They were cutting the branches off the trees again. When Zari first arrived in East London, she had wondered about the trees. She had never seen any fields and farms in London, like there were at home in Kosovo. But there were more trees. Or at least you noticed them here. In Kosovo, there were entire forests, but no one thought about them because they were, well, just there. In London, the trees look uncomfortable growing out of the pavement – as if they were refugees in a foreign country, too. Zari s story takes you from the fighting in Kosovo to the concrete streets of the city of London but there is conflict here too. You can’t leave problems behind just because you leave your country as a refugee in the back of a lorry full of cheese! Making friends is a minefield in itself – and the secrets Zari discovers in the family just add to the trouble. War, peace, faith and nationality: everything is changing in Zari’s life. It s not just the trees that are feeling uncomfortable.
A moving ‘ true to life’ story… By J. L. Bazeley on September 2, 2008 Jenn Grosser sensitively explores some of the experiences of Kosovars in East London in the late 1990’s. Though seen through a child’s eyes the story is thought provoking for all.
Thought Provoking By Keith VandenAkker on February 16, 2010 This book is a great read for pre-teens and older, as we have insight to various cultures, religions, and the themes of love, relationships, faith, and tolerance, certainly all dominant topics in this politically correct society. Although this book was written from a Christian perspective, it certainly is not biased, as it lays out various arguments from both the Muslim and Christian faiths. This is a thought-provoking, touching story about how the young girl, Zari, matures from being a selfish child to being a young lady who sticks up for what is right, even at the risk of getting in trouble. This book has a great message with good character development. As the story unfolds, I found myself reading the book faster, not wanting to put the book down. I highly recommend this book.
What a child’s perspective can show you By Bas Boshuizen on February 15, 2013 When you’re diving into a new world, having a child’s perspective can show more than you’d think. Children might see better than someone set in their ways. Trees in the Pavement does indeed show more than it tells you on first glance. Culture, religion, conflict and self reflection are handled in a manner that leaves room for the reader to ponder on the seemingly simple tellings of the child narrator, adding a new dimension to all of these topics. The book truly unfolds; it grasped me more and more as the story went on. Even as I differ a lot from the main character, I had no trouble bonding with her, as with the other characters. While reading, the book at times reminded me of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. See what a child’s perspective can show you.
Could not stop reading until I finished the last page By Reflective Woman on November 26, 2012
I am not a young adult, but I read this book a while ago and was riveted. Finishing it in one sitting, I found the plot engaging and easy to follow. I also appreciated the issues that were raised about crossing cultures and the impact of religious conversion. I would like to read it again, but I gave my copy to a friend with similar interests.