Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Paul Fleischman's Seedfolks. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Seedfolks: Plot Summary
Seedfolks: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Seedfolks: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Paul Fleischman
Historical Context of Seedfolks
Other Books Related to Seedfolks
- Full Title: Seedfolks
- When Written: 1996–1997
- Where Written: California
- When Published: 1997
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Young Adult Novel
- Setting: Cleveland, Ohio
- Climax: The neighborhood gathers together for the harvest feast, celebrating their community garden and all they’ve grown there.
- Antagonist: Racism, hopelessness, and language barriers
- Point of View: First Person
Extra Credit for Seedfolks
Beans and Death. Though Kim’s lima beans are symbols of life and hope in Seedfolks, beans—fava beans in particular—have historically been associated with death and the underworld. Various accounts state that the Greek philosopher Pythagoras and other members of his cult refused to eat these beans, as they believed the beans contained the souls of the dead. It’s also possible that Pythagoras died due to a dangerous and relatively common allergy to fava beans.
Citizenship in Cleveland. In 2019, a study by a group that assists immigrants with the naturalization process found that Cleveland, Ohio, the setting of Seedfolks, is the best city in which to become an American citizen. The study ranked things like processing times and the efficiency of the local U.S. Customs and Immigration Services offices. It found that in Cleveland, it takes an average of four months to become a citizen—compared to an average of 10 months nationwide and just over 17 months in Houston, Texas, the city the study found to be the worst.