The half-tree, half-human beings lived a secret existence deep in the old growth forest.
When 11-year old Daisy Castillo discovers a plot to destroy the forest, she tries to halt the approaching evil while keeping these magical creatures from being discovered.
But danger waits in every shadow. For if these corrupt men succeed, the Forest People will die. A few surprises are in store, as some unknown and undiscovered friendships hold the key to her success.
Fate hangs in the balance as Daisy faces her deepest fears, including heartbreak from the past, to rise up against all odds.
Suspenseful, mysterious, and full of danger, Forest Secrets captures the enchantment of nature and the power of friendship in this classic tale of good vs. evil.
A Word from the Author
When I was traveling through Alaska many years ago, I noticed that the pine and spruce trees were stunted. This surprised me and when I asked a local about it discovered that the tundra has permafrost that is impenetrable to roots and shallower roots make for smaller trees. This got me thinking about forests, logging, and how each tree is so unique as found myself seeing faces and forms in many of the trees. This lead to the idea of a mythical species that is part tree and part human. From there, the ideas just flowed until I had a pretty good draft of Forest Secrets.
What is this middle grade fantasy novel about?
Eleven year-old DAISY CASTILLO wishes for two things: real adventure and a real friend. On a daring journey to explore the forest near her new home, she discovers more than she bargained for. There are hidden things in the trees– secrets that, if released, could undo an entire race of mythical beings. One of them, a lost forest creature named CALLIANDRA, befriends Daisy and the two set out on a mission to find the tree-girl’s parents. Along the way they encounter thirteen-year-old ALBERT MAHONEY. This sharp-witted son of a local environmentalist joins the quest, and together, the three children stumble upon a nefarious scheme concocted by the corrupt logging foreman BUSTER T. OXJACK and slimy reporter PERCIVAL PIERPONT. Driven by greed, the two are falsifying documents that will allow them to illegally log in protected areas.
Now the children know the real reason Calliandra cannot find her parents: a road recently built as part of Buster T. and Percival’s plot has trapped her parents. Worse, they’re caught in an area that will be cut down in three days.
With time running out, the children race to halt the logging and save Calliandra’s parents. But will they be able to do it in time?
(Laurie Woodward, January 2018)