We went to the library last week and came back with a huge pile of books for the girls. Claire couldn’t wait to start reading, and we sat down to enjoy a book right away. We picked a real beauty: The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart.
This is the story of Lydia Grace, a young girl in Depression-era America whose family falls on hard times. She leaves the countryside to stay with her grumpy Uncle Jim, who runs a bakery in the big city. A lover of gardening, she packs her bag full of seeds to bring a bit of her beloved countryside to the grey cityscape. Bit by bit, Lydia Grace brings life to their building, filling the window boxes and flowerpots with colorful flowers and vegetables. Best of all, she creates a spectacular rooftop garden in the hopes of bringing a smile to her cranky Uncle Jim’s face. Spoiler alert – it works.
You guys, this book MADE ME CRY. It is so beautiful, and the heroine is so strong, tenacious and resolute. The final page of the book shows Uncle Jim giving Lydia Grace a big hug on the train platform before she leaves for home. Tears. So beautiful.
I love stories that make me want to be a better person, and this book is full of inspiration. I hope my daughters are moved by the strong, kind, generous girls in books like this one. The Gardener is already in my Amazon shopping cart so we can bring a copy home with us. Find other fun reads for your kids here, here and here. We’re looking forward to reading a few more books on our list this summer – stay tuned!
What are your favorite books you’re reading with your kids?