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The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
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May 22, 2012

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Read on May 22, 2012

"Even when a journey seems no distance at all, it can have no return."

Cosimo, the protagonist, is a wealthy child who lives near the French Riviera. When his father, the Baron, tries to force him to eat his dinner (of snails), he refuses and climbs up a tree in his yard and decides never to set foot on land again. His first day in the trees he meets a young girl who lives on the other side of his fence. As they play (he in the trees, her on a swing) she reveals her speculation that he will stay in the trees forever. Cosimo reconfirms his commitment, even promising her he will never come down. The story is strange yet grounded. Playful yet poignant. A fun read that I would recommend especially for the rebel at heart or those that have rebellious children. I read at the beginning for the novelty, which wears off near the middle of the story. I kept reading because I cared about Cosimo and wanted to be with him until the end.

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