Publishing: Farrar, Straus, Giroux; New York; 1997
Awards: Caldecott Honor
Description: Lydia Grace goes to live with her uncle in the city to help him out when her parents don’t have employment due to the Great Depression. She makes friends with the man and woman that work in the bakery, and continues the gardening she does at home in window boxes and eventually in her “secret place”-the roof of the building. At the end of a year she has a magnificent garden and though she has still not managed to make her uncle smile, he makes her a cake and she knows that he appreciates the work she has done. After a year, her parents have found work again and she is allowed to go home. The story is told in letters from Lydia Grace to her family.
Programming: This is a great tie-in to the Great Depression Era. It is also a good moral about making use of what you have-in this case, space. Students might plant their own window box gardens or at least small plants.