Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood

Tony Hillery (Author) Jessie Hartland (Illustrator)
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Product Details

Price
$17.99  $16.55
Publisher
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publish Date
August 18, 2020
Pages
40
Dimensions
11.1 X 8.6 X 0.5 inches | 1.0 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781534402317

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About the Author

Tony Hillery is the founder and executive director of Harlem Grown. In 2011 he began volunteering at a public elementary school in Harlem. It was then that he noticed the vacant lot across from the street and had a big idea. The rest is history. Tony lives in New York, New York. Harlem Grown is his picture book debut.

Jessie Hartland is the author and illustrator of many nonfiction titles for young readers, including How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum and Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child. Her collaboration with author Diane Stanley, Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science, was designated an ALA Notable Book, among many other accolades, and her illustrations were praised as "full of wit" by Booklist in a starred review. Jessie lives in New York City.

Reviews

Hillery, the founder of Harlem Grown, narrates how an urban farm grew from an abandoned lot across the street from Harlem's PS 175: "Nevaeh called it the haunted garden. It was cluttered with wrecked couches, old TVs, broken bottles, and empty cans." When "Mr. Tony" visits the school and sees "those kids and that haunted garden," he gets an idea. Working together, Mr. Tony and the kids clear the lot, bring in clean dirt, and plant. When plants wilt, he says, "We'll plant something different" and builds raised beds until, finally, "tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, blueberries, strawberries, collard greens, kale, basil, arugula" grow, and the children share their harvest with their families. Hartland's gouache illustrations wobble endearingly, colorfully capturing the children's triumph, and the kinetic energy and colorful vibrancy of the city neighborhood. An author's note about Harlem Grown and straightforward instructions for how to "start a garden anywhere" conclude. Ages 4-8. (May)--Publishers Weekly "February 3, 2020"
In his debut children's book, Hillery creates a visual history of the organization he started, Harlem Grown, which was born after he visited an elementary school and noticed an abandoned, litterfilled lot nearby. Hillery had the idea to initiate an urban gardening project and began to clear the lot and plant seeds with the help of the school children. Gouache illustrations in fitting earth tones carry a childlike look and energy that matches the uplifting story, where hard work (and
teamwork) is deliciously rewarded. This delivers a vibrant tale that is about more than growing plants; Hillery's vision helped to transform and mobilize the entire community to positively impact the environment. This book delivers on the vision and hopes we all want to instill in children, and it imparts an underlying message that one person can make a big difference. An inspiring picture book for youngsters with meaningful ties to the environment, sustainability, and community engagement.--Booklist "March 1, 2020"