After my rave review of last year for Seed Savers: Treasure, the first in the series, you might ask, why did I take so long to read this? The answer was quite simply too many other books getting in the way. After reviewing the two different Monster Hunter books earlier in the summer, I decided it was time to push through those series I wanted to read, and new ones were just going to have to wait.
So on a sunny Sunday in August I sat down for a pleasant afternoon reading in the garden on my new Kindle paperwhite, keeping the guinea pigs company (and an eye on Colman who has discovered how to undo the panels of the run). Lily was the ideal companion.
If you haven’t read the first in the series, you should do so first. There is gentle explanation here of the situation to date, but it is just SO much better to read them in sequence! Lily is missing her friends, and kicking around doing nothing much in her summer vacation except visiting her illegally planted seeds to see how they are faring. She makes a new friend in Rose, and like Lily, I was never sure how much she could be trusted, and whether she was a true friend or not. And then they start being followed by an annoying or incredibly interesting (depending on your point of view) boy aged about fourteen, who turns out to know a lot about growing plants – and eating them too. Very suspicious!
The plot twists like a climbing bean, throws shadows like the shadiest tomato plant and ripens like a true blueberry just when you least expect it! In many ways this second story is a transitional one, taking us through some necessary history and personal developments, on to what might be the denouement – but I’m beginning not to be sure whether all will be revealed in Heirloom, or whether there will be more in the series. This is no cliffhanger – it is a fully rounded story, satisfactory in its plot and characterisation, as well as threat and tension. The world is not only believable, but presages recent concerns over snooping through social media. Ms Smith has taken real-world concerns on limitations of personal freedom and taken them to a wholly logical conclusion.
Rise up, MG readers everywhere, and fight for your right to real food – and the right to grow it in your backyard, or balcony – and to tell your friends about it on the internet! Read the Seed Savers series, and beware!
I think I may have received a free ecopy from the author, but that in no way biased my review.
5 thoughts on “Book Review: Seed Savers – Lily by S Smith”
Great review, Jemima, especially interspersed with the activities of your fur balls. Many schools in the US are rebelling against Mrs. Obama’s directives for healthier food, and I think it’s because it was not introduced gradually but suddenly all the kids had to eat was kale and apples and brown rice. They stopped eating at all, a lot of the food was thrown out, costing the school districts a ton of money. There were conflicts about whether a parent could send lunch to school with their child (that was not allowed in a lot of cases), and the kids who played sports were getting faint from not eating (and they needed even more than the caloric allowance set by the government for lunch. All in all, not a success. I think the schools are using common sense this year and putting some of the banned foods back in, along with the “healthy” stuff.
Great review, and I MUST read this series!
Noelle, I get what you are saying about the school lunches, but cases like that are, I think, the exception. Much more common is what we struggle with here, where our food service tries to provide decent food that complies with regs–and uses the commodities the SAME government gives us for the “poor kids!” Usually white grains and processed cheese food.
More exciting is that most of our schools are now growing gardens. Since this is an area where few people even attempt them, for many kids it’s an all-new thing to see food growing out of the ground! (That was also true for my adult, but inner-city-raised friend who cares for my garden when I’m away.)
Thanks for such a lovely and well-written review. I just returned from the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, California, and there is hope! 🙂
I only read the first one and I really enjoyed it. It’s funny because I felt that Lily was dropped from the first book unexpectedly. I kept thinking that I wanted to know more about her so one day I will have to read the book dedicated to her point of view. This is such a great series – I love the idea behind the book. It’s scary because I feel it’s not that far off from reality. Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop.
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