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Contributor(s): Fleischman, Paul, Pedersen, Judy (Illustrator)

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ISBN: 0064472078     ISBN-13: 9780064472074
Publisher: Harperteen
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: April 1999
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Annotation: A determined young girl plants six bean seeds in a trash-filled lot in Cleveland and something truly magnificent grows. Thirteen different voices come together to tell one amazing story about a vacant lot that transforms a neighborhood. Illustrations.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Gardens; Fiction.
City and town life; Fiction.
Neighborhood; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Lifestyles
- Juvenile Fiction | Lifestyles
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: BL 99004202
Lexile Measure: 710
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.00" H x 4.50" W x 0.50" (0.10 lbs) 69 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 19828
Reading Level: 4.3   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 2.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q10185
Reading Level: 4.9   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 4.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
A vacant lot, rat-infested and filled with garbage, looked like no place for a garden. Especially to a neighborhood of strangers where no one seems to care. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise: To Curtis, who believes he can win back Lateesha's heart with a harvest of tomatoes; to Virgil's dad, who sees a fortune to be made from growing lettuce; and even to Maricela, sixteen and pregnant, wishing she were dead.

Thirteen very different voices -- old, young, Haitian, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful -- tell one amazing story about a garden that transforms a neighborhood.

Chosen as a state and citywide read in communities across the country:
Vermont
Racine, WI
Tampa, FL
Newburgh, NY
Boca Raton, FL


Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997)
Fleischman's innovative short novel tells about an urban garden started by a child and nurtured by people of all ages and ethnic and economic backgrounds. Each of the thirteen chapters is narrated by a different character, allowing the reader to watch as a community develops out of disconnected lives and prior suspicions. Although didactic in purpose, the novel is effective in execution. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1997 #3)
Fleischman's innovative short novel is the story of an urban garden started by a child and nurtured by people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Each of the thirteen chapters is narrated by a different character, allowing the reader to watch as a community develops out of disconnected lives and previous suspicions. Although the total effect of the brief chapters is slightly superficial, some of the individual narratives are moving. The opening chapter about nine-year-old Kim, a Vietnamese immigrant, is a vivid portrait of a child who longs for the approval of her deceased father. The novel is didactic in purpose-folks of all ages, economic backgrounds, and ethnicities put aside their differences to create a beautiful, rich harvest-but effective in execution. m.v.k. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 1997 April #1)
Arraying different voices like threads on a loom, Fleischman (Bull Run) weaves a seamless tale of the advent of a garden in urban Cleveland and how it unites a community. Here Fleischman slips with equal ease into the voices of a nine-year-old Vietnamese girl grieving for the father she never knew; a retired peace activist; a shopkeeper from Delhi; a dedicated British nurse; a 39-year-old Korean widow and crime victim hesitantly rejoining the world; a pregnant Mexican teenager; and seven other equally diverse characters. Fleischman carefully adds texture upon texture, crafting his story with wry humor and lustrous imagery: dead leaves reappear as the winter snows melt away "like a bookmark showing where you'd left off"; beans inadvertently uprooted are laid back in the ground "as gently as sleeping babies." The story's quiet beauty unfurls effortlessly and lingers after the final page has been turned. Ages 10-up. (May) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1998 September)
Gr 4 Up-As a vacant lot is transformed into a community garden, these vignettes give glimpses into the lives of the fledgling gardeners. As satisfying as harvesting produce straight from the vine. (May, 1996) Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1997 December)
Gr 4 Up As a vacant lot is transformed into a community garden, these vignettes give glimpses into the lives of the fledgling gardeners. As satisfying as harvesting produce straight from the vine. (May) Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1997 May)
Gr 4 Up?A vacant lot in Cleveland, OH, is transformed into a garden when residents of the community plant seeds to fulfill personal needs. From the Korean girl who plants lima beans in memory of the father she never knew, to the elderly Guatemalan uncle who can't speak English, to the Haitian cab driver who plants baby lettuce to sell to fancy restaurants, the 13 voices telling their stories are like a packet of variegated seeds that when sown produce a beautiful, multicolored harvest. The device is similar to that of Fleischman's Bull Run (HarperCollins, 1993); one character's words sum up the cumulative effect: "Gardening...has suspense, tragedy, startling developments?a soap opera growing out of the ground." Indeed it does. The vacant lot could be in any city as the message of diversity, people, and sensibility is universal, and beautifully cultivated by an author who has a green thumb with words.?Julie Cummins, New York Public Library
 
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