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It’s 2077. There’s no apocalypse, but some things are different. Things like the weather, the internet, and food. In twelve-year-old Clare’s world, blueberry is just a flavor and apples are found only in fairy tales. One day Clare meets Ana, who teaches her about seeds and real food, despite suspicions that such actions are illegal. When the authorities discover the children’s forbidden tomato plant and arrest their mother, Clare and her brother flee. Clare has heard of a place called "The Garden State," and with their bikes, a little money, and backpacks, the children begin a lonely cross-country journey that tests them both physically and spiritually. Will they succeed in their quest to find a place of food freedom? And can they, only children, help change the world?
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“And now,” Gruff said, “for dessert.” He turned and left the room, a bowl in his hand. The children waited. After a few minutes, they began to worry. They discussed what they should do. Just as Dante stood up to go look for him, Gruff returned. He set the bowl on the table. In the dish were small blue spheres.
“What is this?” Dante asked.
“Clare?” asked Gruff, giving her the same look Ana had when quizzing them on their studies.
She shrugged her shoulders. “I’m guessing it’s fruit,” she said. “Like what Ana told us about. Like Sweeties. Like peaches.”
Gruff smiled. “Indeed. These are berries. Blueberries. They're easier to grow than a lot of fruits because they grow on bushes rather than trees. Try them,” he urged, pushing the bowl forward.
Clare hesitated. “I didn’t know blueberries really existed,” she said. “I’ve heard of blueberry flavored Sweeties, but I never thought they were really, like, you know, from a plant.”
“My sweet girl, don’t you know that all food originates from plants and animals.”
“Animals??!” the children cried.
“Another story,” he said, his hand up. “Forget I said that.” He offered them the berries. “Eat.”
Dante put a berry in his mouth. He curled his tongue around it, and rolled it around before biting down. It was soft, yet explosive, as the skin broke. The taste was pure and sweet. It wasn’t as juicy as the tomato, but the flavor was so like a Sweetie. He laughed.
“Go on,” Gruff insisted of Clare. “Here, do it by the handful—straight into your mouth.”
Clare did as she was told and dumped a small handful into her mouth. As she savored this new and wonderful food, Clare remembered the night she and Dante had gazed up at the star-strewn sky, the feeling of smallness and emptiness of her life, and she delighted now in this new experience.
Praise for Seed Savers
“I haven't been this in love with an individual young adult book since Lois Lowry's The Giver... 221 pages of exciting young adult goodness! I devoured it, and it was delicious." -Anakalian Whims Book Blog
“Here's a great piece of "juvenile" literature that doesn't lose sight of one key fact: kids can think.”- Lit Prof, Amazon Reviewer
“I highly recommend this book for tweens and teens who enjoy reading the dystopian genre and who are looking for a non-violent and thought-provoking story.” - Renee at Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Author S. Smith
S. Smith grew up on a farm with a tremendously large garden. She maintains that if you can’t taste the soil on a carrot, it’s not fresh enough. As an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, Ms. Smith has enjoyed teaching students from around the world. Smith is a member ALLi (The Alliance of Independent Authors) and saves seeds for her local seed bank. She gardens and writes at her home in the beautiful and green Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband, two children, and two cats.
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