Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 192
Themes: gardening, divorce, family secrets, personal growth
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 26/Mar/2019
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Thirteen-year-old Chloë left her whole life back in Montreal, including her mom and her best friend. Now she's stuck in Victoria with her dad and her estranged grandfather, Uli, who recently had a stroke. When Chloë agrees to help Uli look after his garden, she's determined to find out why he and her dad didn't speak to each other for years.

For decades Uli has collected seeds from people in the community, distinct varieties that have been handed down through generations. The result is a garden full of unusual and endangered produce, from pink broccoli to blue kale to purple potatoes.

But Chloë learns that the garden will soon be destroyed to make way for a new apartment complex. And the seed collection is missing! Chloë must somehow find a way to save her grandfather's legacy.

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"The Vegetable Museum is not just a middle-grade novel, it is a testament to the power of a garden to bring generations together. It might even inspire some future gardeners! Mulder has created a love story for families, a tribute to the ability of seeds growing more than just plants. Wishing there had been more than 181 pages."
Alison Hughes, Governor General's Award–nominated author of Hit the Ground Running
"The Vegetable Museum follows a family and its unique heirlooms—vegetable seeds from all over the world 'that all mean something to somebody somewhere.' It is a heartfelt story of family history, memory and food security—as engaging and contemplative as a sun-dappled garden."
School Library Connection
"A science or biology teacher could use this book…[it] does a good job of exploring the joys and importance of gardening."
The Globe and Mail
"A deeply satisfying story about family, friendship and the power of community."
Kiss the Book blog
“A great story about the complicated relationships between parents and children.”
Must Read Literature: K thru 12
“This heartwarming story will engage and entertain young readers. It is well written and tells an honest story about family and relationships, and values.”
Booklist
"In this story of family, friendship, loss, love, forgiveness, and hope, Mulder also introduces readers to the little-discussed topics of heirloom vegetables, seed banks, and gardening."
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"An engaging middle school novel about family relationships…There are powerful lessons about coping with adversity."
Kirkus Reviews
"Scenes of Chloë and her grandfather are poignant and realistic and might even spark some agricultural interest in middle-graders…the characters are warm, and the concept of seed vaults is made wonderfully personal. Families are complicated, but gardening usually isn't."

Awards

CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection  | 2019 | Commended
New York Public Library Best Books  | 2019 | Commended