Ned Hayes Writing

Ned Hayes is a voracious reader (and writer). I wrote the national bestseller THE EAGLE TREE and the historical novel SINFUL FOLK,, illustrated by New York Times bestseller Nikki McClure. Both of these books were nominated for the "Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Award." |

Book Tour: The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes

Reposting this review from Lectus Book Tour




Summary on Goodreads.

Release date: July 5, 2016

Available on:      Amazon     IndieBound     Barnes&Noble

"Fourteen-year-old March Wong knows everything there is to know about trees. They are his passion and his obsession, even after his recent falls—and despite the state’s threat to take him away from his mother if she can’t keep him from getting hurt. But the young autistic boy cannot resist the captivating pull of the Pacific Northwest’s lush forests just outside his back door..." [+ more]

I love books about autistic children so much! This one is about March, a an autistic boy who loves to climb trees. One day he sees a new huge tree, The Eagle Tree, and from there on all he can think of is climbing that tree.

I liked March so much because he was the one telling his story, how he processed thoughts, and how he felt... instead of  a narrator. I Think that there was too much information about trees in the story, though. So someone who really likes trees will be able to relate and like it. I kind of skipped those endless descriptions and information about trees. However, I do recognize that it was important because it was March talking about them, not the author.

I found a new view on autistic children in this book. For example, March would get hurt climbing a tree and he wouldn't feel the pain. In fact, he wouldn't know he was hurt is somebody didn't point it out to him.

Autistic children are peculiar, and just when I thought I had read all about them, The Eagle Tree comes along.

March is a lovely character and I had a lovely time reading this one.

Tour Provided by TLC Book Tours

the eagle tree
the eagle tree

Book Quote: from The Eagle Tree, by Ned Hayes


"The tree's presence is overwhelming. I want to spread my arms and allow the sound that is building in my chest to come out of my mouth in one unending scream of joy."


-- The Eagle Tree


Alice Walker quote


REVIEW - TLC Book Tour - The Eagle Tree ~ Ned Hayes

THE EAGLE TREE: a new novel from Ned Hayes

Date Completed: 5/13/16

Rating: 9/10


A compelling read, this story will captivate and inspire readers to greater goals. The Eagle Tree is one of the first books in a while for me that has captivated my attention and helped me feel alongside the main character.


Enter March Wong. A teen on the autistic spectrum, March eats, breathes, and sleeps knowledge of trees. He has read science book after science book filled with facts and figures about trees and how to identify them. As a coping mechanism and something to lean on, his uncle, Mike, introduces him to climbing trees and March is hooked. He diligently climbs a minimum of three trees per day, sometimes as many thirty trees.


What is truly fascinating about this book, is that Hayes expertly weaves together the study of human behavior with the study of science in a way that feels effortless even to a reader who has very little knowledge of either trees or autistic behavior. I found myself hanging onto every feeling and emotion that March had, hoping and hoping for progress and feeling each set back as if it were my own. The overarching narrative about global warming and climate change also set a precedence for healthy contemplation. What does an environmentalist look like? Who should be expected to change their behavior to halt global warming?


March experiences everything very literally due to his autism. Hayes employs first person so effectively that readers are privy to the way March views everything. There is little or no narrative that doesn’t come from March’s perspective and that proves effective for developing readers’ feelings for our protagonist.


Here’s a sample of March’s thought processes: “I don’t know what a Republican is, or how you can kill education. Education is not a living thing, it is an action that you perform to someone else to give them knowledge. And most of what I learn at ORLA is not knowledge. I have learned all about trees on my own, for example…. They have me do art, even though I am not good at art. And they teach me the history of human beings, for which I cannot see an applicable purpose. I like dates and times to be precise, but the way Mr. Gatek teaches, that appears to be a very small part of human history.” March thinks hard about each metaphor and he does improve upon his judgment about when he should or should not tell somebody that they are factually incorrect.


Instead of painting autism as a tragedy, Hayes paints a more complete picture of what an autistic experience can look like. March has good days and bad days, progress and setbacks. His autism does prove to be challenging for himself and his family, but they work with all the behaviors associated with his autism to allow him to successfully communicate with not only his family, but all the people around him.


The conclusion of this book felt a little confusing and jumbled together. I’m not really sure how it all related or how it wrapped up the story. The narrative seemed a little more fantastical than the rest of the book, which mostly felt very literal and factual. This fantastical element was rather a new introduction and made March’s story feel rather theatrical because it was so dramatic and improbable. I felt through most of the book that the story line was very believable and authentic, but the ending muddled that for me. I guess the only thing I can suggest would be for you to go read it for yourself and see how you feel about it.


