The Story of Seeds

The Story of Seeds


Houghton Mifflin  ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780544320239

Something as small as a seed can have a worldwide impact. Did you know there are top-secret seed vaults hidden throughout the world? And once a seed disappears, that’s it—it’s gone forever? With the growth of genetically modified foods, the use of many seeds is dwindling—of 80,000 edible plants, only about 150 are being cultivated. With a global cast of men and women, scientists and laypeople, and photographic documentation, Nancy Castaldo chronicles where our food comes from, and more importantly, where it is going as she digs deeper into the importance of seeds in our world. This empowering book also calls young adult readers to action with suggestions as to how they can preserve the variety of one of our most valuable food sources through simple everyday actions. Readers of Michael Pollen will enjoy the depth and fascinatingly intricate social economy of seeds.

Paperback edition now on shelves

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Lists and Awards:

With scientists at the Vavilov Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia

Behind the Book:

My favorite book as a child was What Shall I Put In the Hole that I Dig? The subject of seeds has been with me ever since. But it didn’t take the form of a book topic until much later when I was bombarded with news about our food security that included heirloom vegetables, seed banks, and GMOs. I started to become aware of a global concern – crops were going extinct. I had always been concerned about endangered animal species, but had no idea that crops were endangered! Then I learned about seed scientists risking their lives to protect these valuable treasures. I knew I had to spread the word. The research brought me to places I never imagined I would visit, like St. Petersburg, Russia – during winter. The experience brought me even closer to my subject. 

★ “A terrific, engrossing resource.” —Booklist, starred review

“This eye-opening book on the science and politics of agriculture serves as a wake-up call to readers about the fragility of something many of us take for granted: our plant-based food supply. Castaldo clearly lays out a case for the importance of plant diversity (“Seeds equal life”), presenting engaging scientific and historical information…” —Horn Book Magazine

“An impassioned call to action…” —School Library Journal 

“Castaldo delivers a sobering global status report–and call to action…Well-crafted and inspiring.” —Kirkus

“Castaldo breaks down threats like climate change and disease, while providing a greater sense of interconnectivity in nature and within world communities.” —Publishers Weekly