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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  5,406 ratings  ·  1,092 reviews
A vacant lot, rat-infested and filled with garbage, looked like no place for a garden. Especially to a neighborhood of strangers where no one seems to care. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise: To Curtis, who believes he can win back Lateesha's heart with a ha...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published December 14th 2004 by HarperTeen (first published April 11th 1997)
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Rob Cannon
Some of you might have found that I tend to be a bit stingy with my star ratings. Seedfolks is definitely worthy of 5 stars. It is a very short book that you can read on your lunch break. You are given glimpses of snippets of the lives of many of the inhabitants of a Cleavland town from the perspective of 13 of those people. It all starts with a young Vietnamese girl who decides to surreptitiously plant a very small crop of lima beans in a bare patch of dirt in a "vacant" lot where people have t...more
Azaria Howell
I didn't like this book. We had to read it for school, and I read ahead (sorry!) There was detail, but only in certain areas. The chapters were too short, and they introduced a new character in every chapter, with not much detail about the character. I didn't like the format of the story, and there are hardly any good words in this. The reading level of this is about 5th-6th grade, but I read at a much higher level than this, so it was easy for me to read. I really didn't like this book.
This is the latest read-aloud in my room. In choosing it I knew I would have to edit some material as I read. The characters speak honestly about drugs and pregnancy, which is great, but not altogether appropriate for ten year olds. The story is about the creation of a community garden in Cleveland. Each chapter is told by a different character who has been (or is in the process of being)changed by the garden. The story is told simply and without preaching its message. By caring for living thing...more
Steve Cran
One can never tell just how deeply one simple action can change the world or your community. A young girl named Kim who came from Vietnam lives in an innner city area of Cleveland Ohio. She is mourning the deth of her father at an ancestral altar. He was a farmer before he was killed in a war. To cultivate a connection she plant thre beans in an abandoned lot. THe three seeds gow into plants but whatalso starts a snowball effect of a whole lot of positive. Elderly Ana looks down from her apartme...more
Stephanie Hawkins
Jan 15, 2008 Stephanie Hawkins rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Stephanie by: Janet Kaufman (college professor)
This book is fantastic! Told from the viewpoint of several different community members from various backgrounds, it is the story of a community pulling together to overcome racism, stereotypes, and social injustice. It all begins with a Vietnamese girl who goes to the abandoned lot to plant a bean seed and an elderly white woman who thinks she's hiding drugs and goes down to investigate. When she discovers that the girl was actually planting seeds, she feels so horrible that she starts helping h...more
Tu Nguyen
“Seedfolks” by Paul Fleischman is a short novel about a vacant lot which connected a community. I wouldn’t recommend that story to other readers. The story focused on new characters in separated chapters. The author didn’t repeat the previous characters. There is also no ending about how the community was connected.

First of all, the story has many different characters with different cultures and they all have a separate story with their own reasons to start planting something in the vacant lot....more
When a young girl plants seeds in an abandoned lot in her neighborhood, she plants seeds that bring together her immigrant community. Each chapter tells the story of one neighbor and their experiences in the garden.

This is a great read aloud or engaging novella for a reluctant reader.
Blake Medford
I think that Seedfolks would be a good book to use in a middle grades classroom. It would be an ideal book to use in my own opinion in a class that has multiple mixed races and different languages. The book shows how despite not knowing anything about a particular person you can get to know them. The book starts with no one speaking to each other and all the watchers assuming that the little girl who started the garden was hiding drugs, money or a gun. As the book goes on though the groups of pe...more
Jul 04, 2007 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
This book is such a great read and promotes happiness everywhere! :)
I just re-read this after having read it in college, summer 2003. I was taking a class called (GET READY): Education Theory and Policy, Introduction to Philosophy of Education, taught by Madhu Prakash, this amazingly beautiful Indian woman who always glowed and no one really knew how old she was though she looked so young...she always drank this mysterious beverage which she made from all organic products including wheat berry.....more
Lois Chen
I recommend Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman to middle grades students. It would be an ideal book to use in my own opinion in a class that has multiple mixed races and different languages. Three reasons I like this book are because has interesting characters, How they become together and helped each others.

