View from the Cherry Tree

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
View from the Cherry Tree Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Exciting but flawed murder mystery for tweens.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 22 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Every character in this book is self-centered. Adults don't listen to, or seem to care much about, their own children.


A boy witnesses a gruesome death that may have been a murder. An old woman abuses a boy.


A cat is called S.O.B.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A criminal sells drugs. Smoking, beer drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that all the adults in this story are depicted as insensitive, uncaring, and self-centered. The child is no better, and this is never resolved. Also, the main character, a young boy, sees a woman die by hanging.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byyokoke January 31, 2011
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 dow... Continue reading
Parent of a 2, 5, 6, 9, and 10-year-old Written byjgstanding December 8, 2010

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 i... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old June 3, 2014

Very Well Written

I don't know why everyone is saying this book is not good! I loved it! Sure there is some swearing and other things, but its still a great book. I mean who... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 6, 2014

Amazingly put together

Amazing things and problems happen and its great. I love the fact that it have murder, weddings, and jail. Its put together perfectly. I said its good for 11 yr... Continue reading

What's the story?

Rob likes to hang out in his cherry tree, especially now that his family is obsessed with his sister's wedding. He can get away and hide, but has a good view and can eavesdrop. One of the things he can see is the house of his nasty old neighbor, Mrs. Calloway. He even has a clear view of her when she falls out of her first-floor window and dies hanging from the branch of his tree by the strap of her binoculars.

Rob is sure he saw the hand of a man push her out the window, but no one will believe him -- or even listen to him. But someone is listening. Even when he is shot at and nearly poisoned, no one pays attention. But the murderer is after Rob -- and he has no one to rely on but himself.

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way the family treats Rob. Why aren't they more concerned about him? Why won't anyone listen to him? Why are they so obsessed with the wedding? Also, discussion of the flaws in the plot can sharpen critical reading skills.

Book details

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