Since long before 12-year-old Erie was born, lockwood trees have been planted to protect towns from terrible wildfires known as the Arborklept. Designed by the inventor Dr. Lunata Elemnieri, the lockwood keeps everything out—the fires, the smoke and the winds. But the lockwood in Erie’s hometown of Prine was the first of its kind. Planted improperly close to the town’s center, this lockwood also keeps out sunlight.
Day in and day out, the whole town of Prine nearly suffocates in darkness, so children who are large enough to climb yet small enough to fit through the vines of the lockwood must cut it back each morning. Erie is one of these children. She spent years learning from her older sister how to safely climb, fall and wield a FOLROY hatchet. It’d be daunting work for anyone, but it’s especially difficult to send children into such dangerous conditions, so the townsfolk only receives a few hours of sunlight each day.
But that’s the way it goes. If you don’t like it, you can endure the long process to get papers permitting a move to the city of Petrichor.
Olivia A. Cole’s middle grade novel puts the reader in the passenger seat alongside Erie as she navigates the challenges of being the youngest child in a family that has long kept secrets while coping with climate tragedies. After making a startling discovery one night in the lockwood, Erie goes on an adventure to uncover all of her world’s mysteries. Where the Lockwood Grows creates a beautiful mix of hope and honesty about impending climate disasters and the drive of younger, wiser generations to imagine a better world for us all.