Up in the Leaves: The True Story of the Central Park TreehousesUp in the Leaves: The True Story of the Central Park Treehouses by Shira Boss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the true story of a young man who lived in a crowded New York City and sought out wild places where he could find some peace.


At first, he just climbed the trees. Then he started building rudimentary tree houses. Every fall, after the leaves were down, the tree houses would disappear. As he grew in age, so did the complexity of his constructions. Still, they disappeared.

As he ages, his family wishes he would go out and get a job in the ‘real world.’ One day that all changes when he gets caught by the park maintenance staff. What could have ended very badly, ends with him being given a ‘real job’ working to care for the park.

He ends up climbing all of the trees, trimming and nurturing them. The book ends with a photograph of the real young man and a few more details about the true story.


The illustrations were what had me transfixed. Jamey Christoph’s dry bush watercolor accentuates each and every leaf and texture are magnificent. I immediately put all of his illustrated books on my ‘to be purchased’ list.

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