The Great Green Tree and the Magical Ladders: Suburbia

Stephen Kozan
Ready Aim Write Publishing (2021)
ISBN 9780692468647
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views Kids (04/2021)

5* – An adventure all kids should have!

“The Great Green Tree and the Magical Ladders: Suburbia” by Stephen Kozan is about a troublemaker girl whose horrible attitude and bullying is getting out of control. Shea was once a sweet girl who loved adventures, until the centipede incident. That is when she began hating bugs, and the beginning of her trouble-making attitude. Her behavior gets so bad her family and friends are desperate and think it’s time for an intervention…little did they know that others were on it already.

I love this adorable story and believe it to be a perfect book for young readers. It entertains and teaches important life lessons that have been falling through the cracks in the upbringing and education of children in today’s rushed lifestyle. Stephen Kozan did an excellent job creating genuine loveable characters.

Kozan’s  writing style is ideal for young readers. The narrator’s voice is simple and easy to follow.  His descriptions were spot on, transporting the reader into the tree’s magical world with sensorial information, as well as visually through pictures. Although I would have loved more showing than telling in the first chapter, I understand that this chapter was setting the stage quickly and thus narration was the shortest way to achieve this in order to take the young reader to the adventure. I’m afraid however, that it took away from the author’s writing style showcased in the remainder of the book. Other than that, the pace of the plot and flow of the story was awesome as it kept me turning the pages nonstop.

Overall, “The Great Green Tree and the Magical Ladders: Suburbia” by Stephen Kozan is an amazing adventure, deserving of five stars in my book. I enjoyed reading it and highly recommend it, especially to young readers, and all others young at heart. I look forward to more work from this author!

The Great Green Tree and the Magical Ladders: Suburbia

Stephen Kozan
Ready Aim Write Publishing (2021)
ISBN 9780692468647
Reviewed by Paola (age 13) for Reader Views Kids (03/2021)

“The Great Green Tree and the Magical Ladders: Suburbia,” is about a 10-year-old Shea who has been a problem with friends, family, and teachers. She steals, lies, bullies, and doesn’t listen. Her mom, Lucy, and her dad, John, don’t know what to do with her anymore. They gather family members for an intervention to discuss what they should do while Shea is at a friend’s house. The next day, Shea gets encouraged by her friends to kill a beetle that is outside while they play. Shea listens to them, and once they leave, she is called over by a strange a voice. She follows the voice to a bush and finds a spider, named Webster! He tells her she has been watched by the members of the Great Green Tree, a tree that stands in her backyard and has been there for ages. Webster shrinks her down and takes her on the most wonderful journey where Shea sees a whole new world.

I loved this book because from the moment we meet Shea, we wonder how she can be such a troublemaker? Her mom, dad, brother, and grandparents are all so worried about her, but she didn’t seem to care. But when she goes into the Great Green Tree she enters a magical world! The author also creates a beautiful world with the descriptions of Shea’s journey. We also get to see pictures of every little creature Shea meets on journey.

She meets all kinds of bugs and animals who all teach her lessons about life. They all really want her to become a better person for everyone around her, and more importantly herself. Webster is her tour guide through her journey up the tree and all the magical ladders, and he tells her “the first step in any great journey is always the hardest, it will get easier,” which we see in the book. Every enchantment branch has a leader and a lesson, and the higher Shea goes in the tree the more we learn about her and the Great Green Tree. Every creature she meets relate to her on some mistake she made in her past, and by the end I felt like I knew everyone in the book!

In “The Great Green Tree and The Magical Ladders: Suburbia”  by Stephen Kozan you learn that everyone makes mistakes, but it is what we learn from them that matters the most. You also learn to love and respect yourself, and the world around you. I would recommend this book to teens between the age of 11-13 who love magic, nature, adventure, and a comeback story- and give it five stars!

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