You can cast your vote for the 2015 Readers’ Choice Award online at www.literary-arts.org/voteOBA! The winner will be announced at the Oregon Book Awards ceremony on April 13 at the Gerding Theater at the Armory.
Between now and April 13, we will be featuring all of the 2015 Oregon Book Awards finalists.
2015 Oregon Book Awards Finalist
The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins
About the 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.
About the author:
H. Joseph Hopkins came to book writing late in life. After decades of writing reports describing communicative disorders of children and adults, and applying for grant monies, Joe discovered email storytelling in the mid-nineties. Through the years Joe attended writing classes and workshops. The Tree Lady is Joe’s first book and he is overwhelmed by the positive response it has received.
Excerpt from The Tree Lady:
Katherine Olivia Sessions grew up in the woods of Northern California. She gathered leaves from oaks and elms. She collected needles from pines and redwoods. And she braided them together with flowers to make necklaces and bracelets.
It was the 1860s, and girls from Kate’s side of town weren’t supposed to get their hands dirty.
But Kate did.
Interview with H. Joseph Hopkins
[starred review] “A terrific jacket image shows a tiny girl in a towering forest as seen from above. Who is this girl? And why is she the tree lady? Well, turns out Katherine Olivia Sessions, who grew up in Northern California in the 1860s, always loved trees…. A little-known, can-do woman shines in this handsome picture book from Hopkins and McElmurry. Hopkins ably brings a woman’s passion–and some science–to a story that’s accessible for young children. And, oh the pictures! Both old-timey and lush, they evoke Kate’s vision perfectly, and individually labeled illustrations of trees add to the educational value. A lovely tribute to the pioneering (and environmentalist) spirit, topped off by an author’s note.”
“Hopkins respectfully profiles Kate Sessions, a pioneering horticulturalist who helped transform San Diego’s City Park from a barren waste into today’s lush, tree-filled Balboa Park…An appealing treatment of an accomplished woman’s life.”
“…debut author Hopkins skillfully employs a pattern in his narrative, a catchy refrain that emphasizes Sessions’s can-do attitude: ‘Not everyone feels at home in the woods. But Kate did…. Most San Diegans didn’t think trees could ever grow there. But Kate did.’ Vignettes that include muddy handprints, labeled plant cell parts, and trees subtitled with their Latin names complement the larger gouache spreads, and a concluding note explains more about the inspirational spirit and work of a pioneering arborist.”