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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Great Green Tree and the Magical Ladders: Metropolis by Stephen Kozan is the second book in the series. Shea learned valuable lessons four years ago when she spent time in the Great Green Tree and now it's time for her to return to help someone else. Shea was excited to visit her family until she had to spend time with her cousin Julian. His attitude makes him the perfect candidate to enroll at the Great Green Tree where he'll learn how his actions affect others and gain lessons in becoming a better person. Shea's now teaming up with old and new allies on a mission to bring out the good in her cousin through the wonder, magic, and life lessons that only the Great Green Tree can offer.
The story gives a fun look at how the characters have grown since the first book. Stephen Kozan has created a world of enchantment with lessons woven throughout the story that teach children how to be better people. Kozan weaves everything we've experienced as a society throughout the tree's lessons but crafts them from the perspective of children, which will allow them to process these events on their level. This time the story focuses on the growth of Julian who is receiving honest criticism of his harmful behavior. He's also confronted with the loss of his grandmother with the tree's residents helping him learn how to process his grief.
Kozan tells a genuine and honest story through the children going up the tree to various branches that provide them with a different lesson. Various new characters have been added with an assortment that represents different elements of Julian's personal journey and reflects his actions. The story delves into the negative traits of humanity with the ability to deceive, disobey, rebel, and let others down, with hope and love being the essence of the journey. The true magic the Great Green Tree provides is the magic that resides in everyone through our goodness, hope, love, and healing. Kozan's The Great Green Tree and the Magical Ladders: Metropolis will give hope and understanding to children during a time of struggle, darkness, and confusion. Beloved characters return along with new characters to create a story that tackles tough subjects from the last year and provides a feeling of hope.