"My father called them seedfolks, because they were the first of our family there. I think of them when I see any of the people who started the garden on Gibb Street. They're seedfolks too."
Fleischman introduces us to a Cleveland neighborhood and it’s garbage-filled-lot-turned-community-garden by way of his characters; each chapter is named after and told by a different character, what they see and feel, and how their world has changed because of the community garden. It isn’t a perfect story, it is real in that people steal from the garden and some people still throw garbage into the lot, but it is a story of hope—how the neighbors come together as first gardeners and then friends.

My only beef with the book was Fleischman’s inclusion of a chapter, “Maricela,” about a 16 pregnant girl who is praying that her baby miscarry. The word “abortion,” even comes up in this chapter, so reader beware. I am a prude by no stretch, I even think chapters like this one would be good tools for a discussion…but, with older kids…this chapter felt more than a little too old for the book’s intended audience—Amazon lists this book at ages 10-Up, School Library Journal lists it as Grade 4 and Up.  All that said, I LOVED this book.


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