Monday, March 21, 2011
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
Seedfolks = Kim, Ana, Wendell, Gonzalo, Leona, Sam, Virgil, Sae Young, Curtis, Nora, Maricela, Amir, Florence……
It’s amazing how one young girl, Kim, from a simple school idea (planting seeds in a cup), brought together so many people in a vacant, dirty, rundown, lot and turned it into a flourishing means of food and an unidentified acceptance of respect.
Through this young girl’s determination to grow a plant, “I vowed that these plants will thrive!” someone else’s determination grew, as well.
- “I laid those beans right back in the ground, as gently as sleeping babies.” – Ana
- “Can’t change myself into a millionaire. But a patch of ground in this trashy lot, I can change that. Can change it big! That little grammar-school girl showed me that.” – Wendell
- “Whole city shuts down but the garden keeps growing and growing.” - Leona
But, as time reeled by, the story of growing a small crop turned into growing a new community…
- “Back then I didn’t know it was you. “ said of Amir. This was said by an Italian lady in the garden. She apologized over and over for thinking Amir cheated her with change at a store.
Common interests were discovered and the once very distant people (from different cultures and different backgrounds and different ideals about life) bonded together.
- “We waved and waved to each other.” – Florence
This story was so unlike any other story I’ve read. I thought it to be clever, and well-thought out, and well-researched (so that the description of the different families was realistic).
Paul Fleischman came up with the idea to write this book as he was sitting down eating and needed to read something to keep him busy…..he found a pre-owned copy of the San Francisco Chronicle talking about an article about a local psychotherapist who used gardening to help his clients. This article coupled with his own mother’s passion for gardening brought together his thoughts for Seedfolks.
“Seedfolks” is an old term for ancestors.