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ALA Best Book for Young Adults ∙ School Library Journal Best Book ∙ Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ IRA/CBC Children's Choice NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts

A Vietnamese girl plants six lima beans in a Cleveland vacant lot. Looking down on the immigrant-filled neighborhood, a Romanian woman watches suspiciously. A school janitor gets involved, then a Guatemalan family. Then muscle-bound Curtis, trying to win back Lateesha. Pregnant Maricela. Amir from India. A sense of community sprouts and spreads. 

Newbery-winning author Paul Fleischman uses thirteen speakers to bring to life a community garden's founding and first year. The book's short length, diverse cast, and suitability for adults as well as children have led it to be used in countless one-book reads in schools and in cities across the country.

Seedfolks has been drawn upon to teach tolerance, read in ESL classes, promoted by urban gardeners, and performed in schools and on stages from South Africa to Broadway.

The book's many tributaries—from the author's immigrant grandfather to his adoption of two brothers from Mexico—are detailed in his forthcoming memoir, No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer's Road to Page One.

"The size of this slim volume belies the profound message of hope it contains."  —Christian Science Monitor

And don’t miss Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, the Newbery Medal-winning poetry collection!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064472074
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/14/2004
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 11,109
Product dimensions: 6.74(w) x 7.92(h) x 0.32(d)
Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Paul Fleischman's novels, poetry, picture books, and nonfiction are known for innovation and multiple viewpoints. He received the Newbery Medal for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices and a Newbery Honor for Graven Images, and he was a National Book Award finalist for Breakout. His books bridging the page and stage include Bull Run, Seek, and Mind's Eye. For the body of his work, he's been the United States nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award. He lives in California.

