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House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser
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House Held Up by Trees

by Ted Kooser

Other authors: Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
This fantasy story is about a lonely little house that is abandoned by its family. Eventually, trees end up surrounding the little house with overgrowth. This lyrical story helps to show the way things change over the passage of time and how nature can literally "lift things up" again.

Teaching Connections: Social skills lesson - loneliness/change, summarizing, making predictions, visualizing, making inferences, making connections, theme ( )
  EmmaNicolazzo | Dec 15, 2016 |
This was one of my favorite books that I have read in this class. First, I love the illustrations. They add so much to enhance the story and to create a mood. For example, when the father decides that he wants to move into the city to be closer to his children and the house has become too much work, the picture shows the house and surroundings in muted colors. The sky is a dark brown and orange and the house is by itself in what seems like miles and miles of land. I think this depicts how the father is feeling at this time. He is lonely at the house without his children but is worn down from trying to keep up with the work. He doesn't want to leave the house but he knows it will be better for him to do so. The colors and images of this page enhance this feelings. Next, I love this book because of how poetically it is written. When you first start reading it, you don't realize that it is written like a poem until you run across lines that are the same. For example, one page says "This went on year after year, and the children slowly grew up, as children will." Then later in the book it says "Nobody could explain why, but it just didn't seem like a house where anybody wanted to live. That happens sometimes." These two parts of the book really stuck out to me. They aren't repeating phrases but are phrases that seem to mimmic each other. They both seem to say, well thats just what happens in life and we have to deal with it. This happened a few times within the book and I think it added a strong parallel to everyday life. Finally, I liked the overall message of this story. It seems to parallel life and subtly talk about family, life, and death. Here is this man who wants so badly to stay in his house that he has worked so hard for. Yet, he knows that he has to say goodbye. He knows that he can't keep up with the work and it is just disappointing to keep seeing the house falling apart. He knows it will be healthier for him to move closer to his kids. In a way I think the author was trying to suggest that the house was a representation of his wife and him losing her. This book seemed to teach the reader that things happen, and we can just make the best of the situation. ( )
  AlainaNawa | Oct 26, 2015 |
This story was amazing. The illustrations, the plot, and the writing were all so well done and really made me enjoy it. The illustrations in this story were also done by famous illustrator John Klassen and really enhanced the complex tale. I especially loved seeing an illustration of the trees lifting up the house at the end of the story. I also loved the plot in this story because it was so naturalistic. It was about a young boy and girl who moved to a house with no trees. The boy and girl would always sprinkle seeds and leaves trying to plant trees. After years and years, the kids had moved away and the trees finally sprouted and lifted their old home, turning it into a treehouse. I loved the plot because it introduced complex concepts for children, like demolishing wildlife to build homes or corporate buildings. I really loved the writing in this story the most. I think that the writing was complex for students and really provoked thoughts for the reader. The book was so well-written and that really made me enjoy it. The line on the last page of the book said "...a house in trees, a house held together by the strength of trees, and the wind blowing, perfumed by little green flowers." This line gave me chills because of the writing. Altogether I loved this book and I thought it was so well-done. The main idea was that nature is so crucial and needs to be taken care of. ( )
  CasieProdoehl | Oct 22, 2015 |
This book was a bit boring. There were characters, but they did not play a major role. The main character could actually be the house. The house was built, left by its owner, and then finally it was uprooted by trees. The story followed the house’s life, but it was not interesting since no one was living in the house. The owner of the house had children, but they left the house quickly and never came back. The illustrations were very pretty. They incorporated a lot of nature, but I do not think they were accurate. Can a house really be lifted up by trees? I know a treehouse is practical. This house was lifted up from its foundation, then supported by the trees. I think the message of the story was that something will always lift you up. I think the trees were an example of figurative language and that they finally lifted and accompanied the house since it was so lonely. ( )
  AudreyLast | Mar 17, 2015 |
In this story, a father and his two children grow, move on, and leave their house behind. The house is literally "lifted up" by nature. The illustrations are composed of earthy colors and feel organic. Klassen makes effective use of blank space. ( )
  EliseMT | Feb 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ted Kooserprimary authorall editionscalculated
Klassen, JonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Book description
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 the children grew up and moved away, their father, alone in the house, continued his battle against blowing seeds, plucking out sprouting trees. Until one day the father, too, moved away, and as the empty house began its decline, the trees began their approach. At once wistful and exhilarating, this lovely, lyrical story evokes the inexorable passage of time — and the awe-inspiring power of nature to lift us up.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763651079, Hardcover)

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 the children grew up and moved away, their father, alone in the house, continued his battle against blowing seeds, plucking out sprouting trees. Until one day the father, too, moved away, and as the empty house began its decline, the trees began their approach. At once wistful and exhilarating, this lovely, lyrical story evokes the inexorable passage of time — and the awe-inspiring power of nature to lift us up.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Built on a treeless yard by a family who cleared away all the sprouting trees on the property, a house is eventually abandoned and left to deteriorate on a lot that is gradually overrun by wild trees, in a poignant tale of loss, change, and nature's quiet triumph.… (more)

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