Little Gardens of Words
Bookseed’s Stories of Travel and Service
Author: Tim Deppe
Published: June 2018
Since 1994, Tim Deppe has been working through his small 501(c)(3) non-profit, Bookseed, to bring children’s books and seeds to hundreds of marginalized communities in Latin America and around the world. Bookseed helps establish children’s libraries in neglected primary schools and supplies organic seeds to subsistence farmers, co-ops, and school gardens. The stories in Little Gardens of Words reflect Deppe’s experiences living and working in some of these remote and forgotten communities, among dozens of different indigenous tribes. Part travelogue and part social commentary, these stories provide insight into the historical and cultural roots of these communities, as well as their current struggles. These inspiring tales show children’s eagerness to read and learn despite poorly equipped schools with few resources, and adults’ perseverance in face of hardships and oppression. These stories also show the damaging effects of militarism, racism, and poverty that threaten these communities’ survival, and readers will be challenged by seeing our own complicity in the international political and economic policies that help create these situations.
The more than twenty stories in this volume recount one man’s efforts to plant “little gardens,” promoting literacy and self-sufficiency, where they are needed most.