Study Guide

The Giving Tree Summary

By Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree Summary

The story starts with a boy and his BFF, who just happens to be a tree. Every day the boy climbs the tree, eats the tree's apples, and sleeps in the tree's shade, and both the boy and the tree are happy with this arrangement.

But, as the boy ages, his needs change. Each time the boy visits, the tree gives him everything she can, including all her branches and her trunk. Reduced to a stump, the tree doesn't think she has anything left to give when the boy returns once again, this time as an old man. But it turns out a stump is just what the old man needs to sit down and get a little rest. So he does, and the tree is happy.

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