the-eagle-tree-ned-hayes-book-coverThis is literary fiction complete with conflict, plot, rising action, crisis, climax, falling action, etc. Set in Olympia, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest, the main character and first person narrator is fourteen-year-old March Peter Wong, a brilliant, teenager whose favorite activity is climbing trees.  March, the name by which he prefers to be called, is on the autism spectrum.  His favorite pastime leads him to read everything he can about trees; therefore, he is quite an authority.  His main conflict, his interpersonal relationships, leads to another conflict, in which he is instrumental in preserving the ecosystem of his hometown.  A rare tree—a ponderosa pine—which everyone calls the Eagle Tree, is slated to be destroyed  along with other trees on the property of the new owner in order to build condominiums.

At the opening of the novel, March and his mother have just moved to a new location, which he hates.  This causes him considerable angst.  Unable to continue living with him and his mother because of the difficulty of coping with March’s autism, his father has moved to Arizona.  Hating the new house, he finds comfort in climbing the trees on the property.  The mother talks about relocating to Arizona to be near March’s father; but March will have none of that idea:  no trees in Arizona!

It was interesting to see the workings of the mind of an autistic child.

The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes – ISBN: 978-1503936645
Reviewed by Lee L. Peoples