by Sophia Croll, WVTV Reporter
AURORA – Waubonsie Valley’s Carl Armstrong is a science teacher turned author with his first published book, They Left One Tree.
“The explicit story is the story of the main character, Jack, and he goes through a very difficult three months of his life,” said Armstrong, “and along the way he goes on on an epic journey that that no one has done for centuries. But layered directly underneath that is this idea of where are we going as a species for the next half millennium because the story takes place 500 years from now. What does a future look like 500 years after the climate change that we’ve all been living through and we will all continue to live through?”
Armstrong says he’s received good feedback from his students. “I’ve had a good number of students read it, and they all have liked the story a lot. They’ve all found meaning there, They’ve all enjoyed reading through it. They come to me with questions about it like with some of the the minutia that I put in the story. They’re they’re invested in it and that’s a good feeling because with all writing you put some of yourself into what you’re writing. I’m glad they’re liking it because it shows kind of we teach in the classroom, but it looks at it from a totally different angle, a fictionalized lens.”
In addition, the book’s cover was designed by art teacher Molly Bozarth. The book received honorable mention for the nationwide Prism Prize for Climate Literature. Armstrong is proud of how unique and different the story is.
“It’s a story that no one else is telling. I’ve been reading science fiction my whole life, and I’ve never seen a story like this. There’s nothing out there that I’ve found at least that tells this story.”