Parents' Guide to

View from the Cherry Tree

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Exciting but flawed murder mystery for tweens.

View from the Cherry Tree Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+
Was given to my daughter at age 6 ir 7 through RIF program. I "cleaned house" at both the school board and her school, from principal on down. Even went to the local newspapers. The language is very inappropriate for a second-grader and overall tone of the book is negative.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
age 13+

Not fit for ages intended, maybe for ages over 13

This book is written as a murder/mystery for ages 9-11 and is definetly not fit for this age group. It has no good theme or moral to it. In the beginning, p.4 it uses the words "son of a b***in cat" which leads to the name of the cat being called "S.O.B." throughout the entire book. There is a murder description that begins on p. 53 that is very descript and disturbing. At one point the main character is offered casually a beer. The murder takes place because of a bag of heroine that is hidden in the woman's house and she will not give it to a young adult man. All the adults in this story are depicted as insensitive and disrespectful to the boy (main character), even the police when he goes to them for help. This book was given my 5th grade child as a class read, and I was very disturbed that it was considered "approved material" for elementary age. This is the first children's book written by the author who normally writes gothic, adult murder mystery and medical mystery fiction. Would we let our young children read the first children's book written by Steven King? Probably not. The actual book was only an "okay" read for entertainment in my opinion for anyone. There are much better choices.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (22):

The first thing your kids will notice is that this is an exciting, suspenseful, edge-of-the-seat thriller with a climax that will keep them glued to the pages. The first thing you will notice is that this all sounds awfully familiar, starting with Aesop. But no matter -- it's good fun. After they finish, though, your kids may have a delayed, "Wait a minute ..." reaction, as they realize the plot makes little sense.

But even the gaping plot holes can be an opportunity for you to help your kids be more critical readers. This book can help them learn to go beyond merely accepting what the author tells them.

Book Details

  • Author: Willo Davis Roberts
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: July 1, 1998
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 181
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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