CHANGE THE WORLD BOOKS
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IN THE PRESS
"Far from cute, this book takes a serious look at the value of love, the impossibility of permanence, and the ways in which humans leave the world. For anyone wondering about the outcome, Watts closes the work’s first paragraph with the reminder that “there is no happiness. Only serenity lasts.” An ingenious and satisfying tale about a single live oak. "
"Ultimately, the tree and the various organisms it holds dear — ranch owner María Marta, modern third-grader Enzo, the grass, a horse — find that their connection is more about emotion than scientific transaction. While Watts finds inspiration in the science, she doesn’t limit herself to it. No science suggests rocks are alive, yet Tree is guided most by a stony companion whose advice ripples through the book’s plot: “All things are alive,” the ancient rock intones. “Nothing lasts forever. Love what you have while you have it.”"
"If trees have standing before the law, as many argue, then they might very well also have standing in historical fiction as Melina Sempill Watts demonstrates in this intriguing new novel ... Blending environmentalism, magical realism, social history, and arboreal science, Tree challenges ... readers to regard the natural world with new respect."
DR. KEVIN STARR,
Authors' League Fund 2020
Book Excellence Award, Finalist Environmental Category 2020
Gold Prize, Environmental Category, ELit Book Award 2020
Best New Fiction, Beverly Hills Book Awards 2019
Finalist, Indie Award 2018
Da Vince Book Cover Award, Eric Hoffer Award 2018
Panelist, Los Angeles Times Book Festival 2017
Melina Sempill Watts is the author of Tree. Watts' writing has appeared in Sierra Magazine, the New York Times motherlode blog, Earth Island Journal and Sunset Magazine, conservation venues like the National Association of Conservation Districts blog, in local venues such as Urban Coast: Journal of the Center for the Study of the Santa Monica Bay, the Heal the Bay blog and Malibu Times, Malibu Surfside News, Topanga Messenger and Argonaut News.
Watts began her career in Hollywood as a development executive, writing consultant and story analyst working for such luminaries Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Peter Horton and at Dreamworks. She has worked as a watershed coordinator, run a stable, shelved books at a library and created and ran Starfish Catering. Watts graduated from UCLA with a degree in history She is a media and environmental consultant in California.
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