Study Guide

Seedfolks Chapter 5

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Chapter 5


  • Our newest narrator, Leona, is an African-American woman with a spitfire grandma. You see, Granny had one main theory: she should drink goldenrod tea with nutmeg everyday and she'd be fit as a fiddle. Even though her docs told her to avoid the tea, Granny figured the doctors were off their rockers. So she drank the tea anyway. And it turns out that this dear old lady lived to be ninety-nine. See what we mean by spitfire?
  • Leona is thinking about her grandma and her goldenrod tea (made from this plant) when she passes by the once-vacant lot on Gibb Street. Now there are three people gardening, and Leona wants to get in on the fun. And what'll she plant? Goldenrod, of course.
  • There's just one problem: the trash. We already know there's oodles of garbage in this vacant lot (remember the bean-saving refrigerator from Chapter 1?). But Leona is the first one to decide to do something about it.
  • Leona is a seriously determined gal. So she spends three days working to get the trash taken care of. Here she goes:
  • Day 1: Make phone calls all day long. Leona calls every city, county, and federal government phone number she can get her hands on. Having two high schoolers has given her plenty of reasons to call and make complaints, so she figures she's pretty seasoned at making phone calls.
  • Day 2: Follow the breadcrumbs. The next day, Leona keeps making phone calls. When the first organization says to call someone else, she does it. This lady isn't cutting any corners.
  • Day 3: Show up in person. With trash. Seriously. After two days of nonstop phone calls, Leona goes down to the Public Health Department herself and brings a bag of trash from the vacant lot with her. Once she has that bag open in the lobby, no one can ignore her any more.

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