From an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.
I had never heard of the survivor elm until I read this book. For all I'd read and seen about the bombing of the Alfred Murrah Building in April of 1995 in Oklahoma city, no one ever mentioned this. That bombing seems so long ago now, and has been so overshadowed by so many things since, that it's easy to forget what far too many people cannot: that 168 people died and left behind them loved ones whose pain didn't end that day with the loss of a life, but began instead.
The elm was almost cut down because it was damaged so badly, and embedded in its branches and trunk was forensic evidence: shrapnel from the blast. But it survived and later, people noticed it blooming. When it fruited, the seeds were collected and cultivated and passed out to those who needed them. Those seedlings grew and sprouted their own harvest, and so the progeny of this tree have spread everywhere now.
The tree itself has become a memorial, and this book is a memorial to that tragedy and the tree that survived it and gave hope and solace to others. This book is tastefully and respectfully written, tells a great true story, and is beautifully illustrated by new artist Nicole Xu who is very talented. Her work can be found online and is a treat to see. I commend this book fully.