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If Everyone Knew Every Plant And Tree

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Ollie is drowning. No one notices.
Oliver Campbell, fourteen, fanciful and funny in equal measure, struggles to unravel the knots of emotion when his little sister, Lily, falls gravely ill with a mysterious disease. Irritating and puzzling to his two older half-brothers, neglected by his self-absorbed mum and dad, and unfalleninlovewith by Poppy Teasdale, he longs to be s
Paperback, 286 pages
Published November 8th 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  118 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Lisa Dunckley
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Poignant and fast paced, this story is from the point of view of a young teenage boy whose sister suddenly becomes very ill and hospitalized.

Oliver was very close to his little sister (who calls him Oliber because she can't quite say his name). He is dealing with normal teenage things at the same time—the beautiful girl that he has a huge crush on, acting in a play at school—while his mother seems to overlook him at best, and find him annoying and inconvenient at worst.

The book is charming, and
Jane Hudson
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Entertainment of the highest form! Not being an avid reader, but so baffled by my son being engrossed in a book for the first time, I needed to find out what form of magic was entrancing him. It became clear after practically the first line. It was a rare treat to discover this gem of a novel written in such an engaging style that I did the equivalent of falling in love I reckon. I thought it was for teens, but I’d say it’s for everybody. The author has an unusual skill of reaching everybody, li ...more
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a 15 year old I read quite a lot and sometimes I get bored and don't finish books but I got this one from my friend at school and I couldn't put it down and finished it in a few days. I loved the characters and the way they related to each other and found it very sad but also laugh out loud funny in parts. I really cared about what happened to Ollie and the other guys in his life and felt his emotions with him when his sister died. Really brilliant book which takes you all over the place emot ...more
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Giveaways
"If Everyone Knew Every Plant and Tree" by Julia Johnston which I won through Goodreads Giveaways is a warm, touching, and beautifully crafted story , a strong blend of laughter and heartbreak. It begins when Lily, the sister of shy fourteen year old Oliver (Ollie) Campbell is stricken with a mysterious disease and rushed to Newcastle Infirmary. As the days pass and his parents become distant, absorbed in Lily's recovery, Oliver feels torn between his love for his little sister wanting her home ...more
Celia Williams
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Julia has come up with an excellent theme here, tackling a difficult subject which, let's face it, can be tricky to deal with - particularly with youngsters. She manages to get right inside a teenager's head, using her clearly natural wit to lighten the mood when called for. You care about the characters and really want it all to work out for them. I liked the horticultural theme which, I guess was rooted in and intertwined the whole story (pun intended!) - and the idea of an 'Emotion Library' r ...more
Teresa Meekings
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A must buy book for any age. I couldn't put this book down, warning - don't read this the night before you have to get up early it will keep you reading till you get up!

The story is both funny and sad and has great character development and . I will be buying copies for all my friends, as it is a classic book worth owning? I've lent my copy to my sister but can't wait to get it back again to share it with even more people.
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
End of Chapter 2, and I was already fully involved with the Campbell family. I felt a part of them, as though I was sitting in their kitchen with them. A fantastic book, full of both humour and sadness. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the Campbell's at the end of the story however, so let's hope there's a sequel in the pipeline.....!! ...more
Kimmarie Pozar
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

One of my top reads for 2018. Really enjoyed the daily angst and humors of the main character. In fact, I cared about all the characters in the book, they were all really well filled out. The book was written brilliantly and cleanly so there was no stumbling around trying to figure out POV or growling over spelling. Top stars!
Mrs Claire Milne
Beautiful book. I could visualise all the characters and felt their emotions. The tears flowed freely especially near the end.
Simon Fairbanks
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If Everyone Knew Every Plant And Tree is a charming coming-of-age tale and the debut novel from writer Julia Johnston.

The novel tells of Oliver and the strain put upon his family and friends when his younger sister Lily suffers a long-term sickness. This may sound like morbid subject matter but Johnston fills her novel with bursts of joy and the result is a young adult novel that is both heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measure.

Oliver is a brilliant first-person narrator and Johnston pe
Wendy Berks
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review is from: If Everyone Knew Every Plant And Tree (Paperback)

