What is the theme of Paul Fleischman's book "Seedfolks"?
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The overriding theme of "Seedfolks" is the power of the individual to effect good in a society. Related themes include the challenge of community and the healing aspect of working with the land.
The story is centered around an informal urban garden, where individuals go to plant a variety of things for a variety of reasons. The planters include a refugee from war and victims of social isolation and economic downturn, and although at first the characters may seem insignificant, they each have a story to tell and a contribution to make to the garden, and, in a larger sense, the world. Ana, a retired white woman, provides the others with a sense of the history of the neighborhood, while Gonzalo shows how vitally important language is enabling newcomers to become independent and provide for themselves. Sam, a character modeled after the author himself, works to help the planters see the danger in segregating themselves from others according to their differences. In the haven of the little clearing of land, individuals learn to interact with each other, and as the garden grows, a community is formed, with the benefits and challenges that go with it. The characters subtly discover an escape from isolation in the company of others and in redeveloping a closeness to the earth.
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