Tree Girl Discussion Guide

Recently, a teacher asked me for a discussion guide or lesson plan to help her class explore Tree Girl.

Here are the best discussion questions I could think of. I hope you will enjoy thinking about them … and also telling me any more questions you would add to the list.

(1) How does Anna’s attitude toward the forest change during this story? What does that tell you she has learned?

(2) In this story, the tree spirits have a special power, allowing them to take the visual form that someone who sees them expects to see. This enables them to live in secrecy in the forest. But this power also has a symbolic meaning, regarding the different ways people are seen by others. What is this symbolic meaning? And what does that say about the experience of being human?

(3) At the very end of the book, Anna could choose to rejoin her true family in the forest or to help the man who has pretended to be her father. Even though he had sometimes been mean to her, she decided to be compassionate and help him heal from his injuries. What does Anna’s choice tell you about her character? Do you think she made the right choice?

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