Seed Savers – Treasure by Sandra Smith

Seed Savers – Treasure (Book 1)

Sandra Smith, Author

Flying Books House, Fiction, Jun 11, 2018

Suitable for Ages: 9-12

Themes: Futuristic, Saving seeds, Growing gardens, Processed foods, Adventures, Friendship

Opening: “Clare walked faster, clutching the tiny packet to her chest. The sound of the footsteps behind kept pace. She darted down an alley she knew well – turning right, then left, then right again. Standing still her back against the wall, she listened. The footsteps had not followed her; she had lost them.” 

Synopsis: It is 2077.  Twelve-year-old Clare, her seven-year-old brother, Dante and best friend Lily live in a future where all food is processed and comes from stores or delivery trucks. It is round or square and is called Proteins, Sweeties, Vitees, Carbos and Snacks. Blueberry is just a flavor. Growing your own food is against the law.  And the Green Resourcing Investigation Machine (GRIM) is the government agency that bought out farmers and streamlined food production in the U.S. It also acts as a watchdog to stop people who work against them, like Ana.

Clare first hears about seeds at church, from Ana, an elderly woman who tells her about seeds and the old way of growing  food in gardens.  After a few secret meetings, Clare discovers that Ana is a seed saver, who wants to pass on her knowledge to young people. Ana gives Clare a packet of seeds to hide and keep safe. Clare shares her secret with Dante and Lily, and they are curious and excited to learn more about gardening. Soon Ana is tutoring the threesome after school about how seeds grow into plants that produce fruits and vegetables. They learn about the planting, growing and harvesting seasons.  Ana mysteriously disappears and GRIM discovers their forbidden tomato plant and arrest their mother. Clare and Dante flee.

Clare has heard of a place called “The Garden State,” (New Jersey) and with their bikes, a little money, and backpacks, the children begin a lonely cross-country journey that tests them both physically and spiritually. Will they succeed in their quest to find a place of food freedom? They discover an underground network of seed savers who hide and guide them along their journey. But can children make a difference, especially when GRIM is in hot pursuit?

Why I like this book:

Treasure is the first of five books in this dystopian series. It is a thought-provoking book that is  relevant for young people today. It challenges them to think about big issues — like consumers losing their ability to choose the kind of food they want to eat. It isn’t a scary book, but it carries a warning about what might happen if consumers aren’t vigilant. And our youth are the future consumers.

The plot is engaging in this fast-paced adventure. The setting is vividly drawn. The characters are realistic. Clare, Dante and Lily are curious and passionate characters who decide they want to help a cause that is important to them. They have a voice and they want to make a difference in their world, much like many students their age are doing today. It is a great way for teachers and parents to jump-start discussions about what matters to teens today.

Missing is the second book in the seed savers series and is told from Lily’s viewpoint, after Clare and Dante flee.  It is followed by Heirloom, Keeper and Unbroken.

Greg Pattridge is the host for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Check out the link to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.

Book: Purchased

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

21 thoughts on “Seed Savers – Treasure by Sandra Smith

  1. Quite an intriguing plot. Many themes and issues I’m sure are explored. Having just harvested my own started from seed zuchini and tomatoes, the future world in this story is one I hope we never reach. Thanks for introducing this series to all of your readers. I’ll be looking for it.


    • Yes, I agree. I hope we don’t reach this point. But the references to real things that have happened made me squirm. It certainly made me think. It is a series, so it ended with a cliffhanger. Will be interesting to see where this book goes. The main characters are determined to bring change.


  2. The year 2077 isn’t that far away! So it’s a chilling premise. I wonder why the government didn’t insist New Jersey come up with a different slogan since they’re completely against gardening?? Interesting. I can see this prompting all sorts of classroom discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It isn’t that far away. It is both futuristic and realistic, in the things that are already occurring in our food chain. Spoiler — the kids discover New Jersey isn’t the garden state it used to be. Spoiler. Sorry. But with the guide of the seed savers underground they find their way to where they need to be.


    • It isn’t that far away. It is both futuristic and realistic, in the things that are already occurring in our food chain. Spoiler — the kids discover New Jersey isn’t the garden state it used to be. Spoiler. Sorry. But with the guide of the seed savers underground they find their way to where they need to be.


    • That’s what the kids hope for because it’s “the garden state.” They are sadly disappointed. But they manage to find their way with the help of the underground. This is the first book and it ended with a cliffhanger.


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