Laura's Reviews > The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
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Oct 07, 07

did not like it
bookshelves: children
Recommended for: not terribly bright hippies

Easily the most vile children's book ever written, for reasons eloquently stated by about a zillion other posters here. I remember my grandmother, whom I disliked (yeah, some kids don't like their grandparents, it's true) used to push this book on me as terribly DEEP and BEAUTIFUL and something I should really THINK ABOUT. And you wonder why I didn't like my grandmother? (My mother thought it was a piece of shit, too.) Anyway, it's a vomitous book, always has been, and I'm glad there are other people who think that it is. When I was a kid, it was held up as the ne plus ultra of depth and beauty in children's literature. God help us if that's true, but luckily it isn't. If you want a proper story about self-sacrifice that won't make you want to go out and take a poleax to every tree within a five-mile radius, try THE FIRE CAT.
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02/08 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Lawrence A (new)

Lawrence A How can you say such things about the same man who wrote "A Boy Named Sue," "Don't Give a Dose to the One You Love the Most," and "I Was Stoned And I Missed It"? Well, I guess you can say such things, but how much of your review is colored by your feelings about Granny, and how much because the book actually sucked?


message 2: by Laura (last edited Oct 07, 2007 04:26PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Well, my grandmother is dead these 20 years. I read the book pretty recently, and it still sucks. So there you have it.


message 3: by Holly (new)

Holly Considering I have read hundreds of comments about the evils of this book on many other sites, I don't think it's just you.

I went to a very conserative Christian (not Catholic) elementary school and this book was pushed and pushed on us. Even at that young age, I must have realized something was wrong with it because I appear to have completely blocked out all memory of actually reading it. It's cropped up many times lately so I think I might just have to check it out.


message 4: by fleegan (new)

fleegan this book...is horrible. hate it. hate.


Jessica My grandmothers were the kindest ladies who ever lived, and I still thought this book was a piece of crap. Shel Silverstein wrote some fantastic stuff, but this wasn't remotely close.


Helen Your review is hilarious. Thank you for that. And. . .I agree.


Laura Thank you, ma'am!


Franny Burd Amen, Sister! Vile, vile, vile. And I loved my grandmother. So there.


Ginger The book i mirrors life!!


message 10: by Lolamarina (new)

Lolamarina Jessica wrote: "My grandmothers were the kindest ladies who ever lived, and I still thought this book was a piece of crap. Shel Silverstein wrote some fantastic stuff, but this wasn't remotely close."

You just dont get it. This is about pure love, the selfless love that hardly anyone of us can dish out. Too bad that most of you live in a cloud of darkness ! Peace!


Franny Burd "Too bad most of you live in cloud of darkness! Peace!"

Umm, yeah. What a very "peaceful" thing to say, just because someone has a different opinion about a book. Wow.


Jordan I respect your opinions everyone, but I disagree. I think this book is about a love that cannot be broken between a boy and a tree. The tree gives the boy everything she has, until all of it is gone. I personally believe that this story could be compared to a love between a child and their mom or dad. Parents give children lots of things, but the children mostly don't give back.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

You had me at "vile."


message 14: by Foobs (new) - rated it 1 star

Foobs Jordan, you're right. It is the story of a terrible parent who raises their child to be a monster and then is destroyed by the monster they created. The problem I have with the sympathy people have for the tree is that the child didn't ASK for a lousy, indulgent parent, it just got one. It turned out as one would expect given such an upbringing. The boy treated the tree horribly, but only because the tree raised it horribly.


message 15: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura That's an interpretation I could actually go with. Most people seem to think the damn book is about the beauty of love. That was certainly what they told us when I was a kid.


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