Ashley D--'s Reviews > Seedfolks

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
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May 27, 08

bookshelves: shelf-of-disappointment, kids-novels
Recommended to Ashley by: class list
Read in May, 2008

The story is bad enough without being read like it was. The tracks were often edited to speed up the speaking, cutting pauses between words, making some of the readers sound like the computerized voices on my Mac.

I liked how the story was revealed. The book is about a dumping ground that becomes a community garden, and each chapter is told by different people about different events surrounding the evolution of the garden. A character narrating one chapter may appear in someone else's chapter, giving a well rounded account of the community tending the garden.

The problem I had with the story is that the community members tending the garden are slightly dynamic stereotypes. No story is complete without a benevolent white man, and the one in this story is the worst. He actually says "I smile at people. Especially Black people. And the ones from different countries." He brags about getting the poor coloreds to drop their ignorant ways and just get along, and he is seen as a hero by other characters.

One character talks about prejudice and how he used to think that Polish people cooked cabbage a lot until a Polish gardener told him about her time in Auschwitz. The whole book was a bit didactic for my liking, and the lessons within it were made hollow by the empty stereotypes filling each chapter.

My overall impression was that this was a story written by Whitey about an ideal world where poor immigrants are given a purpose in their otherwise unhappy and unproductive lives.
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