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House Held Up by Trees
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House Held Up by Trees

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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,343 Ratings  ·  266 Reviews
From Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser and rising talent Jon Klassen comes a poignant tale of loss, change, and nature's quiet triumph.

When the house was new, not a single tree remained on its perfect lawn to give shade from the sun. The children in the house trailed the scent of wild trees to neighboring lots, where thick bushes offered up secret places to play. When
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Candlewick Press
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David Schaafsma
Rereading for Spring 2018 cli fi class.

Ted Kooser was U. S. poet laureate 2004-2006. I've been reading his poetry, and saw this, which is not poetry, but which I absolutely loved, a picture book with gorgeous art by one of my favorite illustrators, Jon Klaasen. I am also reading Eaarth, by Bill McKibben, which has has helped confirm my view that within a century or two the planet will be here and we humans will very very likely be gone. So this book as it goes on feeds into my fear/realization i
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Calista
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Mellon Collie, this story sets a mood. My niece sad, this story makes me feel sad. The story evokes many emotions without really trying. I think he does it by putting meaning in the house by the people who live there. The house doesn't have awareness, but we know it is all lone. It is very poetic and interesting how the author does this.

The art is lovely and sparse. It adds to the tone of the book. Nature will reclaim her space after we are gone. I can't say this is a favorite book, but I love
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Hilary
We really didn't like this story. Two children live with their father, their mother is not around. Whilst their Dad is obsessed with keeping a tidy lawn the children play in the woods. The children grow up and move away, eventually their father follows and puts the house up for sale.

We found this a depressing read. Similar in theme to The Green Ship, dealing with loss and time passing but without any joy to balance the sadness. There seemed to be no joy in this book at all. Lots of goodreads fri
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Lisa Vegan
Absolutely stunning! It has gorgeous illustrations and an emotionally powerful story. It touched me deeply. For some reason the last page disappointed me, just a bit. I’m not sure how I would have preferred it to end.

But, who is this for?! It’s for me; I loved it. I would have loved it as an older child too. But, it’s extremely sad, maybe even depressing, and I don’t know if it’s for young kids. Perhaps thoughtful and introspective kids, kids who’ve experienced loss, and kids who are huge fans o
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Cheryl
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was so excited for this. But I'm totally disappointed. Is it because I grew up in the country and am so familiar that with woods taking over old houses that it seems boring to talk about it? Not really, because I love the video in which Kooser talks about this book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fak0n.... Is it because I enjoyed that video, and naturally wanted the book to be even more moving and richer? Is it because I read the poem Kooser referred to, "The Listeners" by Walter de la Mare, ...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miriam
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
A quiet and lonely little picture book, recommended for children who are not melancholy.
Jason
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: primary-age
My expectations for this book very high, and, alas, they were dashed as I read this book. I love Ted Kooser's poetry, so I was beside myself when I learned he had written two children's books. The first one (Bag in the Wind) was nice enough, but I found it to be boring.

With a title like HOUSE HELD UP BY TREES, I thought this title had a lot more potential. The book, however, is sad and depressing. Who is Kooser's audience here? The story follows the deterioration of a house after it is abandoned
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Kristen
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: older-kids
My coworker (a teen librarian) and I got into a talk about "librarian books" versus "books kids actually like." There is (obviously) a lot of crossover here, but I feel like there are some books that win awards and every librarian I know loves but that don't really entice children or teens. This felt like one of those books to me. The illustrations are amazing. I love Klassen. LOVE HIM! And the fact that he made 3 books last year that I would have readily given a Caldecott to is nothing short of ...more
Raina
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful lyrical story that appeals to my treehugging roots.

Read with:
Our Tree Named Steve
The Night Gardener by Terry Fan
Grandpa Green
Paul  Hankins
An older house, fallen into disrepair, is supported by the trees that grow around it and eventually hold it aloft within their branches.

In 2010, Ted Kooser gave us BAG IN THE WIND (Candlewick). I had always wanted really good things to happen to and for that title which was illustrated by Barry Root. I thought Kooser's prose read like pure poetry and Roots's illustrations could have stood completely alone, which made the whole of the title so special for me.

And I think this is the very thing a
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Michele
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Haunting story with beautiful illustrations. A house with a rather energetically mowing father is eventually abandoned and the trees quite literally and realistically take it over, until the last page, where there is a slight leap into the magical. One of the things I like best about the book was that the trees feel a bit menacing, particularly with the dark illustrations. Some children will likely find this story scary. I found this book with its nature takes over theme mesmerizing and thought ...more
Melissa
Very lyrical, imaginative, with lovely illustrations. I love that this can stand on its own as a fable-y experience, but also that it could be so powerful to introduce this as a text to a young writer along with this video (http://youtu.be/fak0ne7nb3Y) and discuss the provenance of ideas, and how inspiration takes artists from what they know to someplace new.

