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The Forever Garden

Cover: 'The Forever Garden'

Staff Review: "The Forever Garden" by Laurel Snyder

★★★★★

Have you ever kneeled down in the soil and planted a seed in a garden? When you stood up, were your knees covered in dirt? If so, you’ll fit right in reading about the friendship between a young curious girl named Laurel and her delightful neighbor Honey, who owns the house next door. In some ways Honey is continuously planting seeds throughout her garden, and within Laurel.

Honey is an avid gardener, and no matter the weather, she is outside working. She sings to her kale plants to ensure their growth and shouts with joy when she is able to successfully harvest her vegetables. Laurel doesn’t always understand everything Honey does… but she knows her friend is special. Her garden literally blooms under her gentle and dedicated touch. Sometimes Laurel helps and sometimes she watches Honey work.

The best lesson Honey gives Laurel is when she begins to add strawberry plants to the garden. By working hard to plant a berry she knows she will never eat, she gets Laurel thinking about how the next people who live in the house will benefit from her act of kindness. It all comes to pass when Honey explains how she didn’t plant the grapes growing along the fence. They were there when she moved in and she enjoyed eating them ever since. By planting the strawberries, she too, is adding to the garden… something she hopes will never stop growing.

In many ways Honey is showing Laurel how to work to make a garden grow. How to plant a seed, nurture it, watch it bloom, and enjoy the taste of the harvest! If you think about it, the growth of a garden is similar to how we build relationships with friends and family. In a sense, we are all growing a garden, whether it be lush organic plants or our relationships!

Audience: children | Genre: juvenile fiction

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