Elena Reads: After reading this review by my friend Udit S., age 12, I have added Seedfolks to my list of books I must read. Here is what Udit wrote:
A recent book that I read showed cultural and racial diversity and how one thing could change the entire community.
I read the book Seedfolks recently and I wanted to share with you just how much the author (Paul Fleischman) packs into a rather short chapter book.
Seedfolks starts out by setting the scene with a little girl named Kim who, in attempt to connect with her father, plants a lima bean seed. Her father worked as a farmer before he passed, but he passed away eight months before Kim was born. Both Kim’s mother and sister have connections and memories with her father, while Kim doesn’t. When Kim plants the lima bean, she commits to taking care of the plants, almost like a child of her own.
This one lima bean inspires person after person to start planting something in the lot. The lot that used to be previously trashed by the city hall and garbage companies in the city. Each person layers scenes from parts of the previous chapter, and what they thought of that scene. The characters also expressed what they thought about the person without speaking to them. As Amir (one of the characters in the book) states, “In America, you treat all as foes, unless they are known as friends.” This quote from the book shows that people assume so much about each other’s personalities.
Paul Fleischman represents multiple cultures through fictional characters, and shows their perspective and their background story. Every character is so similar and related to each other, but so diverse and different at the same time. This is great for people to understand how easy it is to stick a label on someone of whom you do not know. However, the book also shows how you can slowly peel the label off if you stand by a understanding and caring emotions to know how that person would feel. I would highly recommend this book for people looking to understand how others would feel if they find out how others actually are after you get to know them.
Udit S., age 12