A family plants an American elm on the Oklahoma prairie just as the city is taking root—and the little tree grows as Oklahoma City grows until 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, the day America fell silent at the hands of one of its own.

As rubble from the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is cleared, the charred tree—its branches tattered and filled with evidence—faces calls that it be cut down. The only obstacle: a few people who marvel that, like them, it is still there at all.

The next spring when the first new leaf appears proving the tree is alive, word spreads like a prairie wildfire through the city and the world. And the tree, now a beacon of hope and strength, is given a new name: The Survivor Tree.

2018 Comstock Read Aloud Book Award

2018 Oklahoma Book Award, the

Director's Award

2018 Reading the West Book Award Shortlist

“Filled with thoughtful, sensitive paintings of the tree from its beginning through the day of the Oklahoma City bombing and the aftermath up to the present,The Survivor Tree is a tribute to all survivors’ determination not to forget, and to work ceaselessly to never allow such a deliberate act of hatred to happen again..”
—Midwest Book Review


Gaye Sanders

Children's Author

* A portion of every book sale goes to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, where the book is also available for purchase.

Story by Gaye Sanders

Illustrations by Pamela Behrend

The Survivor Tree

Hardcover Picture Book | $20.00 U.S.*

December 2017  |  The RoadRunner Press

Juvenile Historical Fiction

ISBN: 978-1-937054-49-6

The Book

The Survivor Tree