It all starts with a young Vietnamese girl who decides to surreptitiously plant a very small crop of lima beans in a bare patch of dirt in a vacant lot where people have taken to dumping their tra...more
Anna Cortesio
I recommend Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman to adolescent and adult readers who are interested in a simple yet inspiring story. Three reasons I like this book are because it has interesting characters, important life lessons and an inspiring message. If you read this book, you will see how one nine year old girl’s idea to plant a few lima beans in a vacant lot caused a major change in her neighborhood.

One reason I like the book is because of the many interesting characters. There are young people,...more
May 21, 2014 Fisiha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: For all readers !
Recommended to Fisiha by: Anna Cortesio
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman is a short novel with different chapter or character .I would like to recommend the book for all readers,it contains many important ideas from each chapter.for example it is a good example of making change, it has very interesting and inspiring issue or culture,and the neighborhood's cooperative or unity help to me to like their way of connection.
When you read seedfolks you will see a big change in different way for example change of vacant lot to garden ,change of...more
Namsoo Park
Seedfolks is my fist English book. Although the book is short, it is hard to read to me. When I was reading this book, I needed dictionary. I realized that it is so hard to read in language other than Korean. It’s hard reading, but I think this is good book.

The book has 13 folks which viewpoint on each person. There are 13 people, their lives has been troubled. I think 13 folks would blend well together, such an organization is the best thing what Paul Fleischman did. I could understand 13 peopl...more
Ian Tymms
Short, sharp and thoughtful. As Fleischman notes at the end of this novel (novela?) "Seedfolk" is really a collection of short stories all focussed around a vacant allotment being turned into a garden. Each chapter is the story of a different gardner and whilst the chapters do swist together, each can equally stand alone. Themes of identity and community and a lot to explore were I to use this as a teaching text in Middle School. Some Middle Schoolers will likely find the lack of a dramatic narr...more
Oct 14, 2009 Annette rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Annette by: Denni and Jenny
A very enjoyable and inspirational quick read. I give it 3.5 stars.
Krisanne Stewart
This book is about a junky piece of land in downtown Cleveland that turns into a Community Garden. One little girl plants bean seeds to try and stay close to her dead father, and when she does magic grows. Not magic beans-magic.

Told through 13 different character's eyes, the garden becomes a healing and hopeful place. Throughout the book a nagging teacher/student metaphor/connection whispered in the back of my brain, and I will attempt to bring it to the screen: To write that the classroom is th...more
Dec 12, 2009 Jan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody
I must admit I was attracted to this book by the colorful cover design and interesting title and was so pleased by the audio production of this little book. This is a very short book best listened to as an audiobook or out loud to others. The version I listened to was cast by 13 age and culturally appropriate performers which made it real for me. I still wonder if this garden really exists. The book has been used in the classroom and among theater groups.
A vacant lot of land comes alive when 1 p...more
Darell Jenkins
I really liked the way the story of the neighborhood garden was told; using points of views and opinions from the diverse population of the surrounding Cleveland area. It was interesting to see the many reasons people were drawn to the garden and the effects the garden had on people's perceptions of each other.
An especially telling point came when Amir recalls in his chapter how an older Italian lady had approached him and told him how much she admired his eggplants. Amir doesn't recognize he...more
Adrian Stephens
Seedfolks is a book that describes how people from different backgrounds can come together to make a community garden. The variety of culture within the community allowed the people to see different aspects and allowed them to come together and help each other keep their garden running and to protect it.

So What:
The reason that I enjoyed this book so much is that you can see the change within people and not only that but it displayed how people from different cultures can come together not...more
Ginger Williams
My neighborhood, Edgewater, reads -- a lot -- and that is why we are having "Edgewater Reads" (sponsored by the 48th Ward) as a preliminary to the Grand Opening of the new Edgewater Libary on June 22. (Can't wait!)

Folks sent in nominations for books around the theme of diversity and the two finalists were "Seedfolks" and "The Book of My Lives" by Hemon (an award-winning writer who lives in Edgewater). "Seedfolks" squeaked out a narrow win.

