Trouble in the Trees

If Bree wants to keep climbing, she’ll have to go out on a limb.

I sat on a branch near the trunk and let my feet swing freely below me. It felt good to be surrounded by big green leaves. I heard a bee buzz by my ear, lured by the sweet smell of tree sap. It was one of those cloudy Vancouver days where the gray sky seemed close enough to reach up and touch. The clouds were like a blanket that warmed the air without any help from the sun. I felt like I could hide away on this branch forever.

Bree is happiest when she’s climbing the trees at Cedar Grove, her urban townhouse complex. She’s the best climber around, but when one of her younger friends falls  from a tree and hurts himself, the Neighborhood Council bans all tree climbing in Cedar Grove. If Bree chooses to ignore the bylaw, her family could be kicked out of their home. But what can one girl do? She knows  it’s not a battle she can win on her own, but rallying the Cedar Grove troops is more difficult than she imagined.

Trouble in the Trees (Orca Books, 2011) can be ordered through your local book store or online retailers (Bookshop, Chapters IndigoAmazon, and most others).

A professionally written teacher’s guide is available for Trouble in the Trees to help incorporate the book into the class curriculum.


“Trouble in the Trees is Yolanda Ridge’s first novel, and, as such, it’s very strong. Bree is a likeable and round character, and her voice rings true as a child frustrated with the world of adults. All the child characters are distinct, and Ridge brings an honesty to their conversations and thoughts…”

cm magazine March 18, 2011 (Volume XVII, Number 27)

“This is an all around great read for kids 8-11… Yolanda does an amazing job of capturing kids this age and making you laugh out loud and cheer them on as they take on the adults running the council of Cedar Grove.  Plus, the over all quality of writing makes this a read aloud dream.”

Just Deb May 30, 2011 (Marvelous Middle Grade Monday)

“To protect her right to climb trees, Bree learns what it means to stand up for something you believe in.  This book will help teach young readers about the political process and how it can affect our daily lives.”

Library Media Connection October 2011 Issue

“This book not only discusses issues of courage, public speaking, friendship, and boy-girl relationships, but also introduces the basic workings of council meetings and Robert’s Rules of Order… Bree is a great role model for young girls who want to try different things, and make their community a better place to live.”

Resource Links June, 2011 (Volume 16, Number 5)

“I enjoyed reading your book Trouble in theTrees very much.  I thought it as fun to read about the protest that Brianna organized.  Brianna’s chant was pretty clever.  When the neighbor, Mrs. Leary said ‘doggy doo-doo’ it made me laugh.  The line ‘Bree Bree crappy capri’ was also very funny.”

RCT, age 8  Hopewell Junction, New York

“With a nice demonstration of the importance of civic engagement, competitive tensions between two strong-willed characters, and some lovely ventures to the top of the tree, this book will appeal to readers from Grade 4.”

FernFolio July 20, 2013