When Dana is offered a salad for dinner at home, she’s not impressed by how tasteless the tomatoes are. Her dad explains that tomatoes are picked before they are ripe to make it easier to ship them to grocery stores. That gives Dana the idea to plant a garden and grow her own tomatoes. But when she realizes her own yard doesn’t get enough sunlight for a garden, she goes on a quest that will lead her to expanding her dream much further than her own back yard.
Dana Digs In by Laura Pederson shows how someone with an idea and determination can bring positive change for themselves and their communities. When Dana finds a large parcel of land she can use, she expands her idea to create a community garden. Everyone pitches in to grow things that many families will want to eat. She even finds a way to keep the garden growing and expand it to another location after the first season is over.
While Dana Digs In can inspire young gardeners to dream big about creating something beyond their own back yards, I also found it a tad unrealistic about the ease of setting up such a large enterprise and the abundance of food that could be grown the first year. Everything seems to fall into place easily for Dana and she seems to know exactly what she needs without input from others. That’s unlikely to happen in real life. It’s also unlikely that she would harvest an abundance of crops like strawberries that may need a season to become well established
Even so, I think Dana Digs In could be a great starting point and inspiration for young gardeners. Parents and their kids can talk about what Dana accomplishes and make a plan to grow something yummy for themselves. I recommend it for readers aged 8 to 11.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.