Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
- Reading age: 8 to 12
From the best-selling author of One Hen comes the inspiring story of one struggling farming family in Honduras and their journey to growing enough food to meet their needs. Based on the real story of farm transformation underway in Honduras and many other countries, this book offers children ways they can be part of the movement to grow "good gardens" and foster food security.
Eleven-year-old María Luz and her family live on a small farm. This year their crop is poor, and they may not have enough to eat or to sell for other essentials, such as health care, school uniforms and books.
When María's father must leave home to find work, she is left in charge of their garden. Then a new teacher comes to María's school and introduces her to sustainable farming practices that yield good crops. As María begins to use the same methods at home, she too sees improvements, which allow her family to edge their way out of the grip of the greedy “coyotes” --- the middlemen who make profits on the backs of poor farmers. Little by little, the farms --- and the hopes --- of María and her neighbors are transformed as good gardens begin to grow.
About the authors
Katie Smith Milway, a native of Vancouver, B.C., has coordinated community development programs in Africa and Latin America for Food for the Hungry; consulted on village banking in Senegal with World Vision and was a delegate to the 1992 Earth Summit. She has written books and articles on sustainable development and is currently a partner at nonprofit consultancy The Bridgespan Group, based in Boston, Massachusetts.
Sylvie Daigneault has illustrated for clients ranging from the Royal Canadian Mint to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York, as well as many magazines. She is the illustrator of The Good Garden. Sylvie lives in Toronto, Ontario.
- Short-listed, Alberta Children's Choice Rocky Mountain Book Award
- Winner, Skipping Stones Honor Award, Skipping Stones Magazine
- Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
- Winner, Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street Children's Book Committee
- Winner, Best Bets Nonfiction, Ontario Library Association
Though the text is not simple, the appealing design will support less able readers.—Kirkus Reviews
More about food security and sustainable farming closes this moving, informative entry in the publisher's CitizenKid line ...—Booklist
Taken at a literal level, this is a story of how sustainable farming practices can nourish families and the earth simultaneously. On a deeper level, it is about social justice and self-sustaining economies, which make this a book that can span a broader interest level. The stylized colored-pencil artwork is appropriately lush and idealized.—School Library Journal