EVERYTHING FAMILY &
"Mother of Family Ideas"
A middle reader
Michael C. Harvey
5.5" x 8.5",
shipped within one
This book includes
several RECIPES too!
has it all--environmental concern, children's self-esteem,
lessons in thinking skills . . . and an action-packed plot to
Temporarily Out of Stock
A middle reader
by Sally D.
Bread Garden has been with me
for ten years. After working on it, I always felt that I
wanted to do still a little bit more with it and put it down.
Every time I worked on it, I added a bit more and changed even
more. Times changed, even in a decade. I had to relate to the
changes. Then, too, the book led me into new interests, like
African cooking (Jessica B. Harris, The Africa Cookbook)
helped me. The University of Edinburgh was diligent in
researching names and field names in Scottish history. Of,
course, as a former teacher, I used Bloom’s taxonomy (higher
level thinking skills) and found that children truly soaked it
up if taught at the right speed.
So now, writing full time, I
returned to Bread Garden and re-wrote it still again.
This time the book is
finished, but there is a niggle in my brain that suggests a
I can feel it developing now.
The young protagonists might still be there, but in the
background, for I think Mr. Svennson will bake cookies for new
youngsters and he might have sold his bus. I have a hunch that
now he is into motorcycles—or is it unicycles?
Experts in children’s
literature with national reputations love Bread Garden, but
are split over the adult characters’ reaction to a bucket of
manure tea being emptied on a certain head. But young readers
agreed: The bucket gets emptied. I leave it to you. I hope you
enjoy the book; I will miss working on it.
Lesson Plans for
Across the Curriculum
The Bread Garden Activity List
Bread Garden Seeds
have discontinued shipping outside the US.
About the Author
Sally D. Ketchum is an author, journalist,
poet and book reviewer. The Michigan native also writes fiction and verse
for children. A lover of nature and champion of the environment, Ketchum
lives on the shores of Lake Michigan in the rural Upper Peninsula of
Michigan (Hemingway and Harrison territory). In one way or another, her work
is apt to deal with human nature, food, gardening, and animals.
Optimism pervades her work, and food appears
in much of it as her subject or as a motif. "In the Kitchen," one of three
columns she writes regularly, has run in the Traverse City Record-Eagle for
over ten years. Her work is known for intelligence, gentle humor and, at
times, light satire.
Ketchum has seven books in various stages,
published, finished, and in proposal stages, including short story
collections, non-fiction self-help, middle reader fiction, memoir, picture
books, and a humorous diet book---with tips and characters.
“Ketchum writes a pun-of-a-kind prose that
leaves her writing as entertaining as it is informative."
--John McGran, Editor-in-chief, Diet.com
To learn more
her projects and her offerings, browse this website or
a Scottish-American black boy calls himself, “Dogleash,” since
he cannot pronounce his real name. His father is a prominent,
fair-minded judge; his grandmother, “Mam,” is an elegant and
proud woman and an adventurous cook.
friends are precocious Fredericka (who carries a book of big
words in her jeans’ pocket) and her tagalong younger brother,
Mr. Svensson is
the worldly and eccentric baker who befriends and mentors the
Mrs. Robinson is
the single mother of Freddie and Hank; Mrs. Harsnort is a
neighbor and a harridan.
introduces themes baking, gardening, identity (self-esteem)
and thinking skills. Environmental concerns arise as the
children’s garden contrasts Mrs. Harsnort’s cement and
A gang of
youngsters, the Lennonheads, steal Dogleash’s bike. Hank
volunteers to hunt for it, but is kidnapped by the gang and
tormented. Dogleash and Freddie wait in vain for Hank at The
Humane Society. Parents and police are called and rescue Hank.
the details of his misadventure. The baker discusses the
significance and ramifications of naming (identity). The
children face Mrs. Harsnort’s ugliness and cruelty and also
question “bread gardening” as the baker Svensson explains
thinking skills (analysis and synthesis) to the skeptical
Freddie’s teacher and Quiz Bowl team coach dies, shocking the
children. Mam explains the use of spices in cooking, and Baker
Svensson advocates list making. After the teacher’s memorial,
the children are still skeptical of bread gardening, but
decide to try to use synthesis in making their plans. They
piggyback ideas and wonder about the possibility of
imagination having a brain.
consider hosting a bread garden party, but suddenly both
Dogleash and Mrs. Harsnort disappear. Mrs. Harsnort is found
alive after an attack, and Freddie and Hank who think Dogleash
is dead find him inside the locked Human Society.
All is explained
as Judge Jones holds a young drug user accountable. Audrey
Stone, female leader of the Lennonheads, interrupts the relief
and general happiness. She and Freddie meet in a hair-pulling
fight. Though slightly battered, Freddie wins by using words
from her big word book that flummox Audrey Stone. There is a
romantic dare and Dogleash gets kissed. The possibility of Mr.
Svensson getting an old bus arises.
Chapters 25 – 28
come together as do most of the characters as they attend the
bread garden party that the children have prepared. The
children try to explain bread gardening (thinking skills,
imagination and fancy) to Mrs. Harsnort who declares it to be,
“looney.” Just as refreshments are served, the Lennonheads
appear and try to crash the party. Freddie pours a bucket of
manure tea over the head of her enemy, Audrey Stone, and the
responsible adults in attendance look the other way (in an
ending that young readers who have read the ms. love best).
Dogleash discovers his identity as “Dalgliesh” as Baker
Svensson reveals the results of his research in Scottish names
and bread gardening triumphs as growth and transformation
reign in the children’s kingdom in the small town.