Harlem Grown tells urban farming success story

HARLEM GROWN: HOW ONE BIG IDEA TRANSFORMED A NEIGHBORHOOD, by Tony Hillery and Jessie Hartland, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, Aug. 18, 2020, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 4-8)

Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood, by Tony Hillery and Jessie Hartland, tells the story of how a man with an idea inspired an entire movement.

In a big city called New York
In a bustling neighborhood
There was an empty lot.
Nevaeh called it the haunted garden

In 2010, Tony Hillery began to volunteer at PS 175 in Harlem. The school was underfunded and smack in the middle of a food desert. Tony noticed a vacant lot across from the school and thought by turning it into a functional farm, he could give the kids a place to spend their pent-up energy while teaching them about nutrition and sustainability. He called the farm Harlem Grown.

Now, the kids and their parents, with the support of farm staff, grow thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families.

Harlem Grown is the story of that first year — the ups and downs and the joy only a garden can bring. It is told in simple, conversational text that is easy to read and understand. Accompanying illustrations are vibrant and full of movement.

Harlem Grown is an independent, nonprofit organization. The author’s share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to the organization.

© 2020, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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