S. Smith grew up on a farm with a tremendously large garden. She maintains that if you can't taste the soil on a carrot, it's not fresh enough. Although she now lives with her husband, children, and three cats in the city, she still manages to grow fruit and vegetables on their lot, as well as tend to a couple of egg-laying and friendly hens.
Smith has been writing since she could hold a pencil, although the lettering she left on her grandmother's books sometimes contained a reverse capital R. In high school, she won awards for her poetry and short stories, and later was an editor on her college newspaper. Upon graduating with a degree in Communication Arts, Smith accepted a job at a small newspaper in eastern Oregon. She later declined the offer, choosing instead to teach English in China. Though she had an idea for a novel or memoir back then, the only writing produced were the many letters home detailing her exploits to friends and relatives.
After China, Smith spent many years teaching in private and public schools, filling hoards of notebooks with her writing--though mostly lesson plans. Along the way, she has written essays, newspaper articles, children's books, and poetry, very little of which she bothered to publish.
S. Smith currently devotes more time to her writing, resulting in a weekly blog, two complete novels, and two more nearly finished. Ms. Smith is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and an OSU Master Gardener. She gardens and writes at her home in the beautiful and green Pacific Northwest.
on July 15, 2015 :
In today’s worries over climate change and genetically modified foods, this book is very appropriate. Set in the near future, all home gardening is classified as illegal and food seems to come in some kind of pill form or chewable tablet at least. Everything edible is known as a sweetie, snack, protein or veggie and they are all square or round. Children think all food originates in the store.
When Clare, her brother Dante and their friend Lila meet an old lady named Ana who becomes their tutor and teaches them about seeds and gardening, a whole new world opens up to them. But when Clare’s mother is arrested for an illegal tomato plant found in their home, Dante and Clare take off in hopes of finding a place where growing food is not illegal.
Fleeing north towards Canada tests them mentally, physically and spiritually. With only their backpacks, a few provisions and their wits, they need to be especially careful of who they talk to as the authorities are looking for two runaways.
There are several twists and turns in this novel that adds some moderate suspenseful moments, but nothing too extreme for the middle-grade age category. It is an excellent adventure shared by two siblings.
I liked the educational aspect of Treasure. A lot of information about seeds and how plants grow from seeds was given. I found it quite interesting that most of that information can actually be found in the bible.
I liked the characters of Clare and Dante. I found them to be very endearing and courageous. I did think it was a little bit strange that they were willing to leave their mother behind and run away in order to find a place where they could grow food at their young ages of about 12 and 7, but depending on how much society has changed by then, perhaps it is possible that this was important enough to them.
I enjoyed Treasure. I think it’s quite a suitable book for any middle-grade child. I gave the book 4 stars out of 5.
Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.
To see my complete review, visit Shelf Full of Books http://kathrynsshelffullofbooks.blogspot.com/2015/07/book-review-treasure-seed-savers-bk1.html
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Sep. 11, 2014 :
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
This was a book that reminded me of books I used to read as a child. Even though I read a lot of grown-up books then, I enjoyed reading books aimed at my own age as well and they still have a special place in my heart.
I really liked the concept behind this book, especially since it's something I could easily see developing in reality. I especially liked the use of the Bible as a learning tool and the whole idea of Seed Savers.
I found the three main characters really easy to empathise with and I felt that their attitudes and actions really fit with their ages, as well as what they could do.
Probably unsurprisingly, I also really liked the religious aspects and use of prayer through this book. I also particularly liked the sense of community the Seed Savers had and how they helped the other characters.
It was really interesting to see seeds and their properties explained to the children, even if I felt that there were a couple of contradictory parts and that not all of the build-up was fully explored. Although there was quite a lot of explanation going on, I liked how it was handled and felt that the action later on worked really well.
I do have the next two books on my Kindle and definitely intend to read them soon. If you like this kind of genre, I think this is worth reading. It's written fairly simply, but it's a nice, easy read where the characters have true relationships and faith.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Sep. 02, 2014 :
Well written with a story that could actually be true someday in this crazy crazy world. This story also has plenty of lessons to be learned while reading. The Seed Savers are a group of people that refuse to let farming go the way of the wind. They do not want over processed flavorless items that people now call food. It takes the courage of a girl and her little brother to take on the world of the seed savers and start showing some need for such things. Where will it take them and will they get caught? What about family and friends? This story is a bit on the religious side and does tell of many religions and there various natures, it does not take one stand and stick directly to it. It is a great read for any age!!!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)