Title: Seed Savers: Heirloom (Seed Savers Series, Book #3)
Author: S. Smith
Publication Date: November 11, 2013
Publisher: Independent – Sandra L. Smith
Number of pages: 301
Recommended age: 9+
In a futuristic U.S.A. where gardening is illegal, siblings Clare and Dante have escaped to Canada and are living with a host family, enjoying farm life and learning to grow their own food. Attending Garden Guardian class, they meet other refugees and unearth the history of how they lost their choices about food.
Their friend Lily continues the quest to find her father, a former leader in the Seed Savers movement who was arrested and jailed before she was born. Along the way she meets a host of interesting characters and more surprisingly, herself.
Guest Post by Author S. Smith ~ Heirloom: Fact or Fiction?
So, how much research goes into a fiction book, anyway? A lot, it turns out. As I wrote the first three books in my Seed Savers series, I often felt as if I was writing historical fiction … from the point of looking back from the future. Much of the content in the books is actually very real. Some readers don’t realize it, while others are fully aware. Let’s look at a few examples.
In Heirloom, a very extensive history is revealed which explains how in the future United States, the general public no longer recognizes real food, and gardening is illegal. I detail a history of moves made by large corporations to gain a monopoly on seed ownership, the laws passed allowing patenting, and the rising percentages of these “owned” and modified crops in the United States. For the most part—names changed of course—all of the years, laws, and percentages used (up until the present) are factual, if not rounded up or down a little.
Excerpt From Chapter 23 of Seed Savers: Heirloom:
He turned toward the screen, clicking his controller, the slideshow of real food morphing into pictures of Vitees, Carbos, Proteins, Sweeties, and Snacks. “So what about this,” he cleared his throat, “crap, you call food? During the thirties, while the food laws were falling neatly into place, Nipungyo was busy working with non-food discount retailers—big stores such as Bingemart and Spendco. These stores had become major players in the food system.”
I got this idea from a Washington State Department of Agriculture “Future of Farming” statement from 2009: “A significant change in structure is that non-food discount retailers such as —— and —- have become major players in the food system, contributing to intensified consolidation among the traditional grocery chains … the buying of food is in fewer and fewer hands.” In the Seed Saver books, these retailers later become known as Stores with a capital S.
The Reality for Farmers
Parts of Heirloom’s fictional history were also inspired from the U.S. House Congressional record of October 4, 2001:
“Family farmers in Indiana often say they feel squeezed by the growing power and size of agribusinesses. They say they have fewer and fewer choices on where and with whom to do business. A farmer often has no choice but to buy seeds, fertilizer and chemicals from a division of the same company that will end up buying the farmer’s finished crops at harvest … farmers fear they are losing control of their ability to make regular, routine decisions about their own small businesses.”
I could go on and on. There are many things in Heirloom that are factually based. But, remember, it is fiction, not fantasy.
About the Author: S. Smith
S. Smith grew up on a farm with a tremendously large garden. She maintains that if you can’t taste the soil on a carrot, it’s not fresh enough. Although she now lives with her husband and three cats in the city, she still manages to grow fruits and vegetables in their backyard garden.
A licensed ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, Ms. Smith has enjoyed teaching students from around the world.
Ms. Smith is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and an OSU Master Gardener. She gardens and writes at her home in the beautiful and green Pacific Northwest.
Purchase the Books
Heirloom Book Blog Tour Schedule (Nov 14 to Dec 2, 2013)
|11/14 Anakalian Whims||Launch/Seed Savers Reflection|
|11/15 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews||Character Interview (Lily)|
|11/16 Virginia Ripple||Excerpt|
|11/17 Michelle Isenhoff – Bookworm Blather||Book Review|
|11/18 The Garden of Books||10 Favorite Things to Grow in a Garden|
|11/19 This Kid Reviews Books||Book Review|
|11/20 Mother Daughter Book Reviews||Heirloom: Fact or Fiction|
|11/21 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers||Excerpt|
|11/22 Valerie Comer||Series Promo/ Review of Treasure|
|11/23 Shannon Thompson||Guest Post|
|11/24 My Full Bookshelf||Book Review|
|11/25 Shalini Boland||Excerpt|
|11/26 Jemima Pett||Haiku/Mini-Interview|
|11/27 Story Addict||Guest Post|
|11/28 The Green Study||Thanksgiving theme|
|11/29 Listful Booking||Book Review|
|11/30 Beachbound Books||Author Interview|
|12/1 Book LOADS Fun||Excerpt + Behind the Scenes|
|12/2 Anakalian Whims||TBA/End of Tour|