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The Hollow Tree

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  443 Ratings  ·  23 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 ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 5th 2002 by Puffin (first published 1997)
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Sep 06, 2016 Fiona rated it really liked it
One of my favourite childhood novels that I constantly kept coming back to for at least 10 years. Something about the struggles that Phoebe faced, though very unlike my own in that I wasn't trying to pass messages in a rebellion, was at the same time very similar to the internal struggles that I could empathize with like her loyalty to those she loves.

“Wasn't 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
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 ...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  ·  review of another edition
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
May 27, 2012 Briana Garza rated it liked it
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 ...more
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
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
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
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.
Jul 24, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, historical
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 06, 2007 Joanna rated it it was amazing
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...!
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.
Diana Sandberg
Jul 07, 2013 Diana Sandberg rated it it was ok
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.
Kimber Tate

Ways to Use in the Classroom-provides another perspective on the American Revolution and its exploration in social studies.
Aug 13, 2009 Paula rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Workman-like kid Can-lit. Strong, likeable characters and an excellent introduction to an understanding of Loyalists' origins.
Lauren Richards
A different perspective on the Revolutionary War. I'd never heard the side of the Loyalists or neutrals before. (multicultural)
The Hollow Tree. Janet Lunn. 1998 @CanadaCouncil #GGs An ordinary teen girl won't take sides in #American Revolution. Detailed.

Reviewed @reallyReads
Megan rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2013
Carol A. Hotz
Carol A. Hotz rated it it was amazing
Feb 26, 2016
Hawthorne rated it really liked it
Sep 26, 2008
Priya rated it liked it
Jun 10, 2014
Brittany F
Brittany F rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2014
Joelle rated it liked it
Dec 19, 2015
Lena rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2008
May 28, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
Just the kind of historical adventure book I loved as a kid. And still do.
Faith rated it liked it
May 19, 2015
Zachary rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2016
Sarah rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2012
Deanna Bogaski
Deanna Bogaski rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2014
Natasha Wood
Natasha Wood rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2014
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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
More about Janet Lunn...

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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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