It is suitable for middle schoolers on up and is the stor...more
*Spoiler alert*

This book was well written, but I did not like the plot. It wasn't very exciting, and I felt that it was very repetitive. I had lots of unanswered questions about the story. What happened to Curtis and Lateesha? Did Royce ever go back home? What happened to everyone during the winter? Did the author imply that the garden would be started again, or did the ending mean that only Kim was determined enough to start again? I did like how the ending was like the beginning and the end of...more
Seedfolks was recommended to me by my eleven year old daughter, Bekah. I have three daughters, all of whom love to read. Two of them recommend their favorite books to me. Bekah is the only one who seems to only recommend the books that she not only likes, but that will also appeal to me. Seedfolks certainly fits this bill.

This short, 69-page book was one I savored. The first night I opened it, I read a few chapters, saw how lovely it was going to be and stopped in order to prolong my enjoyment...more
Simple concept. Great book! Each chapter is told from the (first-person) point of view of a different character who participates in the growing of a community garden in the middle of the rough inner-city of Cleveland. As the narratives intertwine, a number of themes develop: racial issues, family pride, aging, language barriers, and the meaning of friendship. Because it is written in the voices of these 13 characters, we get insight into the many different reasons they contribute to the growing...more
Such a short and simple book but it has a powerful message about the strength of community and working together. I loved it. I started reading it and just could not put it down so I read it all in one sitting. At first I questioned the whole 13 narrators thing because, well, how can you possibly write a cohesive story with 13 different voices telling it, each only speaking one time? But, you know what -- Fleischman did just that and it worked really well. A lot of the story lines flowed well fro...more
This is the story of neighbors who get to know one another as they join the effort to grow a garden in a vacant lot--an effort begun by a lonely little girl. Each chapter adds the voice and the unique perspective of a new character in the neighborhood. Chapter by chapter, we get to know them and see how the individuals become a community. There are dozens of ways to approach this little book and hundreds of lessons to learn from it. (point of view, character development, cultural diversity, fami...more
Affrick Gravesande
Seedfolks was an amazing book it reaaly had a story to it.It was written by Paul Fleischman.Seedfolks is a book on how to change your community and make it green.So it can be a more livable city.For it exaple they made a community garden.As the garden grew the community got better and became more livable.More people joined and joined.It became a habbit and every year the people gardened.Now the community is not bad.It use to have crime,violence and drugs.But now it got better.I think this book...more
This book is a gem. It's incredibly short, but that doesn't take anything away from it at all. When one girl, grieving the father she never knew, decides to plant some lima beans in a vacant lot near her home, she inadvertently starts a whole community of gardeners in the middle of Gibb Street in Cleveland. People of all races and ethnicities come together, neighbors become friends, and though all are very different, they're all one thing: growers. The chapters each tell the story of a different...more
Linda Robinson
We don't get to spend much time with the characters in this little charming book, but I feel happy imagining the gardeners through the seasons, the years, getting to know each other more, welcoming new planters, saying good-bye to garden friends who pass on. I hope Maricela teaches her baby about the soil and the birth of serendipitous acquaintance. I imagine Lateesha realizes that a tomato plant can hold her heart. And Kim reminded me that I love lima beans, and I'll plant some this season in o...more
A great book to read just before the blizzard is to cover us up. I needed some inspirational garden reading when everything is quiet and frozen outside.

This book starts with one little girl planting 4 bean seeds in memory of her father. The neighbors notice the garbage filled lot in which she is planting the seeds. It's an inner city lot.

Each small chapter tells the story of a person and how they come to start their own little plot planting. A community garden is born, re-establishing community...more
This is a required text for Grade 7 in my school that I finished in quick order because it's less than 100 pp. and has huge font. It's the type of book you'd never get published unless you already had an "in" with a publisher, I think. Uplifting, it's about how a community garden in the city of Cleveland brings disparate cultures of the city together, causing them to talk to each other, share, advise, and so forth. It walks the didactic line, I'll tell you. It'll be interesting to see how this g...more
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Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California. The son of well-known children's novelist Sid Fleischman, Paul was in the unique position of having his famous father's books read out loud to him by the author as they were being written. This experience continued throughout his childhood.
Paul followed in his father's footsteps as an author of books for young readers, and in 1982 he released...more
More about Paul Fleischman...
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“Television, I'm afraid, has isolated us more than race, class, or ethnicity.” 3 likes
“the ancient Egyptians prescribed walking through a garden as a cure for the mad.” 2 likes
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