All of a sudden and forever Help and healing after the Oklahoma City bombing

Chris Barton

Book - 2020

A profoundly moving nonfiction picture book about tragedy, hope, and healing from the award-winning author. Sometimes bad things happen, and you have to tell everyone. Sometimes terrible things happen, and everybody knows. On April 19, 1995, something terrible happened in Oklahoma City: a bomb exploded, and people were hurt and killed. But that was not the end of the story. Those who survived--and those who were forever changed--shared their stories and began to heal. Near the site of the bomb b...last, an American elm tree began to heal as well. People took care of the tree just as they took care of each other. The tree and its seedlings now offer solace to people around the world grappling with tragedy and loss. Released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, this book commemorates what was lost and offers hope for the future.

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Subjects
Genres
Informational works
Picture books
Published
Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books [2020]
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (chiefly colored) ; 29 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781541526693
1541526694
Main Author
Chris Barton (author)
Other Authors
Nicole Xu, 1994- (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

This moving picture book relates the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. Rather than focusing on the perpetrators and the events leading up to the tragic moment, Barton centers the story around the resilience of the survivors and the elm tree that still stands near the site of the bombing and whose seedlings were dispersed among people affected by the tragedy. The text is at once quiet and impactful: "Sometimes the elm trees were reminders of loss. Sometimes they were sources of comfort. Sometimes they were both." Debut illustrator Xu's artwork perfectly accompanies the narrative with muted blues, lavenders, and corals, elevating the spare words with emotion-filled landscapes. Though the characters don't have facial expressions, every figure emotes with its stance, arm position, and shape, and the ever-present greens of the elm tree light up the darkness with perpetual hope. This ultimately triumphant work of nonfiction reverently pays tribute to the memory of those whose lives were forever changed by this tragedy. Grades 2-4. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

This moving picture book relates the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. Rather than focusing on the perpetrators and the events leading up to the tragic moment, Barton centers the story around the resilience of the survivors and the elm tree that still stands near the site of the bombing and whose seedlings were dispersed among people affected by the tragedy. The text is at once quiet and impactful: "Sometimes the elm trees were reminders of loss. Sometimes they were sources of comfort. Sometimes they were both." Debut illustrator Xu's artwork perfectly accompanies the narrative with muted blues, lavenders, and corals, elevating the spare words with emotion-filled landscapes. Though the characters don't have facial expressions, every figure emotes with its stance, arm position, and shape, and the ever-present greens of the elm tree light up the darkness with perpetual hope. This ultimately triumphant work of nonfiction reverently pays tribute to the memory of those whose lives were forever changed by this tragedy. Grades 2-4. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 2–5—Barton commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing with a tribute that uses spare text to explain the events, the immediate aftermath, and the longterm ways people helped others. The narrative states that 168 people died but does not go into detail. Instead, the author emphasizes the vulnerability and humanity of the victims and their relatives, friends, and neighbors. A tree near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was still standing after the attack and became known as the Survivor Tree—a potent symbol of growth and renewal. A memorial and museum was built. Some people cared for the tree, then collected and replanted its seeds. Seedlings were given to the families of the deceased and were also shared with others who experienced traumatic attacks to provide a gesture of comfort. Debut picture book artist Xu employs ink and Photoshop to create images that are appropriately dark and somber. More greens and blues are added as the tree grows healthier and people reach out to one another. The people, depicted with a variety of skin and hair colors, do not have facial features or expressions, allowing readers to project their own anger, fear, sadness, love, or compassion onto the characters. The narrative does not identify people by name, but detailed notes introduce several real people impacted by the bombing. Photographs of the tree are included. VERDICT Books that help elementary-age children understand disasters are more necessary than ever, so it is helpful to find such a sensitively written and thoughtfully illustrated resource.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A profoundly moving nonfiction picture book about tragedy, hope, and healing from award-winning author Chris Barton.Sometimes bad things happen, and you have to tell everyone. Sometimes terrible things happen, and everybody knows. On April 19, 1995, something terrible happened in Oklahoma City: a bomb exploded, and people were hurt and killed. But that was not the end of the story. Those who survived—and those who were forever changed—shared their stories and began to heal. Near the site of the bomb blast, an American elm tree began to heal as well. People took care of the tree just as they took care of each other. The tree and its seedlings now offer solace to people around the world grappling with tragedy and loss.Released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, this book commemorates what was lost and offers hope for the future.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Describes the Oklahoma City bombing and its effects on survivors, and explains how they reacted to the situation, kept the memory alive, in part throught the seeds of the Survivor Tree, and helped others after later tragedies.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Describes the Oklahoma City bombing and its effects on survivors, and explains how they reacted to the situation, kept the memory alive, in part throught the seeds of the Survivor Tree, and helped others after later tragedies.​