The Journey of an Acorn by Maplewood resident Corey Wolff has been named by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group as one of the best indie books of 2020.
Wolff’s book is a finalist in the young adult category in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the world’s largest book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors.
According to Wolff, the book is about an acorn that wants to separate from an oak tree. But the tree will not let the acorn go. Rather than nurturing the acorn, the oak tree exploits its vulnerability, using it to satisfy its own needs. Although the acorn eventually breaks free of the tree’s hold, it faces many challenges from the trauma it experienced in early life. Nonetheless, it manages to persevere and to take responsibility for its own growth, helping itself and guiding its own acorns on their journey into the unknown.
Inspired to write the book after reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, Wolff was amazed that such a profound idea about love could be written in such a simple story. This led him to think about featuring an acorn as a main character in order to address complicated issues like mental health and abuse in the family and make them accessible, especially to children.
Wolff says, "So many people are walking around broken from abuse or neglect in their childhood, and this cycle is perpetuated through each generation. It is an epidemic and a serious public health issue."
Asked why someone should read The Journey of an Acorn, Wolff says, "I want my book to begin a dialogue, to have children ask questions about how adults should be treating them, so they can ask for help if they need it. It is difficult for someone outside of the family to know if a child is experiencing emotional abuse. Often, a child doesn’t know that they are being mistreated. He or she may think that is what love is supposed to look like. I want this book to empower children. But I also want adults to reflect on the nature of their relationship with their children.