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The Great Treehouse War

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,412 ratings  ·  231 reviews
Kids vs. parents! An epic treehouse sleepover! An awesome group of friends! An exciting new book from National Book Award finalist Lisa Graff.

Winnie's last day of fourth grade ended with a pretty life-changing surprise. That was the day Winnie s parents got divorced, the day they decided that Winnie would live three days a week with each of them and spend Wednesdays by
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Philomel
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Tim The Enchanter Kids don't have the same frame of reference as an adult. To a kid, it would be a war. To adult, it might be a protest. When I was 14, the relationship…moreKids don't have the same frame of reference as an adult. To a kid, it would be a war. To adult, it might be a protest. When I was 14, the relationship with my girl friend was so serious. As an adult, I realize 14 year old me had no idea what a relationship was.(less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  1,412 ratings  ·  231 reviews

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Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)

First things first, let me just say that The Great Treehouse War was a lot of fun to read. I started reading it and before I knew it I was near the ending. Despite being way over the intended age group for this book, I still found myself able to read and appreciate it a lot.

The Great Treehouse War is about a young girl named Winnie. Winnie is your normal 10ish year old girl (she is in the fifth grade). She has friends, likes art, and has the worlds most amazing cat. She also has parents that
The Great Treehouse War appeals to every kid's desire to have their voices heard and to be able to make their own decisions. Even as an adult, I can remember feeling this way when I was younger and wishing that I would hurry up and grow already.

And who wouldn't love to have a treehouse like Winnie's? Especially one with a zipline to your favorite uncle's house! Needless to say, I enjoyed this fun and whimsical story, and I thought the overall message was a positive one for children and adults
Libby May
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it

Ok, so I have to say I didn't appreciate the fact that the kids were so disobedient and so disrespectful, and the way parents were portrayed as dump, stupid adults. That's not what we want kids reading and learning.

The plot was actually rather enjoyable. I didn't love the unfinished part, where none of the kids got what they asked for and none of them got punished for what they did. It was really frayed at the end.

As for Winnie, it was interesting to see what she saw when she used her
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Stupid. No part of the situation was plausible, none of the characters felt real or were more than cardboard icons. Bonus star for diverse races and family situations, and for the concept, I guess. I might have liked it a little bit when I was a kid but I never would have felt any heart for it.

I hope Umbrella Summer isn't Graff's only good book... I do want to try others by her.

Btw, heavily illustrated in a style that reminds me a lot of Lois Lenski.
Mary Lee
I'm tagging this cats because Winnie's Buttons is truly "the world's greatest cat." I'm tagging this coming-of-age because it is a rare middle grade (not middle school) book that explores the end-of-5th-grade-going-to-middle-school phase, rather than being about 12 year-olds who already are in middle school. I'm tagging this empathy because that is Winnie's super power (she calls it artist's vision) and what helps her to solve the problem that the epic sleepover turns into. I'm tagging this ...more
Kelly Hager
I love Lisa Graff's books. They're so fun and generally really sweet, but there's also an undercurrent of real emotion.

It sounds pretty fun to have parents who are literally competing over who can show you the best time, right? But it's not as great as you'd think; Winnie's parents have spent so much time trying to curate the best experiences for their time with Winnie that they forget to do things like make sure she's having a good time. (Or that she's doing her homework, which she isn't.)

Tim The Enchanter
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, 4-stars
Serious topics wrapped in a compelling story - 4 stars

I started reading this out loud to my Cub Scouts at a recent camp. The book managed to keep 15 boys ages 8-10, quiet at bedtime. The story deals with topics to which most children can relate. Things such as wanting to be heard, managing friendships and trying to understand a confusing world. The reason I chose to read it to my scouts was that it dealt with topics that some may not have been exposed to such as divorce and adult conflict.

I was
Amy-Jo Conant
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I have very mixed feelings about this one. I love the concept but there were some parts of the delivery that were a real miss. I'm trying to read my notes that I scrawl as I pull into my school parking lot after listening to the audiobooks on my commute.

Looking at the cover students may think it's more juvenile than it is. I think this is targeted to 4th and 5th graders as well as some 6th (6th might be stretching a bit far though).

Overall there were many parts of this book that were just sad.
Marathon County Public Library

If Winnies parents weren't acting so obsessively strange, and so hung up on spending exactly the same amount of time with her, the great treehouse war, as it was being called by the media, probably would not have happened. When Winnie Malladi-Maradis parents divorce and decide to share time with her equally, they also decide that since there are uneven days in the week she will spend Wednesdays by herself in the treehouse located between both their houses. With both parents trying to outdo each

Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Caleb (age 6): "This book was my favorite book that I ever read. I highly recommend it. It's about a girl named Winifred. Her parents were acting like wankos. Her dad got Thanksgiving because he got Thursdays with Winifred because of the divorce system. She really wanted to study for the exam for her grades. Her parents had agreed that Winifred would get Wednesdays to herself, but then her mom was going to take 32 of them, but on the Wednesday before the first, she stayed in the treehouse. ...more
Gerard Villegas
A cute story concerning a protagonist who tries to protest her "caught in the middle" role in the bitter custody fight between her divorced, bickering parents. The Great Treehouse War teaches children the significance of activism in a very small context but children will be enthralled by a story of a brave girl who stands up to adults. Furthermore, the fact that the main character is hinted to be of another cultural background really throws in something different in the mix. Plus, young readers ...more
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was another Sequoyah nominee. Lisa Graff does not disappoint. We have all had disagreements in life. Winnie takes it to the extreme. She is suffering through her parents divorce and they are as well. Because they are not being reasonable, she escapes to her treehouse and wont come down. Her friends join her and the worlds most amazing sleepover (until its not) ensues. All the kids realize things about themselves and the book is very enjoyable. Written in a very unique style, this book is a ...more
Kate Feldman
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This rating is on behalf of my 10 yo son, who loved this book. We listened to it together and I thought it was a great story too, well tuned to the target audience (the characters are all in 5th grade) but still interesting enough for me (ie, not all fart humor.) It was a story about finding the balance between speaking up for yourself and considering others.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A smart, well-written, humorous, and thought provoking book about family relationships and friendship. All Winnie wants is for her recently divorced parents to talk with her together, but theyre so obsessed with outdoing each other they never hear her until she moves into her Treehouse. A great book for parents and kids to read together. I love this one! ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun read, but not immersive. I didn't have to force myself to finish this book, but it wasn't one of the ones where you can't stop reading. A fun idea, most kids would enjoy the plot line.
Boone Reinhardt
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good book with alot of twist.I really liked the setting and how one thing lead to another.I think alot of people will enjoy this book.
Jen Petro-Roy
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 2017
3.5 stars. A cute, fun read that kids will love.
I struggled a bit with how selfish the parents were. That was a bit unrealistic to me but otherwise a great story sure to please fans of Graff, of which they are many! Good empowering story.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
What an excellent look at what healthy boundaries are and how to install them.
Gulshan Naqvee
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Good one.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Smart writing and a very good job with everybody's emotions
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed the extremes that Winnies bitter, divorcing parents went to as they made sure their time with her was divided fairly. Really cracked me up, and while it was far-fetched I do think lots of kids could relate.

Enjoyed this premise and had a great time reading it!
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A young patron recommended this book to me, and I'm glad. I like the author, and the tale is endearing, primarily because of the strong friendships among the kids. The parents look like buffoons, but even they come around. And this appeals to anyone who has ever wanted a treehouse in their back yard.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love all of graffs realistic fiction titles. Absolutely adorable story! ...more
Reading is my Escape
There are a lot of things you should probably know to understand why a bunch of kids decided to climb up a treehouse and not come down.
- First Line

Imagine a never-ending sleepover in a treehouse with 9 of your best friends. Just so you know, the treehouse has a bathroom (but no stove), two floors, a craft station, a platform for deliveries, a skylight, and a zipline. The thing is, the kids are staying in the treehouse and refusing to come down until their parents give in to their demands. While
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I usually love Lisa Graff's books... this one just did nothing for me. I found the post it notes to be a bothersome distraction from the story and I never really became invested any of the characters. There was none of the emotional depth of Lost in the Sun or Absolutely Almost.

That being said, I know some kids who will definitely enjoy it and think it's a fun summer read. I won't hesitate to recommend it to them at the library.
I usually love Lisa Graff for her ability to balance kid appeal and emotional insight. This has plenty of both, though I didn't love the post-it notes scattered throughout, and I wanted to smack Winnie's parents. Hard. Still, kids will love this. Kids decide to stand up to their parents, embrace independence, and live in a treehouse until their demands are met? Yeah, I can booktalk that.
Melanie  Brinkman
When life's problems get you down, sometimes you must leave them on the ground.

When fourth grade ended for Winnie, so did life as she knew it. That was the day Winnie's parents got divorced, the day they decided to split her week between them, leaving Winnie to spend Wednesday in a tree house by herself. Life grows crazier and crazier as her parents compete for her love. When things get so bad it results in the downword spiral of Winnie's academic career, she decides to take a stand, barricading
Dawn Moews
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
This book is a fun read--the idea that children discover a tree house in their little community that actually sits on foreign soil and take it over to get their parents to listen to their demands is intriguing. I think every adult can probably think of a time when they were convinced their parents were being terribly unfair and would wish they had an escape that would give them the authority to make demands for change. And I think every child has knows there are things their parents are ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Winnies divorced and constantly arguing parents are obsessed with making sure Winnie spends equal amounts of time with each of them...which is why they decide that Winnie will spend three days a week with each parent and spend Wednesdays by herself in a treehouse located directly between their houses. Winnie loves her treehouse Wednesdays, especially since her parents are currently trying to outdo each other by celebrating wacky and weird holidays, which has caused Winnie to fall way behind on ...more
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Lisa Graff is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, as well as Lost in the Sun, Absolutely Almost, Double Dog Dare, Umbrella Summer, The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower, The Thing About Georgie and Sophie Simon Solves Them All. Originally from California, she lived for many years in New York City and now makes her home just ...more

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