Book Review: The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever

Author: J. Joseph Hopkins
Illustrator: Jill McElmurry
Interest Level: Ages 6 and Up

About This Book: Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens.

Katherine Olivia Sessions never thought she’d live in a place without trees. After all, Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern California. But after becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Where there were almost no trees.

Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more than anything else. So this trailblazing young woman singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I've been trying to pump up my career lessons and this new book has it all! It also reinforces the other messages I've been teaching this year around growth mindset, personal power, and perseverance. Not to mention it's a wonderful true story for girls who are interested in science. It's very well written. My main takeaway was that if you have an idea - you CAN accomplish it and overcome obstacles. Katherine LITERALLY changed the landscape of San Diego. Great read. 

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