by Paul Fleischman
Quest; Family Drama; Young Adult Literature
In Seedfolks, the characters share a common goal: to grow a community garden. And don't forget that the garden starts out as a trash heap and the characters start out as strangers. So this means they're definitely going to take a journey to make their dream a reality. That puts us in the quest genre. Sure, it's not a typical quest. No one is gallivanting across the globe or slaying dragons. Instead, we've got a personal quest for each character: to interact with the community garden and help it grow. Actually, this means the quest is also a journey for the whole neighborhood: to turn that trash dump into a community paradise.
All this journeying brings up another genre for us: the family drama. You see, while the characters are on their quests to grow the community garden, they're also dealing with their own family lives. And this means we hear about all the ups and downs of the families in Seedfolks. Sometimes the relatives have a pretty conflict-free life, like Amir's family. But many of the folks in this book have tough times with their family members—and we get to hear about it all.
Okay, so this book deals with quests and with families, but what about the audience? Who is this book written for? Well, Paul Fleischman has written tons of young adult novels, and Seedfolks fits right into that genre. This means that Seedfolks is mainly meant to be read by teenagers. And when we take a look at our characters, we see a whole bunch of teenagers who encounter the Gibb Street garden. But even though this book is geared towards young adults, we're thinking adults will dig it, too. In fact, with narrators as young as nine and as old as seventy-eight, this novel has something for every reader, no matter what age.