by Paul Fleischman
Wait a second—Royce? He doesn't get his own chapter, does he?
But we still think he's a pretty big player in Seedfolks. After all, we learn a ton about him from Curtis and Amir.
He's an African-American teenager, and he lives in the garden because he's homeless. At first, lots of the characters in Seedfolks are scared of Royce, but once they get to know him, they discover that he's a seriously sweet guy. They learn all the little details about Royce, like how he loves cats, speaks with a stutter, and has sisters. Over time, Royce becomes Mr. Popular in the community garden.
Yep, Royce is one responsible fellow. In fact, Royce might be one of the most helpful characters in the book. Check out all of his good deeds:
- He protects Curtis's tomatoes.
- He weeds people's gardens.
- You can find Royce watering people's plants—they don't even have to ask!
- He fixes fences and builds brick paths but won't take any credit.
- He helps build a barbeque for the big harvest party.
- He runs after a mugger along with Amir and another dude.
This last good deed is so great that it has Amir saying this about Royce: "He was trusted and liked—and famous, after his exploit with the pitchfork" (12.6). But even with all this attention, Royce isn't trying to be in the spotlight. In fact, he pretends not to have done the good deeds. Helpful and humble? Yes, please.
What do you think about the fact that we don't have a chapter told by Royce? Does this affect your ability to get to know him, or is the info we get enough?