Product Details
List Price:
7 to 9
2 to 4
Trim Size:
11" x 8.5"
Boyds Mills Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-59078-856-1
Full-color illustrations

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About the Book


This Américas Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature winner about a Haitian boy determined to make his garden grow is brought to life through luminous watercolor illustrations. Every morning Josias is hard at work in the family's garden under the hot Haitian sun. And every morning he sees his friend Chrislove walk to school. "When will you join us to hold the book?" asks Chrislove. But Josias has a garden to tend and no time to learn to read and write, especially now that the garden is failing. Josias can't figure out why the beans aren't growing. Without beans, there may not be enough food for his family. He tries giving the beans more water. He tries working more fertilizer into the soil. Still, the garden shows no sign of life. One morning, when Chrislove asks again when his friend plans to come to school, Josias wonders if a book might hold the solution to his problem.


"A matter-of-fact snapshot of rural Haitian life. . . . An authors note gives a detailed account of why rural Haitians often don't attend school and of a typical primary-school day." --School Library Journal

"U.S. readers will get insight into a different culture, where poverty holds people back and schooling is a privilege - one that can make all the difference." --Booklist

"A terrific book to use as a springboard for reading motivation as well as for Social Studies." --Library Media Connection

Meet the Author

Jennifer Elvgren

Jennifer Riesmeyer Elvgren has been published in Ladybug and Highlights for Children. She sponsors children through the Baptist Haiti Mission and lives in Albemarle County, Virginia, with her husband and young children.

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Meet the Illustrator

Nicole Tadgell

Nicole Tadgell has illustrated a number of books, including Fatuma's New Cloth, winner of the Children's Africana Book Award. She works as a graphic artist for an advertising agency and lives in Spencer, Massachusetts, with her husband and two dogs.

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