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

The Girl Who Became a Tree: A Story Told in Poems By Kate Milner (Illustrator), Joseph Coelho Cover Image
By Kate Milner (Illustrator), Joseph Coelho
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Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2021

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.

About the Author

Kate Milner studied illustration at Central St Martin’s before completing an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University. Kate won the V&A Illustration Award 2016 and the Klaus Flugge Prize 2018 for My name is not Refugee. Kate is particularly passionate about libraries; she continues to be involved with every kind of activity from Storytime for toddlers to teen reading groups at her local library. Her book It's a No-Money Day (2019, Barrington Stoke), was shortlisted for the Greenaway Medal.

Joseph Coelho is a performance poet and playwright. His debut poetry collection Werewolf Club Rules won the CLPE CLiPPA Poetry Award 2015. His collection Overheard in a Tower Block (Otter-Barry Books, 2017) was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the CLiPPA. The Girl Who Became a Tree (Otter-Barry Books, 2021) was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and won the Bologna Ragazzi Award for Poetry. Joseph became the UK Waterstones Children's Laureate in 2022.

Praise For…

"A brief yet challenging novel in verse that tackles the gnarly, disordered forest of the grieving process." Kirkus Reviews

"It plays with form and setting in a way that invites young readers in, asserting the myth’s perpetual relevance." Times Literary Supplement
  "Rich with metaphor and secret meaning, his poetry is deeply welcoming, and his sensibility is both mythic and urban." —Guardian Fresh Voices: 50 Writers You Should Read Now
 "Finally, something slightly different. I think publishers and bookshops are missing a trick with poetry. They seem to stock poetry collections for younger children and adult poetry from the historical to the contemporary. Where is the poetry for young adults? Beyond the bookshops, there is a dynamic and diverse spoken word scene, young people articulating their lives and experiences through rhythm, rhyme, lyricism. These are poems about childhood belonging, separated families and the stories we build when there are gaps we can’t know. My teenage daughter and I have read them together. " —, Top 5 Young Adult Reads of 2017
 "Ingenious...Kate Milner's extraordinary line drawings express the underlying strangeness." —Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week
 "A highly readable, imaginative tale with a positive message. Coelho's poems are succinct, thought-provoking and original." The Independent
 "The talented and inventive Joseph Coelho last month published The Girl Who Became a Tree, a story in verse that revisits the myth of Daphne. Set in a plays with form and setting in a way that invites young readers in." —Imogen Russell Williams, Times Literary Supplement
 "Showcasing the power of verse novels is Joseph Coelho's superb The Girl Who Became a Tree...A series of rich and varied poems is accented by Kate Milner's dark, evocative art." —Fiona Noble, The Observer
 "The author combines intense imaginative power with brilliant poetic technique in a multi-layered story of loss, hurt, deception, recognition and ultimate reconciliation. Milner's evocative art adds further depth." —Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

Product Details
ISBN: 9781913074074
ISBN-10: 1913074072
Publisher: Otter-Barry Books
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2023
Pages: 176
Language: English