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Seedfolks 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 124 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When my English teacher assigned this book for summer reading, I thought okay, this is going to be a boring book. When I saw the cover, my next thought was this is going to be very boring. When I saw the amount of pages, I thought it was not much of a challenge for a soon-to-be-eighth-grader. One of my suspicions was true, and it was not much of a challenge. However, I was wrong about it looking and being boring. It was actually quite entertaining, and some of the individual stories really reached out to me (Maricela's and Curtis' stories really touched me). That just goes to show that you can't judge a book by its cover.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seedfolks is a two thumbs up book for everyone who likes to read and I recommend this book to everyone. It does not matter if you are a kid or an adult you will like this novel. This novel also has a good example of how one person can make a big difference in a whole community. My favorite character in this book was Gonzalo. He came here to the U.S.A and learn English by watching TV just like I did. This is an awesome novel to read and I think everyone should read it, because is a great inspirational novel and you would learn that doing something for your community can make a big difference.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this story. It told us so much about all the characters and how they all had problems. What I didn¿t like was when the story finally got good they started another vignette without even saying what happened to the other character. I liked this story especially for how the neighborhood came together to do something great for their city. I think this story will inspire people to do something good and help clean up their community because the smallest lot can make them look like a dump, even if they are the cleanest people you¿ll ever meet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seedfolks Seedfolks was a great story it was very short and very understandable. I recommend Seedfolks to everyone that likes to make a difference in their community and life¿s. In the story I like how the chapters changed from character to character. There was a character name Kim and she was my favorite character she wanted to make a difference in her community. I relate to this because I really want to make a difference in our community by ending violence. You should all take a chance and read the book Seedfolks it is outstanding!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Seedfolks was a good book because it shows how a small rundown city can turn into a beautiful place. It shows how fifteen people¿s lives get changed by planting and gardening. Also because this book was clear if the author needed to say something he just came out and said it. The other reason was it made you feel like you were one of the characters like you really got into it and that helped me understand it. In this city people learned to stand up for what they believe in, take charge and help each other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i was given this book for summer reading, i thought it was going to be very boring, but it turned out to be very touching and inspiring. NEVER judge a book by it's cover!
Guest More than 1 year ago
SEEDFOLKS I think that this was a very good book because each character explains how important the book was. It also describes lots of things about the garden and about the people in the city related to the garden. It also explains different people planting different things and how they started talking to each other. It also explains about every body back ground. Also it talks about who started the garden, and how it ended. I also think that this book give lot of advice to all the people because it¿s mostly how important the garden is and how people come to earth. My advice to all people that incase your interested you might want to read it but incase you are not you could read different books from Paul Fleischman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book Seedfolks is a good book for all ages it is a four star book. This book is about a trash filled lot and started to change when a girl plants her seeds in it. In time grows in a community garden one by one everyone that knew about it started pitch in to make it bigger and effect on there lives. This book well make you want to grow a garden of your own. You will grow to love this book I recommend this book for all who love to garden.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought Seedfolks, the book, was appealing and thrilling! I liked some the characters with included Maricela, Wendall, Curtis, and Nora. It was kind of amusing how they expressed themselves! It also had worth! I loved reading this book and couldn¿t stop until I completed it!!! I would give this book four (4) stars!!!! I urge Seedfolks for kids twelve and up to maybe fifteen. My favorite character is Maricela. She is a sixteen-year-old, pregnant teen, who gets involved with a program that helps pregnant teens get the GED and take them to their doctor¿s appointments!! Seedfolks wasn¿t that long and it wasn¿t short either!! I think the theme was to get to know people and to work with diverse kinds of people with diverse environment!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Seedfolks is a good story because it talks about 13 different people and how they all join planting a garden and how the neighborhood were they live changed. No one before use to care about making a garden except a young girl started planting seeds so that she can grow some vegetables. So all the people in that neighborhood started planting too and helping around with that garden. I recommend this book for people who like helping around in the neighborhood and that like planting a garden.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Seedfolks is an awesome book for both young readers and adults. It is entertaining and very creative. It¿s about how the neighborhood got together when a young girl started a garden. At first no one communicated with each others. After weeks, months, and years people were already used to helping each others out. At first they weren¿t much commutative but soon they all began talking like if they knew each others since birth. The garden brought them together. For me Seedfolks was a good book. It explained everything so clearly, and it was very entertaining once you adjusted to it. I recommend this book, for anyone who wants to see how little things could turn into big ones!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked seedfolks because it made you think of how there is a lot of how there is a lot of racism or hate between cultures. This book is about many people with different backgrounds and has all different kinds of problems. Then they all start to Plant in this vacant lot. Although there was a something I didn¿t like it was that in each chapter it will cut of on the person¿s life they were talking about. And it will leave u hanging wondering what happened next after the problem was solved. I recommend this book to people that don¿t like to read long chapters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is ok just needs more sparks
ahernandez91 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
13 different people of different race explain their outtake on the community garden in Cleveland started by an Asian girl wanting to be like her father. She plants Lima beans in a vacant, littered lot on Gibbs street.The garden transformed the neighborhood because it was once a neighborhood where no one spoke to one another, but the crops gave the neighbors a reason to talk to each other, knowing that even though they were different, they were still the same and shared common interests. This book is full of inspiration and hope and great for children in grades 4-6. This book can be used as a guide for multiple lessons; such as multiculturalism, love vs hate, having hope when things don't look so great, and many other topics too! I LOVED this and was completely tuned in form the first page, I wanted to keep reading and reading and reading- but it came to unfortunately had to come to an end!
Kcarline143 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A little plants some Lima beans in the middle of a run down lot. Someone notices the little girl doesn't come down for at least 4 days to water it. Someone waters it for her. Soon many neighbors have planted something in the lot. Winter has passed. Everyone has left the garden. Then one night the same little girl is planting Lima beans in the same spot.
aprilcm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This short story provides monologues from 13 different people and their perspective on a local garden. One girl decides to honor her father on the anniversary of his death by planting lima bean seeds in a small plot of land covered in garbage. That one action has a domino effect on the community and eventually people from all over this diverse part of Cleveland to grow vegetables and flowers. Each community member faces different hardships but this garden acts as an agent to bring people together. The dialect of each person is so beautifully portrayed that it feels like you are having a conversation with him/her. I also appreciate that the story identified people in the community that did not participate in the garden and in fact, threw trash in it or stole from it, because it made the story more believable. There are also small head shots at the beginning of every chapter which serve as a nice tool to picture the person telling you his/her story. This would be a great book to introduce the topic of diversity or changing the world one small step at a time.
bsalomon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A little girl starts a garden in her neighborhood to remind herself of her father. When her neighbors see her garden they decide to join and build their garden alongside hers. This garden brings a very diverse community together. This is a great book for children to read to help them understand different cultures. Also, this would be a great book for children to read if interested in gardens.
LainaBourgeois on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this short novel thirteen different people's stories are told, but all have one focus: the vacant lot. The vacant lot ends up being turned into a wonderful community garden where each and everyone of the characters is able to express themselves through cultivating life in the garden. This book is great for teaching point of view or character analysis.
nnicolic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel introduces different races and cultures coming together as a community to plant a garden in a vacant lot - all inspired by the main character, a little girl who planted Lima beans in honor of her father. This book is an easy read for students and has a great diversity of people and shows they people can come together for a greater cause.
ckarmstr1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It all begins with a little girl who plants some seeds in an attempt to make her deceased father proud. Soon, the whole segregated community of Cleveland puts their differences aside for the good of the garden. This book would be great to incorporate in a science class or history class. I would definitely have kids in grades 4-7 read this book.
lekenned on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a garden that brings a community together and makes the people of the neighborhood see each other as people instead of stereotyping one another.
sarahbatte on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tells the story of many different people, whom all work on a garden together. They come together through thier differences.
kclopez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Seedfolks is a series of point of views of people in a community coming together due to a garden. This a great book to introduce different cultures to students.
lmaddux on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
teaching- great for teaching perspectives,teaching too
Calamia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Seedfolks is a book that has many diverse characters. Some are from different areas, some with different beliefs or cultures. Each character in the town tells their story in the book. Every character has different opinions, but they are all brought together because of the garden. The garden brings everyone closer and opens the minds of the characters in the story. The garden brings hope and friendships. Seedfolks is a great book to use for students in middle school. It shows how everyone is different but there is always something that brings everyone together. Also having the students plant their own garden as a class will help them notice how each vegetable or plant is different and brings diversity, but together it is a garden.