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Children's Nonfiction Trees & Forests

A Forest in the City

by (author) Andrea Curtis

illustrated by Pierre Pratt

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Apr 2020
Trees & Forests, Biology, Environmental Conservation & Protection
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7
  • Reading age: 8 to 12


This beautiful book of narrative non-fiction looks at the urban forest and dives into the question of how we can live in harmony with city trees.

“Imagine a city draped in a blanket of green … Is this the city you know?”

A Forest in the City looks at the urban forest, starting with a bird’s-eye view of the tree canopy, then swooping down to street level, digging deep into the ground, then moving up through a tree’s trunk, back into the leaves and branches.

Trees make our cities more beautiful and provide shade but they also fight climate change and pollution, benefit our health and connections to one another, provide food and shelter for wildlife, and much more. Yet city trees face an abundance of problems, such as the abundance of concrete, poor soil and challenging light conditions.

So how can we create a healthy environment for city trees? Urban foresters are trying to create better growing conditions, plant diverse species, and maintain trees as they age. These strategies, and more, reveal that the urban forest is a complex system—A Forest in the City shows readers we are a part of it.

Includes a list of activities to help the urban forest and a glossary.

The ThinkCities series is inspired by the urgency for new approaches to city life as a result of climate change, population growth and increased density. It highlights the challenges and risks cities face, but also offers hope for building resilience, sustainability and quality of life as young people act as advocates for themselves and their communities.

Key Text Features
author's note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

About the authors

Andrea Curtis is an author of books for children and adults. Her children’s non-fiction titles include Eat This!, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal, and What’s for Lunch?, named to VOYA’s Honor list. She has also written the young adult novel Big Water. Her adult books include Into the Blue, winner of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction, and The Stop, winner of the Heritage Toronto Award of Merit and a finalist for the Toronto Book Award. She has also won a number of National Magazine Awards. Andrea lives with her family in Toronto.

Andrea Curtis' profile page

Pierre Pratt's profile page


  • Commended, A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year
  • Commended, Skipping Stones Honor Award

Editorial Reviews

[A] well-researched resource.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

[An] impressively illustrated and engaging book.

ETFO Voice

[A] book for budding environmentalists


The vital importance of the urban forest in relation to the welfare of city dwellers is presented with interesting information and lush illustrations. Useful for reports, projects, and classroom activities.

School Library Journal

[A] Forest in the City clearly makes the case for the role of the next generation of stewards … Two green thumbs up.

Our Forest

[A] comprehensive source for those interested in arboriculture and ecology.

Publisher's Weekly

A Forest in the City … by Toronto writer Andrea Curtis, tells everything you need to know about city trees … [b]eautiful (mainly green) gouache illustrations by Montreal artist Pierre Pratt help make this book for 8- to 11-year-olds an attractive choice.

Winnipeg Free Press

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