Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Seedfolks” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,685 Ratings  ·  1,487 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 January 1st 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Seedfolks, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Caitlin The audiobook is amazing, for anyone looking to be read to.
Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer IacopelliIA by John Darryl WinstonLiving Violet by Jaime ReedRebels by Accident by Patricia DunnPerfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Best Recent Multi-Cultural YA
18th out of 144 books — 172 voters
Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensThe Help by Kathryn StockettAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieThe Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
Books With Multiple Perspectives
84th out of 444 books — 213 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
When I saw the garden for the first time, so green among the dark brick buildings, I thought back to my parents' Persian rug. It showed climbing vines, rivers and waterfalls, grapes, flowers, singing birds, everything a desert dweller might dream of. The garden's green was as soothing to the eye as the deep blue of that rug. I'm aware of color - I manage a fabric store. But the garden's greatest benefit, I feel, was not relief to the eyes, but to make the eyes see our neighbors.

To honor her late
Rob Cannon
Feb 06, 2012 Rob Cannon rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 07, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing
I've been broken hearted by the news over and over again, I'm world-weary, I'm conflicted on my own beliefs, and I have no answers for this world- and I've been in a reading rut, which probably has to do a lot with the suffocating depressiveness of the last few weeks in America.

But this book helped me. Yes, I thought a few of the depictions were problematic, but overall it was charming, heart warming, and I cried my way through most of it. Brilliantly narrated on Audible, it was truly a boon to
Stephanie Hawkins
Jan 15, 2008 Stephanie Hawkins rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 11, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was ok
I like the idea of a book about a community garden that brings people together. However, Fleischman's book which lets his audience "see people making something of themselves instead of waiting for a welfare check" (spoken by Florence on pg. 85) is hugely problematic given that Fleischman is a white guy from California that doesn't seem to be on welfare. I found his depictions of people of color to be essentializing and derogatory, while the character that he admitted to crafting after himself, t ...more
Steve Cran
Dec 07, 2012 Steve Cran rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 13, 2008 Megan rated it really liked it
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
Dec 04, 2015 18andrewk rated it it was ok

Have you ever read a book you didn't like? Well I’m going to tell you why I didn't like Seedfolks. This book is realistic/multicultural fiction. There are people from all across the world in it. I think that something unique about Seedfolks is that each chapter switches from different character's points of view. The author, Paul Fleischman is from Santa Monica and now lives in Aroma. He has a history of gardening and there are some good gardening facts in the book. Seedfolks is about a communit
Tu Nguyen
May 20, 2014 Tu Nguyen rated it liked it
“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.
Blake Medford
Oct 17, 2012 Blake Medford rated it really liked it
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
Feb 07, 2015 Jordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a rundown neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, a young Vietnamese girl becomes a catalyst for authentic, grassroots change. In an attempt to captivate the spirit of the father she never knew, Kim plants lima beans in a vacant lot, amidst the rat nests and broken car parts.

And then the neighbors notice. They do the same, and discover the power of growing, building, and changing something for the better.

Okay, it's a little saccharine. But my students liked it, and I think there needs to be a litt
Nov 09, 2014 Hieu rated it really liked it
Actually not that bad, it was interesting because it talked about food, and I like food, which made it interesting... but I liked the structure of the book with each chapter about one person also.
Larry Bassett
Jun 08, 2016 Larry Bassett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
This is a short but wonderful audible book with so many readers of different heritages and origins who come together in a vacant lot in Cleveland Ohio to create a community and a community garden. My father lives in Michigan where I grew up and he will be 96 in October if he lives until then. About a month ago he fell in his bathroom in his assisted living facility and hurt his head. Just recently he had to move out of independent living into a nursing facility. He is having a hard time. One of ...more
Dec 04, 2015 18taliaa rated it it was ok
Have you ever imagined that thirteen people, from thirteen different cultures, with thirteen different personalities could come together to make a garden? Probably not, but somehow the Seedfolks can do it. Seedfolks, is a realistic fiction book by Paul Fleischman. Realistic fiction books are stories that are not true but they very real and believable. One thing that is unique about this particular book is that each chapter is written from a different character's perspective. At times this was c ...more
Dec 04, 2015 18naomia rated it it was ok
Imagine, An old, smelly, rat infested lot, in Cleveland Ohio sounds like no place for a garden but, then think of it transformed into a community garden. But that is what happens in Seedfolks by Paul Fleischmann. Paul fleischman also wrote Whirlwig and Bull Run. The genre of Seedfolks is realistic fiction and multicultural fiction. Realistic fiction means the book could happen in real life but it didn't happen. Multicultural fiction means that in the book there are many different cultures and l ...more
Dec 04, 2015 18HannahG rated it liked it

