As An Oak Tree Grows was published in September of this year (2014) by Nancy Paulsen Books (an imprint of Penguin Young Readers).
Below are photos (apologies for them being kind of blurry) of the first three double-paged spreads of As An Oak Tree Grows.
First, we see "a young boy" planting an acorn on a late summer day. See him in the middle of the double-paged spread?
Go back to the page (above) with the little boy in the center. Notice there's nobody there except for the boy and someone on the water, in a canoe. They're obviously meant to be Native. Karas includes a wigwam, so he must know a little about the people he is showing us on this page. But! Karas doesn't say anything about the boy's tribal nation. That omission matters to a Native reader, and it ought to matter to every reader. Without that information, readers are kept ignorant of who Native peoples were/are in terms of our distinct identities as nations. And, the omission obscures the fact that European and Native leaders engaged in diplomatic negotiations (treaties!) about the land and its use.
With the Indians conveniently out of sight and therefore, out of mind, Karas can show us what happens to the tree and the lands around it as time passes. That is the purpose of the book, and I'm certain lot of people are going to love this book, but...
When will we see an end to stories where Indians just go away? We didn't go away.
Update, Sunday October 12, 5:59 PM:
I tweeted a link to this review to Nancy Paulsen, of Nancy Paulsen Books (publisher of As An Oak Tree Grows. Here's a screencapture of our conversation:
Debbie Reese@nancyrosep Good morning, Ms. Paulsen. FYI: my review of AS AN OAK TREE GROWS: [link to my review]
Nancy PaulsenKaras showing changing landscape; not passing judgement abt ills of citification @debreese AS AN OAK TREE GROWS [link to my review]
Debbie ReeseWas there any discussion re boy leaving land for white farms/prosperity? @nancyrosep
Nancy PaulsenThis bk abt revealing changing landscape; maybe for another bk @debreese: ...any discussion re boy leaving land for white farms/prosperity?
Nancy Paulsen& hopefully teachers will discuss terrible cost of "progress" @debreese ...my review of AS AN OAK TREE GROWS: [link to my review].
Update: August 13, 2015
Allie Jane Bruce at Bank Street College Center for Children's Literature shared a discussion she had with students about the book. Take a look: Rewriting History: American Indians, Europeans, and an Oak Tree.