From the Central Series
Chapter By Chapter Summary
Chapter One: A Backyard Mystery
Chapter Two: Garden Guests
Chapter Three: A Secret Garden
Chapter Four: Making a Splash
Chapter Five: Ugly Suspicions
Chapter Six: Another Suspicious Event
Chapter Seven: A Discovery in the Woods
Chapter Eight: The Sprite in the Garden
Chapter Nine: A Key and a Clue
Chapter Ten: Banished!
Discusses urban gardening and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden during the 1910s. Topics covered:
- The importance for children, especially those who lived far from forests and farms, to learn about nature by growing their own foods
- Ellen Eddy Shaw, a Brooklyn schoolteacher who persuaded other teachers to give their students packets of vegetable seeds
- The lack of spaces in cities for people to grow gardens, which led families to be resourceful in where they'd plant their seeds and let them grow
- Ms. Shaw's idea of adding a space within the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where children could apply for plots of land and learn how to maintain their gardens
- The rising fascination many Americans had to Japanese culture, with many receiving their first glimpses of Japanese art at world fairs and exhibitions
- The popularity of handmade products from those who adored Japanese designs, and the museums and public gardens that began to display paintings and Japanese-style gardens
- Takeo Shiota, a landscaper designer who helped with creating the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden within the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which was completed in 1915
- ↑ Pg. 11: "It is still too early to plant tender seedlings," Mr. Tanaka cautioned. "Today, the warm April sun can fool you. By tomorrow, everything could be frozen. [...]"
- ↑ Pg. 13: "I'm afraid we can't take those classes - we're only eleven," Rebecca said with disappointment.
- ↑ Pg. 144: "What are you saying, Misako?" Mr. Tanaka asked. "That's impossible!" But one look at the anguish on his wife's face silenced him.