A vacant lot, rat infested and filled with garbage, looked like no place for a garden. Seedfolks is a realistic fiction multicultural book. This book has 13 points of view and characters from Korea to Romania. It’s great to see the same situation from 13 different peoples eyes. Paul Fleischman used the real world in his novel and he did it well, that’s no small task!
Can the power of 13 different people make an eyesore a beauty that helps to feed people? Can the dedication of 13 totally differ
Jun 04, 2008 Donalyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Stacey (wanderlustforwords67)
What a great audiobook short story! It's set in inner city Cleveland. A little Vietnamese girl who's father died, clears a spot in the the trash lost across the street from her apartment building, to plant some beans- she wants to connect to her father, who was a farmer in Vietnam. This starts an avalanche of actions that facilitates clearing the lot of garbage, and a community garden is born. The audiobook is great. Each character is played by a different actor. The story reminded me of Humans ...more
Jul 04, 2007 Heather rated it really liked it
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..
Amie Burton
Jan 01, 2016 Amie Burton rated it really liked it
I wanted to check "a book you can read in one day" of my challenge list and this seemed doable- not only that it but perfect to begin a new year! The greatest lesson that I will take never know what planting one little seed with produce.
Linda Robinson
Apr 15, 2012 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Drew Vandervest
May 04, 2016 Drew Vandervest rated it it was amazing
Personal Response:
I really enjoyed this book because the story was laid back the whole time. I didn't have any favorite parts because the book was good all the way through. This book also showed how a community worked together like at the end of the book all of the gardeners were selling their crops. The community also had its down points like when other gardeners would steal tools from each other. I liked how the book was made, because every chapter was a whole different character with unique c
Dec 04, 2015 18ellak rated it really liked it

Plants don't seem like a thing that changes people. Plants are just things that grow out of the ground. You might think that now but once you read Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, you will find out that you are very wrong. Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman is a multicultural realistic fiction book. Seedfolks takes place in a small neighborhood in Cleveland Ohio. There are 13 different narrators in this story and all of them each have their own chapter. All the characters in this story are different in t
Dec 04, 2015 18elil rated it really liked it
Think of a garden. Whatever garden you’re thinking of, this garden isn’t it. It’s the total opposite. At first it is just a home to rodents and homeless people. But will it evolve or stay like that forever? Keep reading to find out! Seedfolks is a multicultural realistic fiction book. Though none of the story has actually happened, it very possibly could. Also, every character is pretty much from a place halfway around the world from each other. This book is written in a way to see what everybo ...more
Dec 04, 2015 18zoew rated it really liked it

A trash full, rat home and disgusting place isn’t really what comes to mind when you think garden. But when a little girl plants a seed, it changed everything for everyone. Seedfolks is a wonderful multicultural fiction book by Paul Fleischman. It tells the story from 13 character’s perspective and gives you a real understanding of community. Multicultural means from different cultures and lifestyles and by the time you finish this book you will know everything about someone you aren’t. This b
Dec 04, 2015 18evas rated it liked it
The people on the block of the old and disgusting vacant lot never really talked or made eye contact. But when a little girl plants some lima beans to make a community garden, people start to realize what community really is. Seedfolks is realistic fiction book told from 13 peoples point of view. 13 people show their life and opinion through the eyes of the author of Seedfolks, Paul Fleischman. Paul Fleischman based this story on real life people, and the lives of people all around us. He did a ...more
Jule Warner
Oct 23, 2014 Jule Warner rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting how, when you were reading the book it wasn't really teaching you a lesson, but it gave you an idea. I really think the author wanted you to see that its easy to start a new generation. He started the idea with the example of a normal neighborhood that wasn't so connected, but then changed after somebody made a step forward. If you want to make a difference, you can, it starts with one single step and one person, and people will start to follow. We ...more
Lois Chen
May 22, 2014 Lois Chen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lois by: Anna Cortesio
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
Maria Camerlingo
Oct 22, 2014 Maria Camerlingo rated it really liked it
This book was a really interesting book. I like how the author wrote this book in a series of vignette's and how he brought the story together and not making it confusing. This book taught me that even though we are different, like our skin color and our race, we are still people, and people work together to build something. I also learned that a little thing can be come a whole lot more than what you think. The little girl in the beginning of this book starts making a garden by planting little ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What do you think of the book Seedfolks? 6 6 Jul 23, 2016 09:21PM  
  • Sahara Special
  • Locomotion
  • Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio
  • The Rainbow People
  • Aleutian Sparrow
  • The Color of My Words
  • Habibi
  • The Van Gogh Cafe
  • White Socks Only
  • The Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild Pets
  • How Angel Peterson Got His Name
  • Tripping Over the Lunch Lady: And Other School Stories
  • The Crane Wife
  • Project Mulberry
  • Heart of a Shepherd
  • The SOS File
  • Rickshaw Girl
  • If You're Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand: Poems About School
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 about Paul Fleischman...

Share This Book

“Television, I'm afraid, has isolated us more than race, class, or ethnicity.” 4 likes
“the ancient Egyptians prescribed walking through a garden as a cure for the mad.” 3 likes
More quotes…