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Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

Seedfolks (original 1997; edition 2003)

by Paul Fleischman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2721266,200 (4.18)22
One day a girl planted dried lima beans into the empty lot next to her home. After being seen by her neighbors, others began planting in the same lot. Once the lot is cleaned out, it becomes the neighborhood's own garden. Each character has a story, and reason, to plant in that garden; and neighbors who did not know one another, became a community. ( )
  RebeccaMichelet | Apr 28, 2012 |
Showing 1-25 of 126 (next | show all)
I like this book for two reasons. First, I like how it is a story told from many different viewpoints of people from different backgrounds. This makes it almost seem like a bunch of stories in one. At one point a girl named Virgil is telling her story, and then laster you hear a story from an older guy named Amir. There are so many different people and they all have something interesting about them. Second, I like this because of how honest and openly it is written for young adults. The characters openly talk about things like drugs and pregnancy which is refreshing to see in a book for young adults. The main idea of this story is to show how far one act of kindness can go. ( )
  cawalt2 | Apr 18, 2016 |
This is a short children's book, which seems simple at first, but has plenty of complexity in symbolism, cultural history, connections, etc.
( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this book. I feel like some people can view this as being slightly racist at some points, but I don't feel that way at all. I think this book gives an accurate interpretation about how something would happen and different views on that topic. I feel like people are really fast to make things about race when it doesn't need to be that way. I feel like the quote "He was not a black teenage boy. He was Royce," sums up the whole point of the book. We are all people with our own stories, past, and future.
Because people are so quick to make things about race, I find myself constantly having to watch every little thing I say because someone might take it the wrong way. This book definitely made methink about all of these things. I enjoyed that the author used different prespectives even though some poeple might have read it the wrong way. ( )
  glguerra | Nov 1, 2015 |
I didn't really follow this book very well. It had 13 plus of characters and 13 very short stories. ( )
  tkehoe | Oct 29, 2015 |
A short book that is great fun to read aloud, "Seedfolks" shows the reader that community can be found in the strangest places. Read several stories, each from a different perspective, that center around the building of a community garden. Feel along with the narrators as the vacant lot changes from garbage pile to paradise and witness the effect that one garden can have on so many lives. ( )
  cabaty | Oct 29, 2015 |
Very good book that incorporates several different narrators from different races and cultures and surprisingly brings them all together with the goal of a flourishing garden. I enjoyed reading the different perspectives from each narrator. ( )
  ashleypierce | Oct 27, 2015 |
This book was about a group of different cultures that live in an urban neighborhood among each other. One Asian girl started a garden by planting beans, and as others saw, they carried on the act by themselves planting different flowers and foods. The theme in this book is that the garden brought all the different cultures together.They became like a little garden family community. ( )
  kcaffrey | Oct 27, 2015 |
This book was awesome. I love how Paul Fleischman wrote from different character's perspective. The character's love for the neighborhood garden really showed. They were able to come together to get to know each other as people and not just neighbors. One little girl brought many people together by planting six seeds in a vacant lot. This community of diverse cultures cared and loved the garden. They not only grew vegetables, fruits, and flowers, but grew in their differences to get to know one another. They broke stereotypes and rules that had never before been broken all from caring for a garden. The book was not about the garden itself, but how the garden brought people together who otherwise wouldn't have spoken to one another. ( )
  CasieBelaire | Oct 27, 2015 |
I love how Paul Fleischman structured his story, Seedfolks. Every chapter of the book is a specific person telling their own story and how they are apart of the garden. This concept sounds like it was hard to construct, however Fleischman does a great job keeping the linear story going on carrying it with each character. I love the diversity in the story, and it mentions in the book how the garden was set up like the neighborhood. I loved this paragraph in the book, and I believe this is the book in a nut shell. "Many grew plants from their native lands-huge Chinese melons, ginger, cilantro, a green Jamaicans call calaloo, and many more. Pantomime was often required to get over language barriers. Yet we were all subject to the same weather and pests, the same neighborhood, and the same parental emotions towards our plants." ( )
  Sleco | Oct 27, 2015 |
I thought this book was very creative in the way that it was written. I truly enjoyed reading all of the stories and how they intertwined. It was almost like a really nice television show; entertaining. Probably my biggest and pretty much only complaint was the chapter about the Korean woman named Sae Young. It honestly just felt a little racist to me. The way it was written rubbed me the wrong way I guess. ( )
  kesteves | Oct 26, 2015 |
The novel truly shows diversity because even though they are all from Ohio, each character is from a different ethnic group. Each section describes a different character. They turn an empty lot into a community garden. Each person transforms themselves also and grow within themselves. The only one that does not grow is Curtis. He is only concerned about getting his ex-girlfriend back by growing beef steak tomatoes. Virgil and his father were only participating in the community garden to make money. ( )
  hspanier | Oct 25, 2015 |
Told through different voice, this story grows with the garden - told from the first young girl who digs in the hard dirt to plant bean seeds to the last voice, an old black woman, speaking about spring and hope, even as the garden dies. It's a power story, giving hope and warmth to the reader, just like the garden gave to the neighborhood. Published in 1997, it has a timeless quality to it. It could be from 1950 or today. This would be an excellent book for elementary age kids (indeed, the young girl is about that age) or teenagers and college kids, to spark discussion and thought about people and community and what brings people together - and what separates. This story explores race, gender, and culture - the things that divide and the things that bind. The prose is simple, but not dumbed-down, complex enough for adults but easy enough for kids. Absolutely worth reading! ( )
  empress8411 | Oct 25, 2015 |
An easier read, excellent for middle school (and probably even 4th & 5th grade). This novel's structure is made up of short chapters from a different perspective each time (a different member of this community who sees the community garden happening & ultimately either participates in growing or just helping), but their stories entwine so that you can see how a character is doing/progressing even though you never hear their voice again through narration.

