The Tallest Tree (Hardcover)

By Sandra Belton

Greenwillow Books, 9780060527495, 160pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2008



Little Catfish knows that something is missing from his street. For one thing, there are hardly any stores—his grandma has to take two city buses to the market—and there is only one lonely tree left standing on the block. Even the Regal Theater is run-down. Little Catfish's friend Mr. Odell says that the biggest stars used to appear at the Regal, including the legendary Paul Robeson. Now it's only a shabby community center.

But what if Little Catfish can fix whatever's missing? What if he and Mr. Odell can find a hero to help, one who can do just about anything, like Paul Robeson? "Yeah, right," say the older boys who claim the street as their own. Yeah, right.

But one early summer day, directly outside the Regal Theater, something new gets planted on Little Catfish's street. Something that has the power to grow and grow. As long as Little Catfish and Mr. Odell and the older boys and anyone else who comes to appreciate the majesty of its cool, dark shade tend to it.