Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Review: Treasure (Seed Savers Bk1) and Trailer by S. Smith

Treasure (Seed Savers Book 1)
By S. Smith
Publisher: Smashwords
Published: Nov. 19, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:
Age Level: 9 - 12
Green Book Festival 2013 Winner - YA Category 

UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner 

Two kids, two bikes, and an idea they can change their world. 

It's 2077. There's no apocalypse, but some things are different. Things like the weather, the internet, and food. In twelve-year-old Clare's world, blueberry is just a flavor and apples are found only in fairy tales. 

Then one day Clare meets an old woman who teaches her about seeds and real food. The woman (Ana) tempts Clare with the notion that food exists other than the square, processed, packaged food she has always known. Under Ana's tutelage, Clare and her friends learn about seeds and gardening despite suspicions that such actions are illegal. 

When the authorities discover the children's forbidden tomato plant and arrest their mother, Clare and her brother flee. Clare has heard of a place called "The Garden State," 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? And can they, only children, help change the world? 

Treasure is a gentle dystopian, frightening only is the possibility that we may not be far from the future it paints.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

In today’s worries over climate change and genetically modified foods, this book is very appropriate. Set in the near future, all home gardening is classified as illegal and food seems to come in some kind of pill form or chewable tablet at least. Everything edible is known as a sweetie, snack, protein or veggie and they are all square or round. Children think all food originates in the store.

When Clare, her brother Dante and their friend Lila meet an old lady named Ana who becomes their tutor and teaches them about seeds and gardening, a whole new world opens up to them. But when Clare’s mother is arrested for an illegal tomato plant found in their home, Dante and Clare take off in hopes of finding a place where growing food is not illegal.

Fleeing north towards Canada tests them mentally, physically and spiritually. With only their backpacks, a few provisions and their wits, they need to be especially careful of who they talk to as the authorities are looking for two runaways.

There are several twists and turns in this novel that adds some moderate suspenseful moments, but nothing too extreme for the middle-grade age category. It is an excellent adventure shared by two siblings.

I liked the educational aspect of Treasure. A lot of information about seeds and how plants grow from seeds was given. I found it quite interesting that most of that information can actually be found in the bible.

I liked the characters of Clare and Dante. I found them to be very endearing and courageous. I did think it was a little bit strange that they were willing to leave their mother behind and run away in order to find a place where they could grow food at their young ages of about 12 and 7, but depending on how much society has changed by then, perhaps it is possible that this was important enough to them.

I enjoyed Treasure. I think it’s quite a suitable book for any middle-grade child. I gave the book 4 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:
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, children, and three cats in the city, she still manages to grow fruit and vegetables on their lot, as well as tend to three egg-laying and friendly hens. Someday, she hopes to add bees to the collection.
Ms. Smith is a member ALLi (The Alliance of Independent Authors) and of her local seed bank. She gardens and writes at her home in the beautiful and green Pacific Northwest.
A licensed ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, Ms. Smith has enjoyed teaching students from around the world.

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