If I had a "community building" and "tolerance" bookshelf, this would be on it. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
This wonderful book tells the story of the creation of how neighbors of a variety of backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities, create a garden in the middle of a rundown urban section of Cleveland, Ohio. There are thirteen voices, vignettes, or perspectives of who and how each of the people in the story helped and participated in the creation transformation of a vacant lot which was a garbage dump into a garden that was used to grow food familiar to each of the cultures from which they came. On the surface, these strangers have little or nothing in common, but slowly they all realize they have hope and they care about their neighborhood and the plants that are growing in their newly created garden. At first there is little interaction and little trust, but as the summer progresses, many of the neighbors get to know and appreciate one another.

The initiator of the garden is Kim, a young Vietnamese girl, soon others young and old, from Korea, Haiti, Indian, African American slavery ancestry, and others join in creating this haunting and hopeful patch of land in the mist of a lower-income area of Cleveland. This is a fabulous book for intermediate students to read to help them develop their critical reading and thinking skills. This is a wonderful took to help children understand multiple perspectives and to be able to compare and contrast between the each of the characters in this this story. This would be a wonderful starting point to explore similarities and differences between cultures and to examine poverty and hope. This is a fabulous book that should be part of any school curriculum that is interested in developing problem solving and critical thinking in young children. ( )
  zsvandyk | May 16, 2015 |
Taking place in Cleveland, this book sheds the light that segregation, and prejudices are still revalant. It's amazing how a simple garden can bring the divided community together. Each chapter in Seedfolks is told through the narative of thirteen different people. The reader gets to hear the sturrgles that each character is going through. An activity that can be done is planting a garden at school. This can bring your classroom together just how the garden brought the neighbors together. ( )
  sottallah | May 6, 2015 |
While there are many books that teach great historical lessons, this is definitely one that students can relate to as current. It shows how with a little patience and perseverance a diverse community can pull together and create a garden, something almost magical in that is breaks the great racial divide.

