The Summer My Father Was TenBy
Everyone in town makes fun of an old man with an accent who doesn’t seem to fit in. The boy in the story even helps tear apart his garden with a group of kids who are creating mischief. Unable to let this deed go, the boy begins a friendship with the old man and helps him replant his garden, beginning a lifelong friendship that changes both their lives. A great story about taking the time to care and how it can make a profound difference that reaches beyond the generations.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Every year my father and I plant a garden. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, marigold, and zinnias grow in neat, straight rows...and every spring my father tells me about Mr. Bellavista and the summer my father was ten. -From the book. That was the summer the boy lost a baseball under a tomato plant in Mr. Bellavista's garden. And someone tossed a tomato back instead of the baseball. A lively battle took place, which seemed like great fun at the time, but in the end Mr. Bellavista's garden had been destroyed. In a touching story of one boy's efforts to make amends, we see the rebuilding of a garden and the forming of a relationship across generations. With luminous, beautifully detailed watercolors, the artist has captured both the sadness and the quiet joy woven throughout the tale.