own motives), Leo, Coco, and their mothers win a trip to visit the Amazon, home of the ceiba tree of Coco's dreams. Accompanied by Gali, a grandfatherly figure to both Leo and Coco, the group make their way to the Amazon, each given opportunity to be healed in their own way. This compelling novel is a lovely blend of magical realism and harsh, realistic reminders of environmental and cultural threats to the Amazon and the people who call it home. It presents an opportunity for discussions of activism, deforestation, and what one can do to protect this vital region for the health of our planet. VERDICT An enchanting novel that raises valuable real-life questions while reminding readers to recognize the magic that connects all life.-Tiffany Davis, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Young chocolatier Coco searches for an ancient Amazonian tree on a life-changing, magical trip to Ecuador.Thirteen-year-old Coco Hidden's heart hurts. She loves El Corazn, the bean-to-bar chocolate shop her mother owns in the fictional Colorado town of Heartbeat Springs. But ever since Donut Delite opened across the street, business has plummeted so much Coco's mom may have to close the shop. Meanwhile, Coco's former best friend, Leo de la Cueva, is ignoring her in favor of "seventh-grade royalty," and he even competes against her in a dessert contest to win a weeklong trip to the Amazon. Coco wants to win because she's dreamed repeatedly of a ceiba tree that speaks to her, promising treasure that could save El Corazn. Providentially, they tie for first. When Coco (who's white but fluent in Spanish) and Leo (who's of Mexican descent), along with their moms and elderly Spanish friend Gali travel to Ecuador's rainforest, they stay in a remote Huaorani village, befriend Isa and her family, and discover that the community as well as the ceiba trees are endangered by greedy logging and oil-drilling enterprises. Resau once again blends the magical (the ceiba tree also narrates chapters throughout the story) with the contemporary in this well-researched and beautifully told tale that encourages readers to advocate for Indigenous and environmental causes. A moving exploration of friendship, activism, and how chocolate makes everything better. (author's note, language note) (Fiction. 8-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.