Book - 1997
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ALA Best Book for Young Adults ∙ School Library Journal Best Book ∙ Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ IRA/CBC Children's Choice ∙ NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts

A Vietnamese girl plants six lima beans in a Cleveland vacant lot. Looking down on the immigrant-filled neighborhood, a Romanian woman watches suspiciously. A school janitor gets involved, then a Guatemalan family. Then muscle-bound Curtis, trying to win back Lateesha. Pregnant Maricela. Amir from India. A sense of community sprouts and spreads.

Newbery-winning author Paul Fleischman uses thirteen speakers to bring to life a community garden's founding and first year. The book's short length, diverse cast, and suitability for adults as well as children have led it to be used in countless one-book reads in schools and in cities across the country.

Seedfolks has been drawn upon to teach tolerance, read in ESL classes, promoted by urban gardeners, and performed in schools and on stages from South Africa to Broadway.

The book's many tributaries--from the author's immigrant grandfather to his adoption of two brothers from Mexico--are detailed in his forthcoming memoir, No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer's Road to Page One.

"The size of this slim volume belies the profound message of hope it contains." --Christian Science Monitor

And don't miss Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, the Newbery Medal-winning poetry collection!

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c1997.
ISBN: 9780060274719
Branch Call Number: j F FLEISCHM
Characteristics: 69 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Pedersen, Judy


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JCLEmilyD Feb 27, 2017

I love this book! It's about community, diversity, and gardening! Every chapter is from a different point of view all talking about a garden created on a vacant lot and how it impacted them. Wonderful read!

JCLJenP Jan 19, 2017

This book is about the ways a community garden bring the members of a neighborhood together, told by individual neighbors from diverse backgrounds as they observe or garden there.

Aug 31, 2013

If you are a person of color many things in this book might rub you the wrong way. My husband had to read this for his ESL class and he was laughing at how inaccurately his country was described.

The author clearly meant well but betrays his biases through bizarre, unnecessary details. For example: cliched broken English in a thought narrative for an Asian character, a young Black man from Cleveland describing himself as a "jungle beast", not one but two pregnant Latina teens, and a white savior-esque character who voluntarily moves to a poor urban neighborhood to play peacemaker after retiring from the UN. There are some touching moments in the narratives but these issues seriously detracted from my enjoyment of the book.

Aug 03, 2012

A beautiful YA book for all age readers.

Jun 04, 2012

This book was a very enjoyable and quick read. I love to read about the life of each person who participates in this community garden. The garden not only allows people to connect to their own cultural roots but also to others in their community.

mmg2681 Jan 15, 2012

It took me an hour to read, but the book was good. Following the lives of several people in Cleveland and how they come to find a plot of land and start to plant seeds for the community garden. Great book. I enjoyed it!

mare2u Dec 20, 2011

Picked this up since it was about a Cleveland neighborhood. What a delightful surprise, especially since it is written by a Californian. Short book, quick read, really warms your heart.


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Feb 08, 2010

bluetristesse thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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