A Garden on Top of the World

BOOK REVIEWS

 

You’ll fall in love with Jonnie, a sixteen year-year-old intersex teen living in the year 2066, whose unlikely friendship with a homeless man gives her companionship, a window into the past, and the skills to survive our planet’s new reality. Global warming may have left the population overcrowded and starving, but readers will be left with hope after reading Jonnie’s journey. Fascinating, compelling, and brilliantly written, this novel will linger in your thoughts long after you’ve read it, and may even inspire you to start a garden of your own. 

 A Garden on Top of the World combines the dystopia of The Hunger Games with the environmental consciousness of Paul Fleischman’s landmark young adult novel Seedfolks. Aronson has knocked it out of the park with this stark, fascinating picture of Earth’s future, where growing your own food and starting an urban garden is not only a radical idea, it may just change the world.

 Debbie Reed Fischer, author of  This is Not the Abby Show  

  Virginia Aronson takes us to Greenland in 2066 to suggest what happens if sea levels are allowed to continue to rise. It’s not good! But amid the overcrowding and hunger, the book is also a testament to the resilience of humans. Our heroine finds a way to grow food again, something people have forgotten how to do. This may be the only dystopian YA novel that actually teaches readers how to tend a garden, a useful skill even now before the rising seas force dramatic changes to life as we know it.

Clare Ellis, Founder, Stone Pier Press

I just finished A Garden on Top of the World. I really enjoyed it…I greatly appreciated the depiction of all the players (young people, disaffected industry reps, funders, seemingly social outcasts, community organizers) that it takes to re-create our food system.

 Sam Blomquist, Executive Director, Galletin Valley Farm to School

This is a story set in the future, 2066, in Greenland. Changes on our planet have gotten so bad that Greenland is now warm and fresh fruit and vegetables are almost a thing of the past. Overcrowding in the city of Shamed and in the apartment where Jonnie lives causes the young teenager to venture up to the roof where it’s peaceful. She meets a homeless man and begins to learn about birds and how to grow food in a garden. Her new, exciting adventures begin. I really enjoyed reading this story and found myself excited to do what I could in my yard to combat the effects of global warming. People of all ages can learn from and enjoy Jonnie’s story and hopefully will be inspired to help our suffering planet.

 Tolstoy, Amazon reader

Set in a future that’s been shaped by rising oceans and population relocation, A Garden on Top of the World is a haunting dystopian tale that will capture the hearts and minds of readers and not let them go. In Jonnie, Aronson has created a character who’s both charming and relatable, even though the world she lives in is grim and strange. You can’t help but root for her to find herself while she navigates adolescence, family obligations, and societal and environmental obstacles. Each detail of Jonnie’s life is a believable and terrifying possible progression from where we are today. I could not put this book down. It gave me so much to think about.

—Brenda Ferber, author of Julia’s Kitchen

Title: A Garden on Top Of the World

Author: Virginia Aronson

ISBN: 978-619- 90997-0-7

Publishing Date: January 2019

Price: £ 10,50

Purchase Link: Amazon

This is the way the world is fed.

The year is 2066 and life in Greenland is much warmer, more crowded, and lacking in fresh food. Sixteen-year-old Jonnie lives in the Relocation city of Shamed. Hundred-story high rises house extended families from American coastal cities relocated after the Sixth Sea Rise. Work and school are conducted from overcrowded apartments, and homeless people camp out in the streets.

Jonnie’s parents run a high-tech call center where family members work day and night. She shares a bedroom with her much older nieces. For quiet and privacy, Jonnie retreats to the empty rooftop.

Red is a homeless man who takes up temporary residence in a pigeon coop on the roof. After Red talks about the seeds in the birds’ droppings, Jonnie gets interested in heirloom seeds. The family business has just been awarded a lucrative contract from Monarcho, the international conglomerate that holds patents to much of the world’s seeds. Jonnie knows little about how food grows because meals come in packages ordered online and delivered by drone. Dishes are manufactured in the home using 3D printers.

Armed with a new understanding of old-fashioned garden-grown food, Jonnie is determined to create her own garden on the roof of her high rise. Along the way, she meets a former cryosphere scientist, a botanist with an urban indoor garden, and Drew and Darr, twins her own age who live in the next building.

Jonnie’s search for who she is and what she might be able to offer the world is one that will resonate with readers of all ages. The information she learns about healthy food, sustainable agriculture, and urban gardens may inspire readers to start their own gardens.

A cautionary tale with depth and humor, A GARDEN ON TOP OF THE WORLD is environmental fiction for ages 12 and up. Includes resources on gardening, urban gardens, heirloom seeds and organic foods.

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