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The Giant Forest

By: Bill Belew, Mia Belew
Narrated by: Ella Jinhee Thompson
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Move over, C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl. There's a new storyteller on the rise, and she's only 11 years old.

In this true-to-life story, Aimi, Roci, Mousi, Sybil, and Sycamore are a loose group of friends, aka the Bunch, who attend school together. The Bunch go to a 150-year old church camp in Mount Hermon, founded around the time of the first gold rush in 1849. The camp is located in a giant forest situated in the Santa Cruz mountains of California, just over the hill from Silicon Valley.

In keeping with the principles of its founders, Bart, Prissie, and their adopted son Artie, the camp administrators want the camp to be a modern-day refuge for children like the Bunch who live at a time when many people around them, including their parents, are chasing new gold in their area.

Each member of the Bunch becomes seemingly inexplicably lost in the giant forest. They must each find themselves, then find one another before they can together again find their way home. Along the way, they receive help from new animal friends, whose ancestors had previously received a life-saving kindness from the founders of Mt. Hermon. Along the way, each member of the Bunch battles with and finds resolution to problems they face at home - from overbearing or neglectful parents, sibling rivalry, prejudice, betrayal, and displaced loyalty.

When the five become reunited, bigger battles ensue. To return home, they must overcome giants that have plagued them throughout their lost experience. Once victorious, the Bunch is led back to Mt. Hermon by their forest friends.

A chapter book for for preteens who love to listen! Enjoy discussion questions at the end of each chapter for reading groups or parent and child devotions. Giant forest = a really big forest or a forest with giants. Or both. Only the listener knows.

©2019 William C. Belew (P)2022 William C. Belew

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