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The Story of Seeds: From Mendel's Garden to Your Plate, and How There's More of Less to Eat Around the World
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The Story of Seeds: From Mendel's Garden to Your Plate, and How There's More of Less to Eat Around the World

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  150 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Something as small as a seed can have a worldwide impact. Did you know there are top-secret seed vaults hidden throughout the world? And once a seed disappears, that’s it—it’s gone forever? With the growth of genetically modified foods, the use of many seeds is dwindling—of 80,000 edible plants, only about 150 are being cultivated. With a global cast of men and women, ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  150 ratings  ·  39 reviews


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Start your review of The Story of Seeds: From Mendel's Garden to Your Plate, and How There's More of Less to Eat Around the World
Laurisa Reyes
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the most important books for young readers written in years. Not only was every page compelling and chock full of eye-opening details and information, but The Story of Seeds moved me to action. Every student, parent, and teacher ought to read this book--and then follow Castaldo's call to action. - Laurisa Reyes, Editor-in-Chief of Middle Shelf Magazine
Kimberly Sabatini
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Story Of Seeds was a fascinating and inspirational read, unlocking the past while also giving us a glimpse into the future of our food. This easy to read text was loaded with unsung heroes, easily digestible information, passion, hope and a plan for the future. This should be a staple in all middle school and high school libraries.
Nancy
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found this book a compelling read. In the whole scheme of things, seed banks are probably much more important than "money" banks. My personal opinion is that this book and the science fiction book, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, should go hand in hand.
Brenda
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having read several pre-release reviews of this book, I gladly came across it at the library the other day. What an important little book about seeds in general and the biodiversity that is in our world. The author examines how this diversity has been and continues to be lost, and also profiles a few of the people who are trying to preserve the rapid diminishing of genetic diversity, especially in our food crops. She also gives ideas of how each person can do something to help. No matter what ...more
Tracy
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I am a want to be gardener, I like the idea of growing my own food, but really can grow zuchinni and flowers. This book contains a lot of information about people who are trying to preserve the genetic information that plants have. It does not look favorably on genetic engineering. I am not sure if the author is against the idea of genetic engineering or the fact that the companies who are doing the engineering are exploiting the people who are using the seeds that have been genetically ...more
Mary
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read, and a great introduction to the topic of seeds, crops and global farming practices. It would have been 5 stars for me, but I felt like there should have been more information and examples used in the book, or at least more of an in-depth discussion about the topics highlighted (biopiracy, GMO's, crop diversity, etc.) There were enough snippets of information to be compelling and enough to interest me in looking into the topic more on my own; I just would have liked ...more
Tammy Mannarino
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure how they decided that this book was for "Young Readers" because it was plenty detailed and complex. Perhaps it was the inclusion of many pictures (which are awesome). I learned a great deal from this book about the existence and history of seed banks and people who lost their lives protecting them. I've previously read about the legal issues surrounding GMOs (copyrights and cross pollination) but this goes into some of the international impacts (e.g. Suicide rate of farmers in ...more
Lynne
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
A pleasant excursion into the stories behind the little packages of life we depend on, called seeds. It's a great way to introduce younger readers (or the uninitiated adult reader) to seeds. It includes brief stories about the importance of seeds to humanity, and includes many aspects of developing new varieties of seed, long-term storage in high-tech seed banks, the differences between traditional seed selection and genetically modified seed (GMO), and some of the people who deserve to be known ...more
Suzanne Artis
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
What an informative book! There is a seed crisis across the globe and seed warriors have been stepping up for decades to preserve seeds, some losing their lives to do so. Great explanations of genetic modification and other agricultural terms, while outlining practical ways to become a seed activist. Extremely enlightening and inspiring.
Madeline
Great overview of principles and practices of seed saving/seed banks appropriate for middle grade-adult readers. I'll recommend it to high school gardeners and history buffs, as well as adults looking to learn a bit more.
Iris
May 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting introduction to the topic. I wish it had included more of the science involved. But the book did make me want to go out and buy seeds to plant a garden of my own.
Edward Sullivan
Great information engagingly presented in a compact book appealingly designed and illustrated.
Laura Gardner
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seeds are the building block of life and an essential tool for human survival. The Story of Seeds looks first at the original plant scientists like Mendel, Burbank and Vavilov. Then Castaldo profiles people who are working to protect seed biodiversity and explores the modern seed crisis. From genetic modification to war to climate change, the threats to seeds and our food supply is explored in great depth. Seed vaults around the world exist to protect the future of plant diversity, but during ...more
Carrie
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book full of color photos, but more importantly, colorful accounts of "seed warriors" around the world who are intent on preserving the purity of the world's seed population for the future of our food source. In clear language and careful explanation and definition, Castaldo uses this book as an educational platform for kids -- it's a juvenile nonfiction book -- though certainly relevant and informative for adults. There is a lot of history here, as well as global economics ...more
Linda Owen
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
More about plant diversity and the danger posed to our food crops because of the loss of plants and seeds. There are shout-outs to people all around the world saving and storing seeds, others saving and sharing seeds -- who knew some libraries shared seeds? Resources at the end. Timely and terrifying.
Joan
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I sometimes like the short books better because they are more precise. I feel like I should know some of the stuff on Mendel, but it was cool hearing about a Russian who started such an intensive seed bank during WWII, that people died defending the seed bank. I need to learn more about seed banks, as I saw a movie this year that featured them.
Nadine
Thought provoking book about seeds, combining some history, mystery and science. Mixture narrative / factual. Great resource for MYP / Middle School. Colour illustrations, pop out boxes, contents, index, glossary, timeline, sources, investigate further
SDG 1 - Poverty, SDG 2- Hunger & SDG 15 - Life on Land
Kristyn
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book on the importance of seeds in our worlds biodiversity, economy, social issues, and culture, is perfect for its audience of young readers/young adults. The passages focused on what people around the world are doing to save our vanishing biodiversity were inspiring amidst the troubles their society is facing. It ends with information on what the reader can do to save seeds.
Morgan Bindas
While reading this book I learned so much about seeds. It gave past information but also future information on our foods. This book I would recommend for academic use.
NoahandTockthedog
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Very non-gmo. If you are looking a book that has both sides of the argument, look elsewhere. I did like most of the other information though.
Sue Poduska
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Timely, informative, and very readable
Esther
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating! I need to preserve my mother and grandmother's pickling cucumber seeds!
Marilyn
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Informative nonfiction about the importance of saving seeds for future generations.
Clint
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting book - more about seed banks than about seeds.
Indira
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick read that gives facts and the movement of the seed crisis. I was inspired to help preserve seeds after reading the small book. Great pictures and devastating facts.
Tracie Nicolai
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating call-to-action regarding our agricultural economy and the fate of our world.
Kate
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quite informative from history to what is happening today.
Beth
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the feel of the pages in this book. The layout was interesting and the content was never dry. Highly recommending for my 8th graders!
Dana
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Seeds are important to sustaining our worldwide food supply. This book opens the eyes of the reader.

Castaldo brings to light the importance of seeds to the survival of people on earth. Some devastating facts that she offers should be a call to action for readers – “Some 75 percent of plant genetic diversity has been lost since the 1900’s… Only 150 plant species are being grown for sale of the 12,000 plant species used for human food…Eight grains are traded throughout the world and rice, wheat,
...more
Nancy
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, ya-lit
It's a treat to read your book when it actually is released into the world. By the time a book comes out there has been sufficient time to look at it again with fresh eyes, and usually we authors are writing another.
I hope readers find it engaging, informative, and empowering.
Seed on!
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