Seed Savers: Lily (Book 2)
Sandra Smith, Author
Flying Books House, Fiction, (2012)
Suitable for Ages: 9 and up
Themes: Futuristic adventure, Gardening, Government, Friendship, Trust, Betrayal
When 13-year-old Lily hears that her best friend, Clare, and her brother, Dante, are missing and presumed runaways, she is confused. Then she learns their mother, Celia, is arrested by the Green Resource Investigation Machine (GRIM) on charges of illegal plant possession — a tomato. It all makes sense now to Lily. They ran to save the future and the present. Lily is left behind and wonders why they didn’t take her with them. But they entrust Lily with the bulk of their precious seed collection, given to them by an older woman, Ana, a seed saver.
The only thing that keeps Lily focused is tending to the banned vegetable seeds she planted in vacant lots scattered all over town before the disappearance. As she rides her bike all over town, she keeps a look out for GRIM. Is she being followed? Lily hides her gardening activities from her mother. She is happy to make friends with Rose, who becomes Lily’s alibi for tending to her illegal plants. She also meets a mysterious teen from California, Arturo, who knows what Lily is doing. Has he been spying on her? Lily doesn’t know who she can trust.
In attempt to find out what happened to her missing friends, Lily sneaks visits to Ana, who has taught her everything she knows about gardening. Not only does Lily learn about a seed saver network that may be protecting Clare and Dante, she unearths a disturbing secret from her own past.
Why I like this book:
Sandra Smith’s futuristic adventure (2077) series for teens is timely, compelling and skillfully crafted. I like the seamless transition from the first book Seed Savers: Treasure to the second book, Lily. From the start, Lily discovers her friends are missing and wonders why she is left behind. In Book 2, readers will learn about Lily and how she will advance the story — her undercover activities, covert meetings with Ana that reveal more about the underground Seed Saver network, new friendships, and family secrets that will make her question everything in her life.
The characters are realistic, courageous, and believable in their efforts to keep the cause alive. I also like the diverse cast of characters. Both Lily (part Japanese) and Arturo (Mexican) are relatable. Rose is curious about gardening, but her odd behavior of disappearing for days is disconcerting for Lily. Ana is the wise mentor that takes great risks to teach the younger generation about the past. They want to support a cause that is important to them and they want to better their world.
This engaging and fast-paced plot is an ideal read for teens who are environmentally conscious and may have concerns about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It also raises some serious questions about the future of the food supply in our country. It is a known fact that large corporations continue to control more of our food supply, put small farms out of business and use more GMO products. Smith says that “the historical political references in her Seed Savers series are factual,” although she’s changed the names of corporations.
Lily 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. Visit Sandra Smith at her website.
Resources: Click here at Flying Books House for discussion questions on the first two books in the series. They are perfect for classroom or book club use. May there be a day when all our food is processed and comes in the form of Proteins, Sweeties, Vitees, Carobs and Snacks? And check out the author’s note at the end of the book.
Sandra Smith is the author of the award-winning Seed Savers series. She has a Master’s degree in Teaching English and spent over twenty years teaching students of all ages English as a Second Language. As a child, Sandra worked on her parents’ berry farm and enjoyed eating from her mother’s tremendously large garden. She maintains that if you can’t taste the soil on a carrot, it’s not fresh enough. Today, she lives in the city with her husband, cats, and backyard hens. She grows a small, urban garden every summer. When she’s not gardening or turning tomatoes into spaghetti sauce, Sandra writes poetry or novels inspired by her garden.
Greg Pattridge hosts 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.
*Review copy provided by author.
****Winner of Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, reviewed April 20 on my website, is Darelene Foster. Congratulations! I can see your address, so I will send you an e-mail and get your mailing address. Candlewick Press will send you the copy. Hope you enjoy the book!
16 thoughts on “Seed Savers: Lily (Book 2) by Sandra Smith”
I’ve not heard of this series but your review has me wanting to give it a go. The characters and story line are unique and I agree teen (and tween) readers would enjoy the premise. The resource link is appreciated as is your feature of this title on MMGM.
The premisis very unique and draws readers into the story from the first book. It will really make teens wonder, could this happen in the future? I think you’d like the series. I was happy to discover the discussion questions for the first two books as they really make readers ponder the subject and the future.
This sounds like a unique series. I don’t see any set in the future that focuses on gardening. Glad you’re enjoying it. I’ll keep my eye out for it.
I haven’t seen this futuristic topic in teen literature. I do think it is timely and something worth exploring. The author note at the end of the book includes interesting facts. I also like the discussion questions for the books.
What a fascinating series! It’s interesting that you mention big companies taking over the food supply, because I actually heard that part of the reason that food has been so slow to get back on the shelves as people panic-buy is that the few big processing plants around the country have had to slow down production. Perhaps if there were more, smaller plants, we would have a better time finding what we need. Thanks for spotlighting such a unique series!
There are many relevant issues to our food supply today. I’ve shared many of your similar concerns about the panic-buying. It’s interesting to observe and not react. So, the premise of this book does make readers think.
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I was totally intrigued by the premise. I love gardening, and the thought of it being controlled or outlawed in the future! Fascinating! Thanks for bringing this unique series to our attention!
The premise is intriguing and timely. It is hard to imagine the government banning people from growing food in gardens and the knowledge of fresh vegetables, fruits and foods lost to many generations of young people. Enjoy your garden. I imagine many more will be more interested in gardening this spring and summer.
Interesting! I’m doing a bit of gardening right now, so this whole seed-thing is definitely something I’d be interested in reading about.
It is a fascinating and worth while series! Enjoy your gardening — a lovely way to be outside.
I love the cover and the concept, Patricia. Sounds like a great book for teens.
It is an interesting concept for a book. Very different dystopian novel for teens. Yes, I love the covers.
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I would not have guessed from that cover that the book is futuristic! It’s an interesting concept, though. I think my kids would like it. I’ll direct them to the first one. Thanks for the recommendation.
You are welcome! I think your kids would enjoy the book. And, there is an excellent discussion guide from the publisher I included in my review.
What an interesting concept for this series. This certainly has important ideas today’s kids should know about. I virtually never read futuristic books, but I might have to make an exception. Thanks for telling me about this.
Rosi, I think of this book as futuristic with realistic issues as the author share at the end of the book. I know I labled the first book as dystopian. But, we are talking 60 years from now. A lot of the story has historical and political facts in it. I was intrigued because I haven’t seen this topic address in children’s lit.