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Alder has lived in his house for as long as he can remember. And for as long as he can remember, the old walnut tree between his house and the one next door has been there. Alder barely remembers his father, who died when he was very young, but he has a photo of his mother and father and him in front of the walnut tree, and the tree is the last bit of memory left of him. That is, until a new family moves in next door, and unceremoniously cuts it down.
Oak doesn’t understand why her family has to move from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Now she has to go to an entirely new school, and live an entirely new house, one in which her room isn’t even ready—her mother had to have a tree on their property line cut down in order to make room above to build second floor, and a new bedroom for her. And then there’s the strange boy next door, who won’t stop staring at her, like she did something wrong moving into this house she didn’t even want to move to in the first place.
As Oak and Alder start school together, they could have never imagined there's any way they could end up friends. But as the school year unfolds, the two of them realize that they’re both broken in ways they don't quite understand—and that they each might hold the key to helping the other.
National Book Award finalist and Printz Honoree Elana K. Arnold returns with a powerful, heartwarming, unforgettable story of the mysterious ways in which we're all connected, and what those connections mean.