cloth, 40 p., $15.99.
When loner Wesley's summer vacation begins, he starts a gardening project — of sorts. The middle grader turns over the soil and lets the wind plant whatever it chooses. In this somewhat surreal story, tall tuliplike plants bear edible fruits and tubers that the boy thoroughly enjoys. Eventually his former tormentors, bored with the summer heat, spy on their resourceful classmate. Wesley allows them to join in activities that revolve around making from his crops products such as mosquito repellent and sports equipment. Vivid greens, reds and yellows dominate the attractive illustrations by Kevin Hawkes in this story of an alternate world with a deeply satisfying conclusion. According to the dust jacket, the author, a Newbery Medal recipient, uses some experiences from his own childhood in this inspiring tale. In our age of troubled juvenile relationships, this book demonstrates how gardening can stimulate positive social interaction. For young people, ages 4-8.
— Nancy H. McCray