book cover
Imagine that a tiny seed from a yew tree becomes trapped within a cold, dark, and dingy narrow-walled split in a large rock. After several long, quiet months, the small seed opens, and a curious root begins to explore its inhospitable surroundings. But the seedling’s efforts to find sun, soil, and water—the keys to its survival—awaken the large rock. The large rock is furious and gives the little seedling a rude welcome into the world.

“Survive? Survive? Make something of yourself? How dare you have such foolish dreams! Don’t you know what awaits you?”

The little seedling is stunned. How will it survive? Can it withstand the heat of summer and the snows of winter? Will it ever grow to be the tree that nature intended it to be?

Thus unfolds the story of the seedling’s struggle against seemingly overwhelming odds. Children and adults alike will learn timeless life lessons from the little yew tree’s determined effort and spirit.

“A story that effortlessly weaves in lessons for a successful life, and not just for yew trees . . . Every great story has a moral, and here the moral is that the unfair struggle can be the catalyst to the greatness God intends for us all.”
- Dave Ziegler, Ph.D.,
Executive Director,
Jasper Mountain
“Life chooses you, you can’t decide what happens, but you can make it the best you can. There is no reason to give up.”

“This book taught me valuable lessons. It’s understandable.”
- A.L., age 11
“I love this book. In a simple story, it has the power to help children overcome all sorts of hurts. Awesome book. Can't recommend it high enough”
- Bob Welch
"I have read "The Large Rock and the Little Yew" to my own son countless times and wholeheartily agree that it deserves a much wider, global audience. It's a heart warming book about fostering resiliency and purpose in children. Parents in our community should all buy this book to support a great non-profit organization like Jasper Mountain.

Thank you Greg Ahlijan for writing such a fantastic children's book and thank you Randi Bjornstad for writing another great article!!!"
- Kevin P Marks M.D

Order Information

Proceeds from book sales will be donated to Jasper Mountain Center. JMC is a treatment center 
for young emotionally disturbed children. For more information about the facility log onto:

To order books and discussion question pamphlets, please download and complete the order form. To contact the author, please send all correspondence to:

Gregory M. Ahlijian
87134 Kellmore RD.
Eugene, OR 97402
Download Order Form