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Children's Nonfiction Farm & Ranch Life

Good Garden, The

How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough

by (author) Katie Smith Milway

illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2010
Farm & Ranch Life, Gardening, Cooking & Food, General
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 7
Recommended Reading age
8 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2013
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


From the best-selling author of One Hen comes the inspiring story of one struggling farming family in Honduras and their journey to growing enough food to meet their needs. Based on the real story of farm transformation underway in Honduras and many other countries, this book offers children ways they can be part of the movement to grow "good gardens" and foster food security.

Eleven-year-old María Luz and her family live on a small farm. This year their crop is poor, and they may not have enough to eat or to sell for other essentials, such as health care, school uniforms and books.

When María's father must leave home to find work, she is left in charge of their garden. Then a new teacher comes to María's school and introduces her to sustainable farming practices that yield good crops. As María begins to use the same methods at home, she too sees improvements, which allow her family to edge their way out of the grip of the greedy “coyotes” --- the middlemen who make profits on the backs of poor farmers. Little by little, the farms --- and the hopes --- of María and her neighbors are transformed as good gardens begin to grow.

About the authors

Katie Smith Milway is the bestselling, award-winning author of One Hen and several other books in the CitizenKid collection. She has served on the board of World Vision U.S., coordinated community development programs in Latin America and Africa for Food for the Hungry International, and written several adult books on sustainable development in addition to working as senior advisor at The Bridgespan Group and principal at MilwayPLUS. A graduate of Stanford University, Katie spent a decade working in and around a dozen countries in Africa on sustainable development projects. She is based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Katie Smith Milway's profile page

Sylvie Daigneault, an award-winning commercial artist and author-illustrator originating from Montreal, Quebec, enjoyed painting and drawing from a young age. She studied at Montreal’s École des Beaux-Arts and her works were featured at a variety of venues and galleries before she began focusing on her passion for children's illustration using coloured pencil. She has illustrated fifteen books, most memorably the Bruno series, The Good Garden, which won several awards and accolades, and Sarah Saw a Blue Macaw. Sylvie currently resides in Toronto, Ontario.

Sylvie Daigneault's profile page


  • Short-listed, Alberta Children's Choice Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Winner, Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street Children's Book Committee
  • Winner, Skipping Stones Honor Award, Skipping Stones Magazine
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Winner, Best Bets Nonfiction, Ontario Library Association

Editorial Reviews

Taken at a literal level, this is a story of how sustainable farming practices can nourish families and the earth simultaneously. On a deeper level, it is about social justice and self-sustaining economies, which make this a book that can span a broader interest level. The stylized colored-pencil artwork is appropriately lush and idealized.—School Library Journal

More about food security and sustainable farming closes this moving, informative entry in the publisher's CitizenKid line ...—Booklist

Though the text is not simple, the appealing design will support less able readers.—Kirkus Reviews

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