Run for the Trees (1999)
Young Adult Adventure Novel; Endorsed by David Bellamy and Paula Boock; Shortlisted for “CanRead 2000; 2003. Re-published by Wings Press, USA; ‘Golden Wings Award’ May 2003
“Run for the Trees” is an exciting YA adventure of sabotage and intrigue, self-reliance and courage, that takes you on a breathless trip from Wellington (NZ’s capital city) to West Coast wasps’ nests and back to the Capital’s Beehive (Parliament).
Thirteen-year-old Ben Costas finds himself alone when his mother goes on holiday with the ‘axe-murderer’ and his uncle, an eccentric eco-protester, disappears.
Add to the mix a bossy runaway called Ange, two tenacious thugs, and a geriatric ‘greenie’. Ben’s struggles to reunite with Uncle Rick at an anti-logging protest culminate in a scary race to expose political corruption and save the native forest from exploitation.
There are two central themes to this story: Ben’s journey to self-esteem despite (or maybe because of) his dyslexia; and the crime of native forest felling.
Golden Wings Award Winner May 2003
The Golden Wings Award is presented twice each year to the one book that the Senior Editor of the department feels best exemplifies wonderful story telling ability, great characterization and exceptional writing skills.
“Great Book! Like Ben and Ange, a new generation is answering the cries of a sick planet and doing what they can to protect it from the vested interests of short-term profiteering. Time to shout ‘Stop’ from the highest rimu tree to the depths of the ocean. Every voice counts.”
Dr David Bellamy, internationally acclaimed botanist.
“Ben is a delightful main character who thankfully doesn’t have the answer to everything, Superman-like – but struggles with each obstacle and makes a tremendous effort to problem-solve. Usually he succeeds. When he doesn’t, he berates himself, because at heart he still thinks he’s a dummy. The reader can see through this, though, so the message is cleverly delivered – we can be our own worst enemy. Have faith.”
Paula Boock, award-winning author.
“I would recommend this book to anyone of my age living anywhere, because I am sure that everyone can relate to at least one part of this book.”
Presto, Evening Post, May 1999.
“Run for the Trees is a fast-paced, exciting read. The plot is ‘real’ and it shows how young people can also join the fight to save our environment. Above all, Ben is a ‘real’ character – by the end of the book you decide he’s someone you’d really like to have as a friend.”
Tearaway Magazine – June 1999.
“…A stunning and exciting novel for young adults…as far as I’m concerned the highest accolade I can give it is to tell you that I read it in one sitting.”
V. Scott, Evening Post, May 1999
Used as the source book for the Dare Foundation’s DARE TO BE YOU.