GROW by Juanita Havill

GROW

A Novel in Verse
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

With school out and time on her hands, Berneetha, a generous and colorful special-needs educator whose job was just cut, decides to take an unused plot of land and turn it into a community garden. Her enormous and enormously inviting spirit draws people together, including narrator Kate, a 12-year-old who appears to enjoy chocolate cake more than her mother likes, and Harlan, a stray-cat kind of boy. Eventually, the gardeners are told to get off the land, which is slated to be developed into an office tower. Mercifully, the author avoids a heavy, protracted courtroom battle, and the agreeable characters manage to relocate the garden, transplanting the flowers and vegetables—even Berneetha’s deceased cat, buried in the garden by Kate and Harlan, is disinterred and reburied. Kodman’s pencil illustrations add touches of whimsy and charm to the story, and designate it a work for a young audience. Much of the language is prosaic and structurally simple, punctuated by an occasional burst of poetic language. However, it’s a nice read, and it would partner well with Paul Fleischman’s much more challenging Seedfolks (1997). (Fiction/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-56145-441-9
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Peachtree
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2008




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