Branching Out

Branching Out: How Trees are Part of Our World

Branching Out

Owlkids, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-77147-049-0 (hardcover)
ISBN:978-1-77147-082-7 (softcover)

Ages: 9 and up (grades 3-7)

Curriculum links: plants, trees, science, environment, ecology, conservation

Watch the Branching Out 
book trailer (62 seconds).

Awarded Santa Monica Public Library Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, 2015

Recognized with an Honorable Mention by the Canadian Authors Association – Alberta Branch, at the 2015 Exporting Alberta Award Gala.

Listed in 2014 Distinguished Books by the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California.

Listed on Resource Links Magazine’s Best Non-Fiction Preschool – Grade 6 Book List 2014

Back cover:

Trees have been around for nearly 400 million years, and today about 25,000 species of trees have been identified. We’ve relied on trees for everything from fuel, food, and medicine to building railways. Today, trees still touch our lives in countless ways. But what do we really know about them?

Branching Out takes an in-depth look at these incredible plants, introducing the basics of tree biology and profiling 11 different trees from around the world, including familiar ones such as the red maple as well as lesser-known trees, like the tall-stilted mangrove.

It showcases the inextricable ways trees are part of our society, culture, and economy. It also outlines how animals need trees – and sometimes even help trees survive through symbiosis. Full of useful facts and rounded out with a section on conservation, Branching Out is an essential primer that will leave young readers wanting to treat trees as well as they have treated us.


The downy birch is the best tree for putting up with harsh Arctic conditions, so it’s no wonder it’s popular with animals in the far north. Moose, deer and hare browse on its shoots. Birds, mice, and other animals eat its seeds. Insects come to its flowers. The insects attract bats, which come to nest and roost. The peeling bark found on birch trees provides a perfect habitat for bats, insects, and small birds looking for places to hide.

“An informed and elegant introduction to trees as resources for humans and animals, objects of natural beauty, and sources of inspiration.”

“Full of useful information and eye-catching images … A solid overview.” — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“Trees matter in our world. …An informative introduction for middle-grade readers, especially useful in schools.”

“This is a perfect book to dip into for a science project or to awaken a child’s interest in the natural world.”

“Joan Marie Galat has wisely chosen examples of how humans use trees that will appeal to youth while still conveying the importance of each tree to the local ecosystem. Young readers who enjoy nonfiction and have an interest in environmental issues will enjoy this book. Both public and school libraries will find it a useful addition to their collections. Recommended.”

“The inspiring dialogue about trees and their benefits to humans, animals and the environment make this book a valuable addition to school and public library collections.”

Publishers Weekly book review

Kirkus book review review

49th Shelf review

Canton Public Library, Michigan, book reviews.

Common Core Standards
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