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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  7,128 ratings  ·  1,278 reviews
Common Ground

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 he
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published April 25th 1997 by HarperTeen (first published January 1st 1997)
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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
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.
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Jul 04, 2007 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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..
Jule Warner
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
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
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
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
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
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
May 21, 2014 Fisiha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Ashanti Mendez
I think this book was really interesting. I really like how the author gave different stories about the garden experience. Everyone was different from elders, to adults, even children. It took me about a couple chapters to get where the setting was, but once I got it I really liked how the author made it. It was about a community that came together to make one big garden. It also seemed like it brought people together, from all different races. All of them had different stories, my favorite stor ...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

I happened to find this book in my school, and it just so happened to fit with the reading level of one of my students, so I began reading it with very few expectations. I finished it over the weekend because I was so pleasantly surprised. Coincidently I’m also reading the Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse in order to prepare myself to teach Siddhartha (I work with grades 5-10). And so here I am, reading a kid’s book and an adult’s book, both in certain regards pointed towards mutual goals of peace
Edgar Juarez
It is a really great book. I like the way how it talks about peoples live and how the garden started.I also like the conflict that happens, like on the part when a guy stole the ladies purse. I thought at that time that he would get away with it. But they ended up catching him. I also like that at the end of every persons life story with the garden, ended up with a happy ending. There may have been a sad moment in a persons life, but it always ended up with a happy ending , which I'm pretty sure ...more
Katie Hernandez
I loved this book it so good! I would recommend this book to my sister actually because she loves book like this.

In this book it first stated about this girl who had seeds. One day this girl Kim I believe planted the seeds. The whole time this Lady watch her go out everyday and change something to the plants somehow. The weird thing was I was cold outside. The girl thought out where this refrigerator would reflect the light on to the plants. There were other people that
the book in my opinion is a really uplifting story about how a small, deserted, rat infested lot becomes a melting pot for people of all ethnicity, color, and personality. I loved how the author took a different writing strategy on the book using different point of views from different people. this book may be a bit slow for some readers but to me it was very interesting and had a really good plot and completely different characters that all needed help in life. the only reason I didn't rate thi ...more
Sep 23, 2013 Rhea rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thoughtful middle school kids
Recommended to Rhea by: school
Read in 6th grade. Taught me a lot of things, such as how communities are formed. Very interesting, very lovely.
It was a very good book, with vivid descriptions. The different perspectives of all the people gave the book something new to it which I really enjoyed. The different emotions the people got when they saw the garden makes you realize, not everybody thinks the same. One of my favorite parts was when Mr. Myles(a man injured by strokes, who was now in a wheelchair)saw the garden. It helped him heal; which was something cool about that story which I greatly enjoyed. All the people in the book had ve ...more
M Delaney
I had to read Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman for school which most of the time can ruin a book for me. I wasn't in love with this book, though i did however enjoy that the book had multiple peoples point of views. I thought that point of views is what made the book easy for me to get through. The book almost seemed in a way like many short stories together which made the book seem like it was going at a faster pace than it was. This was not a book i would probably pick up and enjoy on my own but i ...more
Declan Thiele
*****************************SPOILER ALERT*****************************
Seedfolks is an excellent book. Its short but very interesting. Its theme is all it takes is one person to make a difference. I really like how the garden made everyone go from practically hatting everyone to everyone is a friend. I was very interested in how much effort the character's put in a small lot to make it into a beautiful garden. I rely like the part when a man hires a boy to garden for him and when the boy tells t
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
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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.” 3 likes
“the ancient Egyptians prescribed walking through a garden as a cure for the mad.” 3 likes
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