The Good Garden

Hardcover Jacket
978-1-55453-488-3 | Sep 1, 2010 List Price:
USD $18.99, CAD $19.99

4-color • 9 x 12 • 32 pages
Grades: 3 To 7 / Ages: 8 to 12

978-1-5253-0406-4 | Apr 7, 2020 List Price:
USD $10.99, CAD $12.99

From the bestselling author of One Hen comes the inspiring story of one struggling farming family in Honduras and their journey to growing enough food to meet their needs. Based on the real story of farm transformation underway in Honduras and many other countries, this book offers children ways they can be part of the movement to grow “good gardens” and foster food security.

Eleven-year-old María Luz and her family live on a small farm. This year their crop is poor, and they may not have enough to eat or to sell for other essentials, such as health care, school uniforms and books.

When María’s father must leave home to find work, she is left in charge of their garden. Then a new teacher comes to María’s school and introduces her to sustainable farming practices that yield good crops. As María begins to use the same methods at home, she too sees improvements, which allow her family to edge their way out of the grip of the greedy “coyotes” — the middlemen who make profits on the backs of poor farmers. Little by little, the farms — and the hopes — of María and her neighbors are transformed as good gardens begin to grow.


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Educational Resources


Habitats and communities
Global awareness
Cultures, Local & Global Community


Guided Reading
Guided Reading Grade Level
Lexile Level



global awareness   Honduras   farm life   sustainable farming   family   health care   crops   gardening   responsibility   rural communities   education   roles and jobs in the community   systems and system models   multiculturalism

Reviews & Awards


“Though the text is not simple, the appealing design will support less able readers.”
Kirkus Reviews, August 2010

“Taken at a literal level, this is a story of how sustainable farming practices can nourish families and the earth simultaneously. On a deeper level, it is about social justice and self-sustaining economies, which make this a book that can span a broader interest level. The stylized colored-pencil artwork is appropriately lush and idealized.”
School Library Journal, October 2010

“More about food security and sustainable farming closes this moving, informative entry in the publisher’s CitizenKid line …”
Booklist, November 2010


2012 Alberta Children’s Choice Rocky Mountain Book Award, Short-listed
2011 Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Winner
2011 Skipping Stones Honor Award, Skipping Stones Magazine, Winner
2011 Best Children’s Books of the Year, Bank Street Children’s Book Committee, Winner
2010 Best Bets Nonfiction, Ontario Library Association, Winner