S. Smith Releases Third Installment in YA Series, SEED SAVERS
S. Smith recently released the third installment in her middle grade/YA series, Seed Savers. Heirloom chronicles the lives of three young friends in a not-so-distant future where large corporations and the government have merged and taken control of the food supply.
Like the emerging genre of cli-fi literature based around climate change Smith's series imagines a future based on the environmental decisions we make today. The main focus of the book is a future U.S. where seed ownership is banned and gardening is illegal. Climate change is also alluded to with mention of "land parched and treated so poorly that it had lost its ability to be productive and was tossed aside like so much trash," and with the Pacific Islander "climate refugees" hidden in the Smoky Mountains. The Seed Savers series is unique in its imagining of what could happen if intellectual property rights concerning patenting of seeds and plant life remain unchecked.
The setting for Heirloom is not as bleak and hopeless as many dystopians in today's market, such as The Hunger Games. Smith describes it as "Little House on the Prairie meets Fahrenheit 451." In an earlier interview Smith stated that the first Seed Savers book was "a love story starring homegrown food."
About book three Smith said, "Though taking place some fifty years in the future, Heirloom is about connecting to the past. Lily reconnects with her family's past while Clare and Dante experience the wider cultural past of living on a farm with its seasonal cycles of planting and harvest. It's a fun and interesting book that takes on important issues of our time."
Smith, a former middle school teacher, is a member of the SCBWI and a seed saver with her local seed/food bank. She grew up on a small family farm and occasionally sells apples with her brother at a local farmers' market. She grows and saves most of the produce her family will eat for the year.
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