I bought this book after reading the wonderful reviews and was not disappointed. Originally purchased for my 14 year old daughter who is a reluctant reader, I decided to read it myself first, and was so glad I did. It was an emotional rollercoaster of a ride but in a good way. Even though the subject matter is intrinsically sad ,the author is very sensitive and clever at interjecting humour in all the right places, when you a
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very sweet and sad story about a young boy and his love for his little sister who has fallen seriously ill with a brain disease. Oliver loves plants and flowers and their correct names and uses them to describe things throughout the book. He feels abandoned by his mom , whose energy and time are taken up by Lily, his little sister. The love that Olver and Lily share as siblings is so beautiful . Oliver's compassion for her and for the homeless man is so endearing . I really enjoyed thi ...more
Mark Cocksedge
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A really insightful story into the life of an ordinary but quirky Northern teenage boy. Johnston captures the readers imagination with fantastic characters, in an often hilarious way. A real page turner.. I was couldn't put it down and finished it in a weekend! Think Mike Leigh style films quirky characters and stories. The hardest I've laughed in ages.. I could really relate to the feelings and inner monologue 14 year old Oliver goes through.. Hilarious. This book should definitely be on its wa ...more
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I do voluntary work with teenagers and something that often strikes me about YA fiction is that it often underestimates just how smart and witty young people can be. This book is a great counterexample. The dialogue is spot on. The plot is a heartwrencher (I cried- doesn't happen often!), but the writing's John Green-esque in that it'll make you laugh as well. I was up til the wee hours reading because I couldn't bear to put it down. A really wonderful book. ...more
Andrea Mcbride
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a five star read! Such a lovely story! I love this authors writing ! But This was a story about grief and how a family copes! Have tissues handy because there were plenty of times through out the story where the tears just flowed freely... But there is a lot of humor also! I highly recommend this... This story will stay with me for some time !
Mar 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Well, I read it in a sitting, so I suppose I must have liked it, but don't look for anything groundbreaking. All the characters act out their parts the way you would expect from characters in a book, more than from people in the world, but it is well written, so I do recommend it, if you are feeling up for a story about loss, grief, and family problems. ...more
Jun 24, 2014 marked it as to-read
This morning just before I left the house to go to work I received a parcel from Amazon and thought to myself i haven't ordered anything have I? Once id opened the package i was extremely pleases to find id actually won it from the author via goodreads. ...more
Mary Wilsob
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Wow! A beautiful book , so emotional. The tears were rolling down my cheeks on a French train that I had to put it away until we reached the hotel where I could read without worrying about showing myself up!
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book has both sadness & humour.
It is beautifully written & the characters are really well crafted & believable.

A really good debut novel; looking forward to her next one.
K Idamari
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a book wants to take you back to your own adolescence, the years that made you, you let it. I'm glad I found this book. ...more
Crysti Perry
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was underwhelmed. At least we had that one paragraph. I'll always remember that one paragraph. ....maybe. ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It is almost impossible to write about this beautiful
piece of work without trivializing.....
Just read it and know you spent the time well...
It will stay with you for your own reasons.....
Please Ms. Johnston....more......
Corley Elizabeth
I recently began knocking out the oldest books on my Goodreads TBR, the ones I was still interested in three, four, five years after I first added them. I've forgotten how I came across If Everyone Knew Every Plant and Tree, but now seemed like a good time to check it out, and I must say it was a decent self-published book.

It centered around topics such as death and illness, neglect and loneliness, yet still maintained a lighthearted tone and humor that balanced the subject matter out. I adored
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Took me a while to finish this book (busy bee I am)

I won the book in the Goodreads Giveaway and got a really lovely note from the author.
And so I a writing this review for all of you to read.

Right into to the second page (in the prologue), this quote stuck with me : "I sometimes think if everyone knew every plants, flower and trees in the world, yeah we'd be experts on plants, but we'd also be experts at describing colour and texture and emotions and stuff... perhaps everything. Life."

For some
Jul 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, young-adult
Oliver is a 14-year-old boy who feels invisible to his Mam and Dad as his 6-year-old sister contracts a rare brain disease and is in and out of the hospital. With the help of his friend, Kamal, and the girl he likes (Poppy), he struggles to find the good in life, and to not feel guilty for being healthy while his adored little sister suffers with her life-threatening illness. The dialogue in this book was quite witty and the play on plant names was brilliant. This is very British-slanted, so I d ...more
Mar 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Ich fand den Beginn des Buchs wunderschön und die Charaktere Oliver, Kamal und Lily sehr sympathisch. Dadurch, dass man aber immer nur Zuschauer diverser Szenen und Unterhaltungen war, konnte ich mich mit Oliver besonders in der zweiten Hälfte der Geschichte nicht gut identifizieren.
Die Geschichte an sich ist wirklich herzergreifend und über den Standpunkt des Bruders eines todkranken Mädchens zu lesen fand ich sehr interessant.
Besonders an Olivers persönlichem Tiefpunkt, als er das Gefühl hat
Jul 09, 2014 rated it liked it
I received this book from a giveaway.

Overall, I think this book was pretty good. It's not your stereotypical sick kid/happy ending book, where everything turns out perfectly. I am actually surprised that I didn't cry at all, considering I am a huge sap. I will admit, I wish we as readers had more "time" to get to know Lily in the book. As a reader, I felt like I understood their relationship and how close they were, but I am not sure I "felt" it. I did enjoy watching Oliver grow and evolve into
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! - I really couldn't put this book down and I have to say it is an inspired piece of writing-thought provoking,funny and very emotional. For a debut book this is as good as it gets...lets hope there's more to follow! ...more
rated it liked it
Mar 12, 2019
Cary Daly
rated it really liked it
Mar 12, 2017
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Julia studied Music, French and English at A-Level, then French and Drama at Manchester University. After a stint as a secondary school teacher, she pursued an acting career, securing a London agent.

She gained an extra qualification to become a teacher for children and students with hearing impairments and worked in London, all the while acting and writing.

Her play, 'Touched', which she both acted

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