Seeds of latent hope: The figurative entwinement of children, adolescents, and plants in Maja Lunde’s "The Dream of a Tree"




critical plant studies, climate fiction, Maja Lunde, children’s and young adult literature, utopia, dystopia


Drawing on theorizations of climate fiction, previous studies of plants in climate fiction (cli-fi) for young adults, perspectives from critical plant studies, and discussions on the symbolism of seeds and trees, this study traces metaphorical relationships between plants and the child- and adolescent characters in Maja Lunde’s latest climate fiction, The Dream of a Tree (Drømmen om et tre, 2022). The novel is the last volume in Lunde’s “climate quartet”, where she, for the first time in her series, employs a young adult protagonist. The plot revolves around a group of children, stranded on the archipelago of Svalbard that hosts the Global Seed Vault. The study aims to show how the child and adolescent characters in Lunde’s climate fiction are embedded in metaphorical patterns associating them with growth and hope in ways that serve to move Lunde’s climate quartet from a dystopian towards a more utopian resolution.



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Author Biography

Lykke Guanio-Uluru, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Lykke Guanio-Uluru ( is Professor of Literature at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Her research focus is on literature and ethics, with an emphasis on ecocriticism, fantasy, and game studies. She is the author of multiple research articles and the monography Ethics and Form in Fantasy Literature: Tolkien, Rowling, and Meyer (2015, Palgrave Macmillan) and co-editor of Ecocritical Perspectives on Children’s Texts and Cultures: Nordic Dialogues (2018, Palgrave Macmillan) and Plants in Children’s and YA Literature (2022, Routledge).






Plant Tendrils in Children's and Young Adult Literature