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.


  1. I wasn't sure what to think about the book at first. But I quickly became engaged in it because the characters were real to me. I just wish we had some closure. :0)

  2. It was interesting to read about how Fleischman came up with the idea for this book. Where were you able to locate that information? Did it also talk about the research he did on the different cultures? I'd be interested to read it. He really did a great job of connecting the characters to each other and it was interesting to note the character development throughout the story. For example, the man with the straw hat who once was afraid to talk for fear of not being understood, now attempted to communicate with another gardener in order to help him with his lettuce plant.

  3. how old is Virgil or any other character????? Need answers ASAP please and Thank you!