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Shel Silverstein | Source: Getty Images
Source: Shel Silverstein | Source: Getty Images

Read These 24 ‘The Giving Tree’ Quotes to Stir Your Soul

Dayna Remus
Oct 13, 2022
03:20 P.M.
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'The Giving Tree' is a poignantly written book aimed at children, but the moral message behind the pages remains unclear. Read the 24 quotes below to help you decide.

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"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein is a beautifully illustrated and written children's book. Along with its elegant penmanship comes a soul-stirring story with possible lessons on altruism, the concept of sacrifice, and growing up.

Many of these lessons aren't so clear, with adults debating over the meaning of the tear-jerking story. Get your tissues out and read the following 24 quotes to discover the book's meaning to you.

Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy." | Image: AmoDays

Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy." | Image: AmoDays

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Quotes from a Beautiful Friendship

"He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples." — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"And so the boy cut off her branches and carried them away to build his house. And the tree was happy." "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"And the boy loved the tree... very much. And the tree was happy." — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade." — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

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"Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy." — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "And every day, the boy would come, and he would gather her leaves, make them into crowns and play king of the forest." | Image: AmoDays

Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "And every day, the boy would come, and he would gather her leaves, make them into crowns and play king of the forest." | Image: AmoDays

"' Come, boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy.'" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

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"And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples and carried them away. And the tree was happy.” — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"And every day, the boy would come, and he would gather her leaves, make them into crowns and play king of the forest." — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

'"I have no house, the forest is my house, but you may cut off my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy.'" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

Heartsore Quotes about Going Separate Ways

"Cut down my trunk and make a boat, then you can sail away... and be happy." — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

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Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "But time went by. And the boy grew older. And the tree was often alone." | Image: AmoDays

Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "But time went by. And the boy grew older. And the tree was often alone." | Image: AmoDays

"'I am too old and sad to play,' said the boy. 'I want a boat that will take me far from here.'" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

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"And so the boy cut down her trunk and made a boat and sailed away. And the tree was happy…but not really." — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"‘I am too big to climb and play,’ said the boy. ‘I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money. Can you give me some money?'" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"But time went by. And the boy grew older. And the tree was often alone." — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"'I am too busy to climb trees,' said the boy. 'I want a house to keep me warm,' he said. 'I want a wife, and I want children, and so I need a house.'" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

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Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "And so the boy cut down her trunk and made a boat and sailed away. And the tree was happy…but not really." | Image: AmoDays

Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "And so the boy cut down her trunk and made a boat and sailed away. And the tree was happy…but not really." | Image: AmoDays

'"I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money, and you will be happy.'" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

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Soul-Stirring Quotes about Coming Home

"But the boy stayed away for a long time. And when he came back, the tree was so happy she could hardly speak.” — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"'I am sorry, boy, but I have nothing left to give you.'" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"... and she loved a boy very, very much-- even more than she loved herself." — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

'"I am too old and sad to play.'" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

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Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "I have nothing left to give you. My apples are gone… " | Image: AmoDays

Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "I have nothing left to give you. My apples are gone… " | Image: AmoDays

"'Come, boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.' And the boy did." — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

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"'I am sorry,' sighed the tree, 'I wish that I could give you something…. but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump.'" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"'I don't need very much now,' said the boy. 'Just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired.'" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"I have nothing left to give you. My apples are gone…" — "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

 Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "'I am sorry,' sighed the tree, 'I wish that I could give you something…but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump.'" | Image: AmoDays

Quotes from Shel Silverstein’s "Giving Tree”: "'I am sorry,' sighed the tree, 'I wish that I could give you something…but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump.'" | Image: AmoDays

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Whatever opinion one may have on the book, it is worth the buzz, taking home the ALA Notable Book Award, NY Times Oustanding Award, Michigan Young Readers George G. Stone Award, and the Grammy Awards Outstanding Book Award.

The book has not only been met with official praise but also official rebuke, banned in 1988 from a library in Colorado for allegedly being sexist.

To read some more poignant prose, scan through these 46 Morgan Harper Nichols' quotes on grace, self-love, and the beauty of life.

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