NYT Best Illustrated 2012
Joe
Jun 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
I love Ted Kooser's poetry but, come on man, this is not a story for children. The idea of a house lifted into the air by trees could be both humorous and awe-inspiring, but here both text and pictures are somber and boring. Reading this book to my grandson would be like taking the kid to a funeral.
Monica Edinger
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous, text and image.
Rebecca
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a strange, sad, poetic book. Perfect color palette for the story. I love Jon Klassen's illustrations.
Anna H
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations and a story that seems really sad sometimes -- but I loved it.
Hannah Jayne
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Art speaks to my soul more than words do. But this put art and words together quite well. I love it very much. It’s sad. It’s life. It’s beautiful.
Grace
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
This book was alright. I had high expectations since I've had it on my To Read list for a long time.
My fiance and I read it in the children's section sitting at the little table in the little chairs.
The illustrations were emotional and dynamic. The most striking one to me was the one which showed the father after his children had grown up and left, and he finally took a break and rested. And the sun was setting and its vibrant orange was the only hope in the picture. The father was sad and lonel
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Joanna Marple
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The sentence under the title reads: Not far from here, I have seen a house held up by the hands of tree. This is its story.

While ostensibly about a family, this is the story of a (tree) house on a cleared plot of land. In quiet, contemplative, poetic prose (are we surprised from a poet laureate?) Kooser draws you into these natural surroundings and their subtle persistent lure and power.

“Beneath the trees were bushes so thickly woven together that you had to crawl on your hands and knees to get
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Barbara
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just as I loved Bag in the Wind by the same author for its themes and lovely language, I have fallen in love with this book as well. There's something about the inevitable passage of time and nature's ability to heal the wounds created by humanity that stays with me even after I've put this book on my shelves. A house stands alone on a lot where all the trees have been cleared. But there are trees on both sides of the lot where the two children who live in the house love to play. Although seedli ...more
Eliza
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
1. “The title of this book is House Held up by Trees. After looking at the cover, what can you predict happens to make this house sit atop a group of trees? (student responses) This story today illustrates an example of how humans can attempt to control the natural world, which is another example of how populations and ecosystems affect one another. This book is written by Ted Koozer who once served as the US poet laureate. He uses a lot of imagery in his writing.
2. My opening moves for this boo
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Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
HOUSE HELD UP BY TREES is a wonderful book. Jon Klassen's artwork is perfect for poetry of Ted Kooser's prose. And I very much liked the story. In fact, I think this would be a fabulous book to use in Middle Grade literature classes where you are trying to drag some conversation out of kids, while trying to explain to them the power of language.

THAT SAID, it's not a book I'd read to younger children. It's not that it's objectionable in any way, but that it's just got a very sad tone.

**SPOILERS B
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Sue Smith
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a kids book that is told as much by the illustrations as it is by the words. In some ways, even more so.

It's taking something you've seen and creating a story of how it came to be that way. Of how that writer reached into their imagination or experience and thought how it could have happened. And if that is the case, then Ted Kooser had a desolate childhood. Or knew of someone who did.

Thankfully the illustrations make it ok and show the beauty behind the decay.

I must have read this 6 or
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Stan
Mar 29, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a sentimental story, tender but not really heartwarming. The main character is the house. We never learn much about the house or the family that lives there other than the children grew up, and the father persistently cares for the yard and keeps trees from growing. Yet, I felt sadness when the house was abandoned; there is a lot that can be read between the lines of this story. I would expect as much from a good poet like Kooser. Jon Klassen's illustrations also add to the between-the-l ...more
Holly
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Amazing illustrations, of course, because Jon Klassen did them! The story is about a house that was built on a square of earth, and all the trees were cut down to make room for it. The two children who grew up there played among the trees that surrounded it and watched their father meticulously work on the lawn. As the years go by, the surrounding trees' seeds would blow onto the lawn, but the father would pluck out any sprouts that took root. Finally, the father got too old to keep up the house ...more
Fjóla
I had very high expectations for this book, I was so sure I was going to love it. It's just so exciting to run into brand new books of this visual quality. But the story was a bit of a let down. I can't quite explain why. I was probably hoping for something more magical or poetic and a little less mundane. My son stuck to it, but I was feeling sorry for him, as it's pretty long on words for not finally saying very much. It's still a good book though, I just wish it had been a little ... more!
Th
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Melki
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Former United States Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, presents a lovely tale of what happens when Mother Nature is allowed to have her way.

description


The gorgeous, ethereal illustrations are by Jon Klassen of I Want My Hat Back fame.
Connie T.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
According to the flap, this book is both wistful and exhilarating. I disagree; I found it quite sad and depressing. Houses are abandoned all the time but this story was sad before the father left the house. The description of nothing growing around the house makes it feel sterile and unloved. The children's happiness is separate from the father and the house and is associated with the forest. I wanted a fantasy ending: the family comes back, builds a new house and makes an elaborate tree house.
Tricia Douglas
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a book that I found on the Goodreads children's bookclub site, recommended for it's illustrations. It is a beautiful book, but the story is what intriqued me most. The story tells about a family living near a wood, but the father makes sure the trees are always plucked from his beautiful grass. The years go by and as he ages he must move and leave the trees to grow back as they had been. I was very emotional when I read this book because it was quite different than anything I'd read bef ...more
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Ted Kooser lives in rural Nebraska with his wife, Kathleen, and three dogs. He is one of America's most noted poets, having served two terms as U. S. Poet Laureate and, during the second term, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection, DELIGHTS & SHADOWS. He is a retired life insurance executive who now teaches part-time at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The school board ...more
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