Forever Birchwood

By: Danielle Daniel, 

Age: 9+  | Published by: Harper Collins Publishers

ISBN: 9781443463348

Adventurous, trail-blazing Wolf lives in a northern mining town and spends her days exploring the mountains and wilderness with her three best friends Penny, Ann and Brandi. The girls’ secret refuge is their tree-house hideaway, Birchwood, Wolf’s favourite place on earth. When her beloved grandmother tells her that she is the great-granddaughter of a tree talker, Wolf knows that she is destined to protect the birch trees and wildlife that surround her. But Wolf’s mother doesn’t understand this connection at all. Not only is she reluctant to engage with their family’s Indigenous roots, she seems suspiciously on the wrong side of the environmental protection efforts in their hometown. To make matters worse, she’s just started dating an annoying new boyfriend named Roger, whose motives—and construction company—seem equally suspect. As summer arrives, so do bigger problems. Wolf and her friends discover orange plastic bands wrapped around the trees near their cherished hangout spot, and their once stable friendship seems on the verge of unravelling. Birchwood has given them so much—can they even stay together long enough to save this special place? With gorgeous yet understated language, Danielle Daniel beautifully captures an urgent and aching time in a young person’s life. To read this astonishing middle-grade debut is to have your heart broken and then tenderly mended.

1980s,  Algonquin,  Anishinaabe,  change,  conservation,  culture,  development,  environmental recovery,  family,  friendship,  generational,  grief,  Indigenous culture,  main character is 13 years old,  middle grade novel,  nature,  northern mining town,  novel,  Ontario,  pictographs,  preservation,  protecting nature,  protecting pictographs,  relationships,  set in time before cell phones,  Sudbury,  trees,