An old man seeking renewal, a young girl connecting to a father she never knew, a pregnant teenager dreading motherhood, are just a few of the 13 voices that tell one story of the flowering of a vacant city lot into a neighborhood garden. Old, young, Haitian, Korean, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful--Newbery Medal winner Paul Fleischman ...
An old man seeking renewal, a young girl connecting to a father she never knew, a pregnant teenager dreading motherhood, are just a few of the 13 voices that tell one story of the flowering of a vacant city lot into a neighborhood garden. Old, young, Haitian, Korean, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful--Newbery Medal winner Paul Fleischman weaves characters as diverse as the plants they grow into a multi-layered exploration of how a community is born and nurtured in an urban environment. Illustrations.
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I am an elementary education major and will be taking a children's literature course in the Fall. Seedfolks was one of the only books on the list that I have not read yet AND I'M REALLY GLAD IT WAS! Being appropriate for children from about 4th grade to 6th, it was obviously an easy read. I zipped through it in about an hour...I just couldn't put it down. Fleischman's unique writing style totally makes the book. Each chapter is from another character's point of view, making it captivating when you figure out how all of their stories come together. That's all I'm giving away.
As a child I absolutely hated to read, but I bet I would have loved this one if I got my hands on it. It was truly inspiring. I am very excited about sharing Seedfolks with my future students.
I know you won't understand this if you have not read the book, but I HAVE STARTED A GARDEN OF MY OWN...and I am sure you will want to do the same.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-04-07 Arraying different voices like threads on a loom, Fleischman (Bull Run) weaves a seamless tale of the advent of a garden in urban Cleveland and how it unites a community. Here Fleischman slips with equal ease into the voices of a nine-year-old Vietnamese girl grieving for the father she never knew; a retired peace activist; a shopkeeper from Delhi; a dedicated British nurse; a 39-year-old Korean widow and crime victim hesitantly rejoining the world; a pregnant Mexican teenager; and seven other equally diverse characters. Fleischman carefully adds texture upon texture, crafting his story with wry humor and lustrous imagery: dead leaves reappear as the winter snows melt away "like a bookmark showing where you'd left off"; beans inadvertently uprooted are laid back in the ground "as gently as sleeping babies." The story's quiet beauty unfurls effortlesslyŠand lingers after the final page has been turned. Ages 10-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2003-02-03 Fleischman's talent for writing stories from various points of view makes his works particularly appealing in audiobook form. Here, 13 different characters come alive via the distinct performances of a widely varied cast. When Kim, a young Vietnamese girl, plants some lima beans in a run-down vacant lot near her Cleveland, Ohio, apartment building, she has no idea that her actions will be a catalyst for reinvigorating the community. An elderly Romanian woman, a widower from Kentucky, an African-American boy and a Hispanic man are just a sampling of the other nearby residents who gradually emerge to follow Kim's unintentional lead and begin to help grow a new garden-and newly fulfilled lives-in the lot. Though not all the readings are of equal caliber (the portrayals of Ana and Wendell are particularly strong; a couple of the child performers lack polish), the range of voices and styles suggests a true community-certainly the author's intention. Ages 10-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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