I would use this book in the classroom as a group discussion tool. I would accompany it an assignment to come up with something that the students can do to impact the community that they live in, and if possible help the students fulfill that dream.
  RachelBowers | Apr 30, 2015 |
This book is about different people who are all going through s rough time in their life. They each live near a vacant lot and this lot brings them together. When they all come together, they realize that everyone goes through a hard time. It may seem hard to get over it at the moment, but time heals everything. This goes with the garden that they build together. The vacant lot started out ugly and destroyed and when they all came together they grew a great garden.
This is a great book for a classroom because it teaches children about hardship. Everyone goes through a hard time and only time can heal the pain. ( )
  krausch | Apr 28, 2015 |
Seedfolks is as story told through 13 different people and their perspectives and takes place in Cleveland Heights, a very poor part of town with people of many different cultures. The story begins with Kim, a young oriental girl, who decides to plant lima bean seeds for her father in a nearby lot. Others see her planting these seeds and decide to plant their own. The garden becomes so big that people from all around the neighborhood decided to join in. This garden really brings the community together and helps everyone get to know one another. The settings are different in every chapter, but the constant setting is the garden. This is a story about something as simple as a garden can lift up an entire neighborhood. People who would never speak to each other are now having parties together because of this garden. This story shows the reader that you should never judge someone by their culture and that you can get along with everyone if you try. As an activity, the class could make their own community garden and plant their own seeds. ( )
  EmilyDrennan | Apr 26, 2015 |
I like this book a lot just because the stories are sort of an accurate interpretation on how most of our society function these days. In Seedfolks, many people share this apartment complex, yet no one really interact with each other. Everyone is doing their own thing and sort of to themselves most of the time. Until one day, a little girl name Kim started to plant a seed in the apartment lot. Slowly one by one came out of their shells and participates in the garden that brought them together.I think it is especially true about the communities in New Orleans. Many parts of the city have this kind of separation between them. They do come together when the city has a celebration or festivals such as Mardi Gras, French Quarter Festival, Jazz Festival, Essence Festival, etc... ( )
  tramtran | Apr 21, 2015 |
A community is the product of the people who live within the vicinity of one another. This novella provides an example of how people can come together and share ideas and love of the outdoors. This book will inspire people to visit their neighbors. The added bonus is to listen to the audiobook which uses different actors to portray each chapter. Delightful. ( )
  cablesclasses | Apr 19, 2015 |
This book by Paul Fleischman reveals that light can rise out of the most dim circumstances. He uses the stories of 13 different characters, all of from different racial and ethnic backgrounds to get this moral across. Seedfolks hits home because it embodies a problem still alive today. People often separate and define themselves by race and ethnicity when together something beautiful could exist, much like the garden that bloomed from filth in Seedfolks. ( )
  kitbraddick | Apr 5, 2015 |
Thirteen very different voices and perspectives—old, young, Haitian, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful—tell one amazing story about a garden that transforms a neighborhood.
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  cm37107 | Mar 5, 2015 |
Seedfolks is an interesting novel. This book tells the story of a garden that brings people from all cultures together. While the message of this novel is great, it was not particularly my favorite. I was never totally enticed by this book, resulting in my lack of enthusiasm.

Teaching Ideas: cultures, acceptance ( )
  aehunter | Mar 2, 2015 |
The book reflects the lives of people from different ethnic groups. The book begins with Kim a Vietnamese girl, whose father has died. Kim’s father was a farmer, and she plants a seed in a very dirty place so that the dead father can think of her as a daughter. Kim visits the seed every day, and there is Mrs. Ana, a lady from Romania watching Kim from her window. Mrs. Ana thinks that Kim is planting drugs, but Ana discovers later on that it is not true. Mrs. Ana went to the spot that Kim had dug, and she started to dig, and she found bean roots. Mrs. Ana felt terrible, but she placed the beans back. Gonzalo is from Guatemala, and he takes care of his grandfather that cannot speak Spanish. One day Gonzalo’s grandfather leaves the house without him noticing, and once Gonzalo spots him, he notices that his grandfather is planting produce. Leona is an African American lady, and she goes to city hall to get the trash removed from the garden. Throughout the book many people help the garden grow, and it brings many people together. The book reflects different cultures, the beauty of nature and is well organized; it provides a detailed explanation of the garden. ( )
  memaldonado | Feb 28, 2015 |
Good short chapter book with great themes. Great structure. Moral of the story was inspiring. ( )
  hart0521 | Feb 28, 2015 |
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