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August 6, 2013 / Rick Swann

American Community Gardening Association

I’m presenting at the American Community Gardening Association Conference in Seattle this weekend, as well as leading one of the tours of our local community gardens. I put together this list of kid’s books that have to do with community gardening. Enjoy!

Top Ten Community Garden Books for Kids

10. The ugly vegetables. Grace Lin.

A little girl thinks her mother’s garden is the ugliest in the neighborhood until she discovers that flowers might look and smell pretty but Chinese vegetable soup smells best of all. Depicts a neighborhood where the neighbors’ gardens blend together and produce is shared.


9. Forgiveness Garden by Lauren Thompson.

Inspired by the original Garden of Forgiveness in Beirut, Lebanon, and the movement that has grown up around it, Lauren Thompson has created a timeless parable for all ages that shows readers a better way to resolve conflicts and emphasizes the importance of moving forward together.


8. Lily’s Victory Garden by Helen L. Wilbur.

Lily gets permission to plant a Victory Garden at the home of the Bishops, who lost a son in the war, and slowly the garden helps Mrs. Bishop overcome her grief.


7. It’s Our Garden: from seeds to harvest in a school garden by George Ancona.

A picture book featuring students, volunteers, teachers, and community members as they harvest a garden on the grounds of an elementary school. On special afternoons and weekends, neighborhood folks gather to help out and savor the bounty.


6. Our School Garden! by Rick Swann.

Michael experiences the school garden through the changing seasons of the year and discovers not only how vegetables grow, but how a community can grow from a garden.


5. Curious garden. Peter Brown.

Liam discovers a hidden garden and with careful tending and by inspiring others, spreads color throughout the gray city.


4. Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.

This is the biographical story of Will Allen, a former basketball star, urban farmer, and MacArthur “genius” for his innovative work at Growing Power in Milwaukee, who is growing a community through food.


3. Garden of Happiness by Erika Tamar.

A littered lot in New York’s Alphabet City is transformed into a lush garden by people of the neighborhood. Young Marisol finds a small patch of her own, where she plants a large, flat seed. As it grows up and up, it surprises everyone and becomes the most special plant.


2. City green. DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan.

Marcy and Miss Rosa start a campaign to clean up an empty lot and turn it into a community garden, inspiring everyone around them.


1. Seedfolks. Paul Fleischman.

One by one, a number of people of varying ages and backgrounds transform a trash-filled inner-city lot into a productive and beautiful garden, and, in doing so, the gardeners are themselves transformed.


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