By: Marion Roberts
Genre: YFB - General fiction
Published by: A&U Children's
Published: 29 Mar 2022
ISBN: 9781760526795


After becoming attuned to the songs of the forest and setting up a successful social media nature channel, Alberta Bracken and Mikki Watanabe are determined to pull out all the stops to save their local grove of trees in this thoroughly enjoyable novel for young readers.

Eleven-year-old Alberta Bracken is having a terrible summer. After a bike-riding accident, caused by the local bully, her arm's in a cast so she can't do her most favourite holiday activity: boogie boarding at the local beach. And her little sister Clementine is EXTREMELY ANNOYING.

To make matters worse, her mum (bestselling author of Tammy Bracken's Guide to Modern Manners) has sent her dad packing - after discovering his behaviour has been far from… well-mannered.

So when budding filmmaker Mikki Watanabe suggests they start a YouTube channel about the secret life of trees - Alberta is ALL IN. And when they discover their trees are earmarked for removal by the local council it's suddenly a race against time to save them.

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Eleven-year-old Alberta’s summer is not going how she expected. Normally she would be enjoying the surf with her friends. But after being ghosted by almost everyone, and then having her arm broken when she was pushed by a bully, she is happy to join Mikki to produce short films for YouTube about trees.

But there is a lot going on in Alberta’s life. Her mother is a world-famous author of a modern manners book, and has thrown her father out after discovering he has been unfaithful. To make matters worse, her mother is constantly nagging Alberta about how to behave, despite the fact that her mother has problems of her own...

Tackling the themes of friendship, including navigating friendship difficulties caused by things your family have done, the positives and negatives of social media and, most importantly, environmental activism. Mikki and Me and the Out-of-Tune Tree is an easy to read, imaginative, at times funny, and ultimately uplifting story that concludes with a happy and hope-filled ending.

A wonderful read, best suited to middle and upper primary students.

Reviewed by Rob