Seed Folks by Multiple voices,Paul Fleischman

Seed Folks
ISBN 1883332893
  • Author:
    Multiple voices,Paul Fleischman
  • Title:
    Seed Folks
  • Category:
  • Subcategory:
    Short Stories & Anthologies
  • ISBN13:
  • Publisher:
    Audio Bookshelf; Unabridged edition (January 1, 2003)
  • Size PDF version
    1775 kb
  • Size FB2 version
    1303 kb
  • Size EPUB version
    1756 kb
  • Rating:
  • Votes:
  • Other Formats:
    mobi rtf lit doc
City & Town Life; City and town life; Fiction; Gardens; General; Juvenile Fiction; Lifestyles; Neighborhood; Short Stories; Urban

Astonishing book. I am using this with my fourth and fifth-grade Drama/Language Arts/Social Studies classes and they love the book. We used it as a read-aloud book and then discussed each chapter afterward. They are begging us to read more and more of the book aloud to them. The students and teachers love the book. The 13 characters are richly drawn in short monologues that comprise each chapter. The author does not underestimate his young adult audience. He throws a lot at them and expects them to go with him on the journey that is Seedfolks. There is so much in this small and extraordinary book. I can't say enough about it. Themes of community, anti- bias, looking beyond first impressions, the power of nature to heal and nurture...the list goes on and on. I'm thinking about writing the author a note of appreciation I'm so smitten with this book. It's written for young adults but it is a book for everyone. I cannot recommend it highly enough. There is so much in it and if you trust your students, they will take you where the book leads them to go. I've taught for over 20 years and this book is one of the best books for use with work in Drama, Literacy, and Social Justice that I have had the pleasure of teaching in all of my years as a teaching artist.
This book is a masterpiece. Each chapter is a wonderful short story in itself, a study of individual characters and circumstances, and how they relate to the growing garden. The book is so short, yet every page is rich. Seedfolks addresses big issues like poverty, immigration, racism, and community in accessible language. I used it as a read-aloud for my 6th grade class, and students responded to the characters and stories powerfully. We were able to have honest conversations about these big, scary issues, using the book as a launching point. This is one I will keep in my library and go back to read again and again.
No one in the neighborhood thought that a vacant lot that looks like a complete dump could have potential. Then one day a girl plants some beans and they take off. As people watch her, they follow her lead. They also plant seeds on the lot. Soon, there are all sorts of plants being grown. People get together, help each other out, and share their crops, while others are territorial with the plot they call their own. The story is told through multiple points of view of children, teenagers, and adults from all walks of life.
I didn't read it - or rather I did. I bought the book because it had been recommended for children and i thought my grandchildren (in second grade) would love talking about the characters and life. My grandkids are ferocious readers, and love being read to. This book is very good, but it is not a read for them, not even a read to. I liked the book and have it on my shelf to read it with them when they are a bit older.
Light out of Fildon
My grandparents, and my parents, read Aesop's Fables to us, and many many other easy-to-grasp Good Example Tales. THIS book, set in a slum of exhausted people, working doggedly just to survive, provides a new setting for a familiar Universal Truth: Everything you do COUNTS, one way or another. It is short, pocket-sized, simple, and CLEAR: EVERYTHING each of us does, ANYTHING we do, will be seen, and may even be copied. The little girl who clears away a tiny piece of a slum-dump-yard and PLANTS FIVE LIMA BEANS is the original angel for a slowly emerging neighborhood garden. Each little space is silently claimed by an individual who has seen hers, taken note, found some inner Hope, done the Work, and Seized the Day. Each paltry plot is personal, the fruit of Quiet but Persistent Attention - and a HUGE PERSONAL VICTORY over despair. I am giving a copy to each of our extended-family Families for my own 79th Birthday, in remembrance of our shared forebears, and in confidence for our individual lives. Plant and Cultivate your OWN Garden (although I will grow tomatoes rather than LIMA beans -- it's MY garden, after all!)
I loved this book, but after reading the 1 and 2 star reviews, I would say that it is definitely a book that will appeal more to people who are already interested in the ideas of cultural diversity and community gardening.

Some reviewers criticized the book as stereotyping ethnic groups, but I think that's a bit like saying that Huckleberry Finn is racist--maybe the representation of the dialects won't feel 100% accurate to someone who is familiar with the accent being represented, but to get hung up on that would be to miss the entire point of the book, which is that there is more to a person than his or her race.

Other reviewers criticized the fact that some rather tough issues are touched on in a book that's supposed to be for children. To that, I have to say that I am of the strong opinion that kids shouldn't be sheltered from the reality of the world; in fact, the world's cruelty often affects children in spite of our efforts to shield them from it, and to hide one's eyes from that fact only does more harm. Instead, kids should be taught that there is hope in the world in spite of the pain, and I think the book does a good job of conveying that message.
First off, this is an interesting, touching story about a working class community neighborhood coming together and creating a garden for themselves , building a stronger community in the process. If you're just a reader or an adult buying this for a child, that's reason enough to check out this book:)

If you're a teacher, though, this book is especially helpful.I have taught this book in my adult ESL classes two or three times now. It's a really great book for diverse classrooms, as it represents a lot of different cultures (Black, Guatemalan, Korean, Mexican,Vietnamese etc). "Seedfolks"' organization makes it ideal for new readers , also, since each chapter is only a few pages long, but still gives a great portrait of each character. Teachers can incorporate lots of fun outdoor activities with this as well, or just grow seeds indoors, if you are teaching more than one subject and want to tie in science or social studies.