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The Hollow Tree [Unbound]

Janet Lunn
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 7.99
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Book Description

Aug. 28 2001
From one of Canada's best loved children's writers comes the enthralling tale of a brave young girl caught up in the American Revolutionary War. It is 1777 and Phoebe Olcott is thrown headlong into the horrors of war when her beloved cousin Gideon is hanged for being a British spy. When she finds a message left by Gideon containing the names of Loyalist families to be protected by the King's army, Phoebe knows she must deliver the message to the general at Fort Ticonderoga. She sets out into the wilderness and soon meets up with Jem, a young Loyalist travelling to the safety of British Canada. As they travel across the country facing rebel guns, wild animals and worse, Phoebe and Jem discover they have a growing attraction for each other. But her own mission cannot be ignored and Phoebe once again finds herself alone, freezing and near death before she is reunited with Jem on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Frequently Bought Together

The Hollow Tree + The Root Cellar + Shadow in Hawthorn Bay
Price For All Three: CDN$ 25.62


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From Amazon

The Hollow Tree, the third novel in Janet Lunn's trilogy focusing on the historical roots of Ontario, was the winner of the Governor General's Award for Children's Literature. Shadow in Hawthorn Bay looks at the pioneer experience, and The Root Cellar, the first book in the series, explores Canada's early days as a nation, while The Hollow Tree focuses on the American Revolution and the part that war played in Canadian history. Thirteen-year-old Phoebe Olcott is caught smack in the middle of this bitter conflict. Her father, Jonathan, has decided to join the rebelling Patriots while her beloved cousin, Gideon, has enlisted in the Loyalist forces. After her father is killed in one of the revolution's early battles, Phoebe is taken in by Gideon's parents. But when Gideon secretly returns to his community, he's captured and hanged as a traitorous spy by members of the Patriots' Committee of Public Safety and Gideon's family holds Phoebe partly responsible for his death. Finding a message from Gideon in the hollow tree where they had left messages for one another in more innocent times, Phoebe, despite her desire to keep out of the conflict, decides to deliver a coded message to Fort Ticonderoga in honour of Gideon's memory. It's a difficult journey through the wilderness, and reaching the fort, Phoebe finds it deserted. Phoebe can't now go back to her home, where she'll be considered a traitor and probably hanged, so she joins forces with a group of Loyalists who are making their way to Canada. Lunn brings this remarkable period to life and creates a story that is at once a gripping adventure and a tender love story, as well as a first-rate historical novel. (Ages 12 to 16) --Jeffrey Canton

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9-Neither patriot nor Tory, Phoebe finds herself caught between conflicting loyalties. After her father is killed fighting for freedom with the rebels, the 15-year-old lives with her Loyalist relatives in the mountains along the Vermont/New Hampshire border. Her eldest cousin Gideon, who serves as a British scout, is caught and hanged in the village after he secretly returns. Phoebe's sense of love and duty compels her to try to complete Gideon's dangerous mission, and she sets out for Fort Ticonderoga through the wilderness. Her journey becomes a voyage of self-discovery as well as of survival. As the Loyalist families become increasingly persecuted, the teen joins the refugees heading to Canada for safety. She struggles to do what is right and stay true to herself, in the face of mistrust from her cousin Anne and other refugees who hold her father's "betrayal" against her. Lunn provides an eye-opening glimpse into a different aspect of this period than many readers will have encountered. Engaging, suspenseful, well-written historical fiction with excellent characterizations and a well-paced plot.
Robin L. Gibson, Muskingum County Library System, Zanesville, OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loyalist Historical Fiction March 3 2005
Format:Unbound
Phoebe Olcott's mother died when she was young and she had to look after herself and her father. He was a teacher in New Hampshire and in 1775 he went to war to fight for independence from England. He died and young Phoebe went to live with her relatives who were Loyalists. She is a timid girl but determined as she finds herself trying to complete a mission for her cousin who was caught and hung for being a Loyalist spy. She wants no part of this war that separates families and drives neighbours out of their homes with very little to survive on.
This well researched historical fiction tells the story of how one girl found the courage and strength to do what she believed was right unbeknown to the people that she joined as they traveled towards Canada where they would be safe. On the way, she proves herself useful by taking care of other young children that no one seems to want. She also finds a special love with Jem Morrisey.
Some people just have to grow up fast and in strange and difficult circumstances. Phoebe is a girl who puts many of the other characters in the story to shame as she rises through all her challenges to be a shining star.
I really enjoyed this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good! Oct. 22 2001
By Mags
Format:Hardcover
Very good book! I have never read a book on where the point of view was from a Loyalist. I think that this is very important, to show that they are human beings too! Phoebe Shows courage and impluse as she rushes off to deliver a message with only the river for direction. She meets Jem Morrisay on the way and learns even more, about love and life. I won't spoil the ending for you, but expect the unexpected. AN altogether successfully told and written story. I totally recommend it for you historical fiction lovers (thats me!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of adventure, but some kissing (ew!) June 21 2006
Format:Unbound
Did you ever travel across the border just to help your dead cousin?

