The Girl Who Became A Tree

A Story Told In Poems

By Joseph Coelho
Illustrated by Kate Milner

Intense imaginative power combines with brilliant poetic technique in a major new work by one of the leading poets writing for young people.

Daphne is unbearably sad and adrift. She seeks solace both in the security of her local library and the escape her phone screen provides. Trying to make sense of what has happened, she recalls memories of shared times and stories past, and in facing the darkness she finds a way back from the tangle of fear and confusion, to feel connected once more with her friends and family. Joseph Coelho deploys a wide variety of poetic forms with consummate skill in his narration of events, seamlessly but searingly weaving together the ancient legend of Daphne, who was turned into a tree to avoid the attentions of the god Apollo, and a totally modern tale, mixing real life and fantasy, in which a latter-day Daphne seeks her own freedom.








Age 13+

Aug 5, 2020

Pub Date



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Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal 21
Shortlisted for CILLIP Carnegie Medal 21



"Heart-breaking, powerful, totally involving...a tour de force...full of energy and a rich palette of language. Evocative and powerful illustrations from one of our most innovative illustrators."

Tricia Adams - Love Reading

Joseph Coelho


Joseph Coelho, poet and playwright, is a leading figure in performance poetry. His plays have received special note from The Verity Bargate Award and The Bruntwood Playwriting Competition. Joseph has been a guest poet on Radio 4’s Front Row and performed poems for Channel 4 and CBeebies Radio. His debut poetry collection Werewolf Club Rules won the CLPE CLiPPA Poetry Award 2015. Joseph lives in Folkestone, Kent.

Kate Milner


Kate Milner was a librarian before embarking on a new and distinguished career as an illustrator and author. She studied illustration at Central St Martin's, and is an MA in Children's Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin. Her illustrations and prints have been shown in London galleries and national touring exhibitions. She lives in Bedfordshire.


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Teacher's Notes for The Girl Who Became A Tree