Caroline Barney began writing The Trebors 4 years ago.
An adventure novel for middle school youngsters, it’s about a race of creatures that established a civilization in an enormous, mysterious tree that was shaken by a powerful storm. As the characters grapple with something larger than themselves, they — and Barney’s readers — learn about the power of community.
When she began, the Westport mother 2 had no idea it would be published in the midst of a pandemic that is teaching those some lessons to children everywhere.
In her previous career, Barney was an advertising professional. When her second daughter was born, she moved into the non-profit and freelance world. But, she says, “I’d been a writer in my heart forever.”
Four years ago, walking in woods with her dog, she saw a tree door. Imagining an entire world outside, she came up with her story.
But she could never have imagined the story that is unfolding now.
Barney says, “we are at the precipice of a changed world. I really believe in the next generation. I think we can all be united. If we frame what is happening today in the right way, we have the power to help kids see there’s hope for a better world.”
The author certainly walks the talk. She’s donating 50% of the proceeds from The Trebors to Save the Children. The organization — now based in Fairfield, but for many years headquartered on Wilton Road — has been part of her life for decades. Her mother worked there.
In college, Barney interned there. While studying abroad, she visited a field office in Cameroon. Recently, she worked for the non-profit as a freelance writer.
The book was published on June 1. Coincidentally, that’s the day Save the Children launched “Read a Story, Change Their Story.” The 100-day campaign aims to curb summer learning loss, while providing support and resources for kids in rural America.
There’s no better story for them to read than The Trebors — a story about changes, in our ever-changing world.
(To order The Trebors, click here.)