Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut Tree

Sally M. Walker

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)


American chestnut trees were once found far and wide in North America's eastern forests. They towered up to one hundred feet tall, providing food and shelter for people and animals alike. For many, life without the chestnut seemed unimaginable—until disaster struck in the early 1900s.

What began as a wound in the bark of a few trees soon turned to an unstoppable killing force. An unknown blight was wiping out the American chestnut, and scientists felt powerless to prevent it.

But the story doesn't end there. Today, the American chestnut is making a comeback. Narrative nonfiction master Sally M. Walker tells a tale of loss, restoration, and the triumph of human ingenuity in this beautifully photographed middle-grade book.



HAVE YOU EVER CLIMBED A TREE? Have you ever breathed in the spicy scent of pine trees or looked closely at a leaf?

Hermann Merkel was a boy who loved being around trees. He loved them so much that when...

Praise for Champion

"A compelling, inspiring true story of a species rescued from extinction through decades of determined innovation." —Kirkus Reviews

"The award-winning nonfiction author brings to light the intriguing story of the beleaguered American chestnut tree . . . . Fascinating and well-sourced." —School Library Journal

Blizzard of Glass:

“Riveting.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The well-designed volume clearly depicts the extent of the devastation in both words and photographs. . . . As usual, this author's source notes and use of primary sources serves as a model of nonfiction writing.” —Shelf Awareness

“Disasters make for gripping reading, and this account of the huge explosion of a munitions ship and its devastating effects in Halifax Harbor, Canada, in 1917 tells the dramatic history with clear detailed facts.” —Booklist

“Halifax does indeed have a story to tell, but Walker once again proves that it's her consummate gifts as a storyteller that breathe life into the tale.” —The Horn Book

“This tragic, but well-told story belongs in most collections.” —School Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

Sally M. Walker

Sally M. Walker is the author of the ALA Notable Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917. She is also the author of the acclaimed picture book Winnie and Secrets of a Civil War Submarine, which was awarded a Sibert Medal. She lives in Illinois.

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Latest on Facebook