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Seedfolks

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Seedfolks does take us to the center of the city, Cleveland, with an impoverished suburb. It is filled with people (mostly immigrants) living in close proximity but barely sharing more than an occasional "hello" (Fleischman & Pedersen, 2004).  They stay in apartments surrounding a free lot that is later converted from a fetid junk yard into a picturesque community garden.

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Kim, a nine-year-old girl from Vietnam, plants six Lima bean seeds in an available  lot in memory of her late father, a farmer. She makes a daily visit to the plant site to observe the progress of the seeds. She planted the beans hoping her late father’s spirit will watch and recognize her as his daughter. Ana, a Romanian old woman sees Kim bury something, quickly concludes that she might be doing something illegal (Fleischman & Pedersen, 2004).  Therefore, Ana decides to dig up the seeds. After discovery of the Lima seeds, she does feel sorry and plants them back.

Wendell (a member of the community) is related by Ana about the seeds planted by Kim. Being informed that these seeds are dying because of the poor timing of the planting, he resolves to examine them as he plants a small garden of his own. The three characters Kim, Ana and Wendell actively take part in planting the Lima bean seeds. They happen to realize the role played by the seeds in one’s life (Fleischman & Pedersen, 2004). Tio Juan and Wendell are farmers. Just like Wendell creates a small garden of his own, Juan locates a snug place in the garden and goes ahead to help others in caring for it. Wendell, as previously seen, also helps Kim during the dry season with the Lima bean seeds.

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The overriding theme of Seedfolks is the power of the individual to effect good in a society.  The theme of a change is brought in by Kim’s daring move to reclaim a small patch of land for a good course. Her determination to do something to connect with her father brings in the difference. Although her mother and sisters honor their dad with incense and candles on every anniversary of his death, it was never enough for Kim. The theme of collaboration makes an impact. We notice that Wendell does help in watering the seeds Kim had planted at Ana’s request (Fleischman & Pedersen, 2004).

The next day, after Wendell checks on the beans, he soon buys a shovel and begins his own garden in the junk yard. Little by little everyone gets in the act. Soon the trash is cleared up, which attracts many people. In the beginning, everyone is territorial but eventually they work as a team. They talk to each other and give tips on how to grow plants. Before the garden brought them together, no one ever communicated to one another and the city was on the verge of breaking up. The other theme in the book is the fact that ‘little things can bring people together’ (Fleischman & Pedersen, 2004). Towards the end, they all meet up in the garden and have an enormous barbeque. They grill their vegetables and make wonderful salads sharing their harvest amongst themselves.

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There are many significant events in the book Seedfolks worth relating to. One of the most striking is Wendell’s problem with the phone ringing. The heart of the matter is that Wendell does not like it when the phone rings, because he always anticipates receiving bad news. Talking about Ana, she used to look out through the window and watch the outside people. I concentrate on Ana’s look through the window because it is always interesting to watch what people are doing. Moreover, Vergil’s story has great significance. Vergil and his dad worked very hard on planting a garden of lettuce. Consequently, they were very disappointed to see their lettuce died (Fleischman & Pedersen, 2004). As a matter of fact, it is easy to relate to the feeling of disappointment of these parties, especially after realizing that their plants cannot survive the harsh weather conditions. 

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