The Girl Who Became a Tree: A Story Told in Poems

Joseph Coelho with Kate Milner (Illustrator)

fiction poetry young adult
challenging reflective slow-paced

176 pages

Daphne is unbearably sad and adrift. She feels the painful loss of her father acutely and seeks solace both in the security of her local library and the escape her phone screen provides by blocking out the world around her. As Daphne tries to make sense of what has happened she recalls memories of shared times and stories past, and in facing the darkness she finds a way back from the tangle of fear and confusion, to feel connected once more with her friends and family. The Girl Who Became a Tree sees Joseph Coelho deploy a wide variety of poetic forms with consummate skill in its narration of events. He seamlessly but searingly weaves together the ancient legend of Daphne, who was turned into a tree to avoid the attentions of the god Apollo, and a totally modern tale, mixing real-life and fantasy, in which a latter-day Daphne seeks her own freedom. This a heart-stoppingly imaginative story told in poems, at times bleak and even tragic, which is layered, rich and ultimately a tour de force of poetic skill and energy.

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Moods

emotional 100%
inspiring 100%
reflective 100%
sad 100%

Pace

fast 100%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 100%

Strong character development?

Yes: 100%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 100%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 100%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 100%

Average rating

3.58