Tuesday, June 26, 2012


seedfolksSeedfolks by Paul Fleischman has been sitting on my bookshelf for quite a while in my fifth grade classroom, and it wasn't until this summer that I dusted off the pages. What a great little book with a incredibly promising message of hope and community.

It all started with Kim, a young Vietnamese girl living in a rough neighborhood in Cleveland. In an attempt to honor her deceased father, who was a farmer in Vietnam before moving to America, she planted six Lima beans. The catch however, is that her planting ground was in a vacant lot that was filled with the town's garbage.

Each subsequent chapter is told from a different character's point of view. As the story unfolds you are introduced to about 10 different characters, each with their own set of problems, and each finding their way to this planting ground. The community garden is slowly created and ultimately transforms the lives of these folks. 
Ana, who sees Kim digging in the vacant lot, thought she was up to no good. She quickly discovered Kim's secret as she began to clear the soil away and, "she felt like she'd read through her secret diary and had ripped out a page without meaning to." Another character, Wendell, whose life has been filled with despair realizes what he can change..."a patch of ground in this trashy lot." 
Each succinct chapter will take the reader on a wonderfully warm and honest journey that is sure to shoot an arrow of empathy through the heart. I cannot wait to share Seedfolks with my students.

Google Searchin'

Here's an interview with the author Paul Fleischman about his ideas that inspired the story.

Others who have written about Seedfolks

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