In a future where processed food is king and gardening is illegal, three friends secretly study about seeds and growing food. Afraid of being caught by GRIM, siblings Clare and Dante run away one night leaving behind their friend Lily and mentor, Ana.
After Clare and Dante leave, Lily sets out to discover why. Along the way she makes new friends and struggles inwardly when a family secret is revealed. Lily must decide what to do and whom she can trust.
Book 3 – Heirloom Summary & Book info
(scroll down to read an excerpt)
In a futuristic U.S.A. where gardening is illegal, siblings Clare and Dante have escaped to Canada and are living with a host family, enjoying farm life and learning to grow their own food. Attending Garden Guardian class, they meet other refugees and unearth the history of how they lost their choices about food.
Their friend Lily, who was left behind when they escaped, searches for a father she grew up believing was dead, but whom she recently discovered is alive. To succeed in her quest, Lily must elude GRIM, look for the secret Seed Savers symbols, and find the friends who can help in the search.
Heirloom is book 3 in the Seed Saver Series. The first two books are Seed Savers: Treasure, and Seed Savers: Lily.
Clare and Dante
At last, midway through March, the cold fingers of winter were pried loose, and sunny, warmer weather heartened the budding gardeners. By the third cloudless day, the beds were dry enough to start the early plantings: cole crops such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and kale, and other cool weather plants like peas, lettuce, carrots, and the onion starts. With most of the class working, it didn’t take long to plant the seeds. Clare was disappointed she had only gotten to help with a few kinds; she wanted to gain as much experience as possible. Dante, however, managed to run around to all of the beds and peek at the seeds, excited at how large or small or round they were. He charmed the adults, who let him put a few seeds in the soil before he dashed off to the next bed. Clare, meanwhile, stayed put, dutifully poking their onion transplants into the ground.
She inhaled deeply, smelling the rich, moist soil. Until her life in Canada, Clare had never realized soil had a scent. It was intoxicating. One of the teachers told the class it was a scientific fact that fumes from good fresh soil, caused by certain microbes, have an effect like antidepressant pills. That digging in dirt makes you feel energetic and happy. Clare wondered what that meant for a country whose citizenry had been deprived of the opportunity to dig in the dirt.
After everything was planted, the students spent the remainder of the day weeding the perennial beds and the berry patches where the ground had grown lusciously green.
“I feel kind of bad pulling out these weeds knowing that some of them are eatable,” Dante said.
“The word is edible,” Clare corrected.
“Why?” he asked. “I like eatable better.”
Clare smiled. She had no answer.
Pulling weeds was hard work, but for the kids the difficulty came more in the monotony than anything else. Their smaller stature, energy, and flexible joints allowed them to upturn the unwanted plants with relative ease, while the grownups often groaned, standing and stretching, or taking multiple and lengthy breaks.
At the end of the day, though, Clare and Dante were tired—a good, worn-out, physical tiredness. Marissa had suspected they would be and greeted them in a kitchen smelling of freshly baked cookies.
“Cookies!” Dante yelled as he smelled and spied the fresh cookies cooling on the rack.
“Thought you might like some warm cookies with milk,” Marissa said.
He helped himself to the cookies and poured a glass of milk. “I’m never going back,” he said offhandedly as he stuffed a morsel into his mouth.
Clare’s heart skipped a beat. “Of course we’re going back,” she said.
“I know. Mama misses us.”
“That’s right,” she said. She knew there was more to say but decided to let it end there. For now, anyway. He probably hadn’t meant it. It had just sort of slipped out in his admiration and excitement over the milk and cookies. And yet … wasn’t this sometimes when people spoke what they really thought—those careless moments of joy or heartbreak? Clare tucked his sentiment carefully away. She would take it out and look at it later when no one else was around.
List Price: $12.99/$3.99
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Dystopian
Safe in Canada, Clare and Dante attend Garden Guardian classes while living with a host family on an apple farm. In the Guardian classes they learn about gardening and the history of food politics in the United States.
Their friend Lily continues the quest to find her father, a former leader in the Seed Savers movement who was arrested and jailed before she was born. Along her journey she meets a host of interesting characters, and more surprisingly, herself.
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. Although she now lives with her husband and three cats in the city, she still manages to grow fruits and vegetables in their backyard garden.
A licensed ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, Ms. Smith has enjoyed teaching students from around the world.
Ms. Smith is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and an OSU Master Gardener. She gardens and writes at her home in the beautiful and green Pacific Northwest.