by Paul Fleischman
Narrator Amir definitely has a green thumb. By day, he's the manager for a fabric store. But his favorite after-work activity? Working on his part of the community garden, of course.
Amir—an Indian man who lives with his wife and son—grows a ton of veggies. But the ones that make him really famous are his eggplants. These bad boys become so purple that they stand out among all the other plants in the community garden. And sure enough, these eggplants help Amir make tons of new friends. Everyone wants to learn about the beautiful purple plants, and in turn, Amir gets to learn about his neighbors.
With all this chit chat among new friends, we learn that Amir is super friendly and really wants to look past racial stereotypes. He isn't about to let ridiculous assumptions get in the way of making a new friend. After all, for Amir: "Those conversations tied us together" (12.4). Now that's one welcoming guy.
One last thing: Amir is seriously brave. When a lady gets mugged near the garden, he joins Royce and another dude to chase the thief down. Not only that, but they hold the mugger and wait for the police. He's definitely a good guy to have around town—er, around garden?