Ned Hayes is a scientist and technologist who has written several books. He has a great website and blog here. He has an MFA in creative writing and lives in Olympia, Washington. And I have to say I love the cover of this book, it’s so beautiful and part of what grabbed my attention when they asked me to review it.


I received a copy of this book as a part of TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Here's the original review >>


Here's the TLC Book Tour for the rest of the month >>


And here's where you can get the book! >>


Late night book reading. #Truth #BooksSeduceMe


Book quote:

"I am like a bird buried deep in a dark forest of possibility and finding their way by echolocation."

-- The Eagle Tree, Ned Hayes


Book quote from The Eagle Tree:

"Each tree hears signals from an unseen internal time system... perhaps even from the stars... Then the tree renews its conquest of the air every spring."

-- The Eagle Tree, Ned Hayes


"At forty feet, the sky is entirely black, but now starlight bleeds faintly down into the forest from between rushing gray clouds."   – The Eagle Tree, Ned Hayes


Book Quote:


"The trees that I have not climbed give me a hollow feeling in my throat. It is a tangy, metallic taste, a hunger inside."


-- THE EAGLE TREE, Ned Hayes


Author Events this week -- in Olympia, Washington

I'm excited to announce two upcoming author events, featuring THE EAGLE TREE. Both events are happening this week in Olympia Washington -- where THE EAGLE TREE is set!


The first event is the second monthly Creative Colloquy on MONDAY, May 2 at Traditions in Olympia. Ned Hayes is the featured author, and here's the public Facebook event >>


And second is THE EAGLE TREE Book Release Party at the Olympia Timberland Library on MAY 5 (THURSDAY)!


Here's the public Facebook event >>


DETAILS on these two events follow: 


MAY 2 (MONDAY): Creative Colloquy is a monthly Olympia based reading event every first Monday of the month. Essayists, novelist, short story scribes and poets are all welcome! In May, the featured line up includes: 


Ned Hayes (Sinful Folk, The Eagle Tree)
Andras Jones (Accidental Initiations In the Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia)
Sarah Tavis
Jonah Barrett
and Billie Mazzei

MAY 5 (THURSDAY): Pacific Northwest author Ned Hayes will join us on his first book tour stop for the new novel "The Eagle Tree," the story of an Olympia boy obsessed by climate change, fighting to save an old growth tree. Book includes stories about the LBA Woods, Procession of the Species, ORLA School, United Churches and other Olympia institutions!

I look forward to seeing you in Olympia next week.


Here's where to get THE EAGLE TREE






The first line of my new book for BOOK LAUNCH DAY on Kindle!


"I saw the Eagle Tree for the first time on the third Monday of the month of March, which I guess could be considered auspicious if I believed in magic or superstition or religion..."


-- THE EAGLE TREE, Ned Hayes


The top five books about autism in 2016, according to New York Times bestselling writer Steve Silberman -- includes THE EAGLE TREE !


Steve Silberman Endorsement – The Eagle Tree


“The Eagle Tree is a gorgeously written novel that features one of the most accurate, finely drawn and memorable autistic protagonists in literature. The hero of the book is like a 14-year-old Walt Whitman with autism, seeking communion with the ancient magnificent beings that tower over the landscape around Olympia, Washington. Ned Hayes plays with the conventions of the unreliable narrator so that you end up feeling like March is a very reliable narrator of glorious and terrifying aspects of the world that neurotypicals can’t see. Credible, authentic, powerful. A must-read.”


Steve Silberman, New York Times bestselling author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.


A Book Quote:


"Every morning, I climb the Bigleaf Maple and the Cherry in our backyard. Then I climb the Western Red Cedar next door. I do not stay up in the Cedar very long; I go just high enough to be able to spot the Eagle Tree."


-- THE EAGLE TREE, Ned Hayes

The Purple Prince
The Purple Prince

 RIP the Purple Prince with Bernice Marsh



Earth Day is coming soon!


"The Procession of the Species" is on EARTH DAY 2016 (April 23!) -- and for readers outside of Olympia, the parade featured in the pages of THE EAGLE TREE is a very real experience.


Here are a few pictures from past processions (from the pages of, and you can read more here about this fantastic event:



Follow Ned Hayes - Writer's board Book Quotes - New Novel Sinful Folk on Pinterest.
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