Brace yourself for a sad start to this book. It's early in the morning one day, and our narrator, Kim, is staring at a picture of her dad. This little nine-year-old has only one wish: to have that photo of her dad look back at her for real.
And why is Kim so immersed in this pic? Well, because yesterday was the anniversary of her dad's death. Yep, like we said, this book starts off with some tears.
While Kim's mom and sister cry out their grief, Kim heads outside with a spoon, some lima beans, and a thermos full of water. Outside it's pretty stinkin' cold, even though it's April. Kim remembers how different this weather in Cleveland is from back in Vietnam, where her family is from.
Despite the cold, this gal is on a mission. She heads to a nearby vacant lot filled with garbage and rats. Um, gross.
But there is one good piece of garbage in this lot: an old refrigerator. Kim figures the fridge will "keep my project safe" (1.5).
Kim digs holes in the ground with her spoon. And all this digging has her thinking about how she doesn't have any memories of her dad. He died eight months before she was born, so she never got to meet him. And he never got to meet her either.
Kim's big hope is that this garden will connect her with her pops. She wants him to look at her beans growing and get to know her. We have to admit, that sounds pretty sweet.
So Kim fills up each of her six holes with a lima bean. Then she waters them. And voilà! The beans are planted, and Kim just hopes that those seeds become some serious bean plants.