If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period
Gennifer Says
Reviews USA
Reviews UK
Teaching Guide

"The narrators’ compelling performances convey the difficulties of surviving middle school, leaving listeners both laughing and at times crying...an ideal choice for audio.”

[About the Listening Library audio] "A fine example of a book made even better by the reading."

“Narration alternates between Kirsten and Walk, with Choldenko doing an impressive job of authentically representing both slightly whiny adolescent white girl and gently defiant black vernacular dialects... hearteningly realistic...refreshingly honest.”

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period has just been named on two new state lists: South Dakota and Indiana.

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period has just received these honors!

ALA Notable Recording!: 2008 Notable Children's Recordings
Amazon’s Best of the Year 2007: Top 10 Editors’ Picks: Middle Readers!
Washington Post: Best Books for Young People (2007)
Columbus Dispatch: Recommended Books for 2007
Richie’s Picks: The Best of 2007
2008 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People: Special Recognition
Virginia Young Reader's Choice

"Choldenko has a spiky wit, an empathetic eye for kids' foibles and fears, an ear for their distinctive voices and an impressive range. While it treats issues of race, class and marital discord fearlessly, it's also one of the funniest they'll read this year. "

"Absolute middle school novel perfection...Choldenko writes with humor and pathos."

"In this exceptionally engaging contemporary tale that certainly should be taught by sixth and seventh grade English teachers and is sure to become a staple of mother-daughter bookgroups, Gennifer Choldenko has slipped in a number of especially intriguing plot-twists that actually cause the story to make even more sense than it already did. In several instances I'd picked up just enough clues to feel confident that I knew where the story was heading, but was totally and delightedly surprised to find myself wrong. If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period is Gennifer Choldenko's best book yet."

“Initially, the book seems to be a conventional school story, but two-thirds of the way through it takes a sudden twist, and all that has happened previously is seen in a new light. Choldenko explores themes of racism and wealth with subtlety and insight (as when the reader realizes just as Walk does that Kirsten is very rich and doesn’t even know it). The structure can be challenging at first, with a large cast of family and friends to sort out, but the funny, thoughtful protagonists, the vivid middle-school setting, and the honest portrayal of the characters, even the adults, make it well worth the effort.”

“Choldenko convincingly covers the middle school scene . . . sparkling characterization and touches of humor . . . tumultuous twists that ultimately convince Kirsten that, indeed, she does matter.”

“Choldenko's talent for characters and conversation brings the two voices instantly to life in alternating points of view...This will appeal to a wide range of middle-school readers and would make a great book-club or classroom discussion.”

"Choldenko's story—narrated first by Kirsten, then by Walker—is riveting. But it is her characters who really bring this book to life."

“Choldenko has a talent for pithy dialogue and vivid narration that brings each scene sharply into focus.”

“This story of unforgettable characters and tough issues written with humorous touches will resonate with a wide range of readers who like contemporary stories.”

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