While growing up in the rural Midwest during the mid-twentieth century, Jack Blair and his friend Billy Coffin are drawn to a small walled garden behind Billys grandfathers house. Sometimes they open the door to the garden and stare at the covered trellis, imagining they are glimpsing another realm into a secret world. But one day, after they are invited into the garden, Jack and Billy realize that the world behind the door holds something vital to their happinesspeace.
As the boys grow older, they spend most of their time in the woods and orchards behind the garden. After they are inspired and mentored by a local artist, Jack and Billy begin painting the woods and fields while coping with a world that regards anything, especially extra animals, as weak and trivial. But when the artist suddenly dies by a falling limb, the boys are provided with a new and much deeper understanding of their communityand the fragility of life itself.
A World in Yellow Leaf shares the poignant tale of two young budding artists living in rural America as they bond in a secret garden and learn about friendship, community, and themselves.