Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

Published: 1997

Genre: middle grade fiction

Length: 87 pages of story, but my book added an essay about the book by the author to get up to 102 pages

Setting: Cleveland, 1990s

Interest: It was recommended to me by a friend as a good read aloud.

Summary: We follow a series of people in a neighborhood as they develop an abandoned lot into a community garden. Each person talks about their interaction with the garden, and tells a bit more about what’s happening in the garden as the year progresses. The garden was started by a little girl who wanted to plant lima beans to remember her dead father. She was followed by other people, usually immigrants, who wanted to reclaim their heritage and grow something. It started out as a couple of people, digging around the trash of the lot, and became a community of people who worked together to protect the garden and provide resources (both physical and intellectual) to grow the garden.

Final thoughts: This was a great story. It showed the development of a community among a disparate group of people who didn’t normally interact in a positive manner. I especially enjoyed the multitude of voices brought together in this story – there were all ages, from young to old, and many nationalities (black, white, Asian, Latino, Indian, and so on). Reading it, I had to do a lot of voices. However, I didn’t have to remember the voice since each chapter is narrated by a different person, so it wasn’t too bad. There is one chapter that makes this a middle grade and not a children’s book (a narrator is a pregnant teen who doesn’t want her baby and is required to work in the garden as part of a program for pregnant teens). If you skipped that chapter, it is easily read to a younger crowd as well.

Title comes from: It was a word used by one of the narrators. Seedfolks are the first of your family to move into an area. She considered the people who started the garden to be seedfolks.

Reading challenges fulfilled: Again, not long enough to count as a novel toward my reading goals.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

  1. Pingback: Best and Worst of 2016 | Fill Your Bookshelf

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