This verse novel for young readers uses rich, evocative language to deliver a powerful story of the extraordinary magic that occurs every day when ordinary people work together.
Everything about Berneetha is big—especially her dreams. And when Berneetha decides to create a community garden on a vacant lot, twelve-year-old Kate Sibley just has to help make that dream a reality. At first the neighbors think Kate and Berneetha are crazy, but slowly a community begins to grow, just as the garden does.
But just as the garden and Kate are both beginning to bloom, a sign goes up: a parking garage will be built on the lot. Can Kate and Berneetha and their friends keep the garden and the dream alive?
Award-winning author Juanita Havill’s story of a community garden in an urban neighborhood is told through the eyes of an impressionable girl in a series of richly detailed prose poems. The result is an affecting, lasting portrait of community life and the power of shared commitment and hope.
“There’s more than just a message here; there’s a real story… With quiet scribbly drawings of the tendrils of snap beans, wild dancing feet, and lacy leaves, the pages depict the power of working as a community.” ―Booklist
“This novel in verse shows how an inner-city community garden brings neighbors together.…the target audience will hear the freshness in Kate’s voice as she delivers a message of hope and resilience.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Well-placed line drawings and an abundance of white space showcase Havill’s fluid verse.” ―School Library Journal
“Penciled illustrations add touches of whimsy and charm to the story…a nice read.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Bright and engaging verse…This book will would work well for both whole-class work or in the hands of a student in need of a boost.” ―Library Media Connection
“Whimsical illustrations, fast-moving narrative, and extensive white space make it a good choice…it drives home the importance of positive personal action in effecting community change.” ―VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
AR Level: 4.8
F&P: S, Gr 4, Genre RF
Themes: Community, Cooperation, Gardening, Friendship
BISAC 1: JUV014000 JUVENILE FICTION / Girls & Women
BISAC 2: JUV039020 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Adolescence
BISAC 3: JUV039060 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Friendship