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3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,242 Ratings  ·  1,434 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)
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Community Reviews

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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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Oct 22, 2014 Kayleigh rated it really liked it
I think this book is really peaceful and that is just only my opinion. Once you think about it, it becomes an all together book because most of them are in the city. They come from different places all around the world one was from India, Mexico, and German. When it came to Amir it was really weird that he and 2 other people chased after a guy that stole a woman's purse and caught the thief and they didn't even know how to catch someone. And it really sucks for the pregnant 16 year old to go thr ...more
Anna Cortesio
May 06, 2014 Anna Cortesio rated it really liked it
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,
Logan Vaughn
Oct 23, 2014 Logan Vaughn rated it liked it
I think that it's really cool how they were able to raise a garden in Cleveland considering how Cleveland is probably one of the worst places to grow a garden. What makes Paul Fleischman a great author is that he can make every chapter from a different person's perspective and it sounds amazing. Most authors have their own way of writing their books, and this is Paul's. What makes it even better is that almost each character has a different ethnic background. Each character was planting vegetabl ...more
Aug 07, 2014 Hannah12102 rated it did not like it
I really despised this book. I was required to read it for school, and would refrain from reading as much as possible. I thought the problem and solution in this story was weak, and i felt like nothing really exciting happened. The chapters were really short, and i found my self flipping back in the book to refresh my memories of each character.
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What do you think of the book Seedfolks? 1 2 Feb 14, 2016 01:44PM  
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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 about Paul Fleischman...

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“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
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