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The Hollow Tree

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  425 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
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 prot ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 28th 2001 by Seal Books (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 736)
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Nicola Mansfield
Aug 24, 2014 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Lianne (The Towering Pile) Lavoie
This review is copied from my blog, The Towering Pile. It was originally published here.

The Hollow Tree tells the story of Phoebe Olcott, a young girl who becomes caught up in the American Revolutionary War, with people she loves fighting and dying on both sides. Though Phoebe does not feel that she is on either side, she decides to carry out her dead cousin's mission by delivering a message to the Loyalists. To do this, she must go on a dangerous journey across the Appalachian Mountains on foot
Jul 12, 2010 Elfdart rated it it was amazing
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
Briana Garza
I struggled with rating this book, but finally awarded it the extra star I had been hesitant to add. The story is certainly wordy, throwing in countless names of historical places and people that, though eventually prove to be relevant and interesting, send my eyes skimming over them in search of the point. I respected the research that went into writing The Hollow Tree, and was definitely moved by the aesthetics and descriptions of the mountainous land that Phoebe Olcott had to conquer. The her ...more
Mar 14, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a great children's book that I would have absolutely loved when I was younger. Takes place during the revolutionary war and focuses a bit more on the loyalists, which was a nice and instructive (to me)change.
Sep 28, 2010 Trish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is always an awesome read. Pheobe Olcott is a loveable, independent, strong leading lady, and Jem Morrisay is just about the sweetest guy ever. Every secondary character in this novel is loveable and interesting, and while it is uplifting, it is also sad and tragic.

I always felt so bad for Tibby Thayer, but Pheobe's interaction with the kids in this book was always my favourite to read about. Aside from Jem, of course. I read this first in grade seven, and then accidentally took it from my
Lady Knight
I first read this book when I was ten years old. It has remained a favorite of mine ever since then! This book was my introduction to the world of historical fiction (I'm not counting Laura Ingalls Wilder) and boy, what an introduction that was!!!
Phoebe is a heroine that you immediately fall in love with, and instantly connect with (at least for all of us quiet shy types). You cry with her, cheer with her, and feel for her every step of the journey. This is a great book for teens (in retrospect
May 28, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just the kind of historical adventure book I loved as a kid. And still do.
United Empire Loyalists! Now that I better know what they are, I find this a curious children's book for Canadians. From my understanding, a lot of Canadians (no matter how recently they arrived from Europe, including Susanna Moodie) had a pretty strong antipathy towards Loyalists. The problem with reading this in Grade Eight was that I had become so image-conscious that I disliked the female protagonist for being homely on the cover. How terrible is that?
Charlotte Van
Jun 09, 2016 Charlotte Van rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of excitement and compelling characters, The Hollow Tree is a quick and intense read that examines the american rebellion against the British, which eventually lead to the separation of the United States from Canada. The development of Phoebe, the main character, is particularly interesting, and her animal companions are very enjoyable.
Sep 06, 2007 Joanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
ohhhhhh goodness! I read this book five times in a row... all over a period of about four days!!!! Then a few months later i got it out again and read it twice.... then again in a few months....! Yeah, its that good...!
Kimber Tate

Ways to Use in the Classroom-provides another perspective on the American Revolution and its exploration in social studies.
Diana Sandberg
I've liked others of hers better. This was a good story but, somehow, flaccidly told. I just didn't really connect with the characters.
Lauren Richards
A different perspective on the Revolutionary War. I'd never heard the side of the Loyalists or neutrals before. (multicultural)
Aug 13, 2009 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Workman-like kid Can-lit. Strong, likeable characters and an excellent introduction to an understanding of Loyalists' origins.
Liza Verdon
Jan 03, 2011 Liza Verdon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty interesting. It had a very well painted picture of what it was like back then. I enjoyed it.
Christian Tuininga
Enjoyable kid's book. A bit of history thrown in. I'd recommend it.
Jul 07, 2010 Bloodline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this!!!I cried through the end though
A good book about courage and not giving up.
Reread. Still awesome. A's review to follow.
I the read this book 5 times
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Janet was born Janet Louise Swoboda on December 28, 1928 in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A, moved to Vermont when she was two and lived there until she was ten when the family moved to the outskirts of New York City. She came to Canada in 1946 to go to Notre Dame College in Ottawa and then to Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. There she met and married Richard Lunn, a fellow student. She has lived in ...more
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“Wasnt it more important to be loyal to what was right or to those people you knew and cared about? What was the good of killing people or being hateful to them because someone you didn't know was doing something hateful to someone ekse you didn't know?” 0 likes
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