Well that's what Phoebe did.

In the middle of Revolutionary War, Phoebe's father was shot and the rebels hanged her favorite cousin. Phoebe was blamed for his death because her father was on the rebels' side of the war, so she decides to run away.

Phoebe and her cousin and his sister used to put little notes in a tree with a hole in it, and when Phoebe ran away, she put her hand in the hole and found a note signed before by her cousin for his general. When Phoebe read the note she didn't understand a word it said. Two days later Phoebe came upon a clearing, and in the clearing there were 20 or more tents. In one of the tents was the mother of the dead cousin and his sister. The sister, Sarah, hated Phoebe, and when she saw her she tried to hit her! At night Phoebe's aunt asked her why she ran away, so Phoebe showed her the note!

Phoebe made friends and a boyfriend (they got married).

Then it's Phoebe's turn to be brave! Will Phoebe survive? Will Phoebe be able to give the note to the general?

There are lots of adventures in this book!!!!

WARNING: This book is not recommended for kids under the age of 10 (even though I read it at the age of 9) because there is some kissing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Loyalists during the War of independence Aug. 24 2014
By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is the third book in a trilogy that I believe only has the connection that they take place in the same geographic area at some point. I read this book before a very long time ago but did not remember it as I re-read it this time. It's a bit slow to get into and not exactly a page-turner story. The plot is quiet and meandrous even though an adventure and mission is taking place. We are privy as much as to what is taking place inside Phoebe's thoughts as to what is happening to her physically. It is still a refreshing approach to the American War of Independence. The characters in the book are Loyalists who have to flee from their homes to Canada after being made to leave by the rebels, some violently others just forcibly. However, the main character, Phoebe, is neutral. Her freedom loving professor of a father leaves to fight for the rebels and gets killed the first year. At 13 she moves across the creek to her Aunt and Uncle's house. The Uncle is a pacifist, but his eldest son is Loyalist and goes off to fight for the King. Needless to say he suffers a gruesome end. Phoebe, now 15, goes across the country on her own, followed by a stray cat and bear cub, to complete her cousin's mission because she is loyal, loyal to family, not any side in any war. The book heavily portrays the terrible ways that neighbour turned against neighbour and the Loyalists were, any combination of, kicked out of their homes, property and chattel stolen, beaten, tarred and feathered, women and children with husbands gone off fighting were kicked out in the middle of the night with virtually nothing but their horse and cart and a bag of flour. Young men accused of being Loyalist were hanged and after the war these refugees hiding out in Canada were not allowed back into the new Independent America. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars great Sept. 3 2009
By elfdart TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Unbound
i really enjoyed this book when i was younger, i had it purchased for me and read it more than once.

it is a story about a girl named phoebe in the time of the america revolution. phoebe's father was a rebel in the war and was killed, so she had to go live with her loyalist relatives. her elder cousin was fighting in the war as a loyalist, but was caught for being a spy and hanged. as children phoebe and her cousins were close and they would play games or send messages by leaving each other notes in a hollowed out tree. after her cousin's death, phoebe goes to this tree and discovers an undelivered mission that her cousin was unable to complete, so she takes it upon herself to deliver the message. she sets out on her own and travels over a mountain, picking up a stray cat and a bear cub on the way. after she got across the mountain she meets up with a group of loyalists travelling to canada so they won't be killed for supporting the king. and travels with them for a while before going to complete her mission.

i'm not sure whether or not this person actually existed in history, but if she didn't, this story sort of mimics the laura secord story. it's a fast paced novel with action, adventure, and a bit of romance. it's well researched and overall, and enjoyable read.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book!!
I found The Hollow Tree to be a wonderful but sad book. The book got more and more interesting as it went along... Read more
Published on March 1 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars It wasn't that great
The book called, "The Hollow Tree" I didn't think was a very good book. From her cousin getting hung up on a tree and her father dying in the revolutionary war, it kind... Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars It makes History come Alive!
Phoebe Olcott is amazing! She travelled all that distance tosave peoples lifes so the same fate that happened to Gideon would nothappen to others. Read more
Published on May 15 2000
1.0 out of 5 stars It was...alright
This book was okay, but it could have been a little more exciting, and could have had more characters.
Published on Jan. 12 2000 by Cralet Boron
2.0 out of 5 stars It was ok.
I thought the exitement in this narrative paperback was exceptional, yet the characters seemed quite folley in their disposition. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is the most greatest book I have ever read.
I think that people should read this book.It has an excilent source of emagination.The most best part in the story is when Phoebe find that her aunt is a reffuge and that she is... Read more
Published on June 18 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book
I loved this book, I couldn't put it down it is soooooo exitin and it has a great ending, I think everyone should read it.
Published on April 4 1999
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