The Gardener: Sarah Stewart

The Gardener
  • Author: Sarah Stewart

  • Illustrator: David Small

  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

  • Publication Year: 1997

  • Brief Summary: When Lydia Grace’s father loses her job, she is sent to live with her uncle, a seemingly grumpy baker, in the city. Through a series of letters, the readers see how she wins over the neighborhood — and Uncle Jim — using her love for gardening.

  • Awards (if any):

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Best Books:

State and Provincial Lists:

  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:

    • Have students identify main ideas in each letter.  Can you use the letters Lydia wrote to characterize Uncle Jim, Lydia herself, her grandmother, etc.?

    • Parts of a letter; introduction to letter writing

    • Discuss “acts of kindness”…have students come up with examples, and as a class encourage each other to perform random acts of kindness throughout the week.  What are some ways to show kindness to your friends, family, strangers?

    • As a class (and with permission from the school), build a flower bed or create a designated area for gardening and plant flowers.  Each grade/class could have their own area, and students are responsible for taking care of the plants.

  • Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

    • Identify main ideas

    • Science connection — planting flowers; plant life cycle; parts of a flower/plant; being green

    • Social studies connection — acts of kindness; what constitute being kind

  • Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.: N/A

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

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