New Book Speaks to Young People About Environment and Climate Change

By: Kathryn Randall
PEWAUKEE, Wis. - Nov. 9, 2021 - PRLog -- Author Kathryn Randall wants to inspire young people to find a special place in nature and protect it. That's the inspiration behind her newly released middle grade novel The Listening Tree. An engrossing tale combining elements of magical realism and fantasy, it tells the story of three young people from three different times, brought together to help the trees save the future of the planet.

As the book opens, the reader meets 13-year-old Ruth who lives in Sweetwater in 1896. Ruth longs for a new life and for the love of her parents. She has a strong bond with her grandmother. When Nana dies whispering, "the trees know," Ruth rushes to her special place in nature, the Listening Tree, for help with this cryptic message.

Transported through time by the Tree, she meets Michael and Arabeth, both connected to the Tree in the future. Arabeth's science teacher, Fuzzy Grumbles, also appears and explains they are members of the Society of Rainwalkers—humans able to time travel through trees. They have a mission: stop a manmade event threatening the life of The Listening Tree in 1896 to create a parallel universe where a strengthened Tree will survive future climate disasters. A geneticist from Fuzzy's past, Dr. Martin Millstone, promises to stop them. His goal: populate a climate devastated Earth with his own genetic creations.

A retired science educator, Kathryn Randall spent 20 years teaching middle school and adults as well as developing educational programming for non-profit environmental organizations. Now retired, she spends her days weaving real science into magical adventures to inspire young people's curiosity about our natural world as well as a passion to protect it. In addition to teaching, Kathryn has worked in academic and industry research labs, became a nature storyteller, owned a greenhouse and a small farm, produced maple syrup, and conducted forest restoration research in Panama. Across all these adventures, she hoped to one day write stories for young people, inspiring them to be curious about our natural world. She is thrilled with the publication of The Listening Tree, her debut novel.

Kathryn and her husband recently relocated to Wisconsin from their small farm in Pennsylvania.

With the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) currently underway in Glasgow and the warnings from scientists that we are not doing enough, fast enough, The Listening Tree is a timely novel and one that can help parents and teachers talk with kids about climate change.  Kathryn is currently developing an accompanying series of reader's guides and teaching activities for grades 5 to 8.

To learn more about The Listening Tree and Kathryn Randall, visit

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