American grown : the story of the White House kitchen garden and gardens across America

by Michelle Obama

Paper Book, 2012




New York : Crown Publishers, c2012.


A sumptuously photographed guide by the first lady describes how her daughters and she planted a vegetable garden on the White House's South Lawn as part of an initiative to raise awareness about childhood obesity, in a reference that shares gardening tips, recipes and advice for making healthier food choices.

User reviews

LibraryThing member mckait
This is a book about gardens and gardening, It features gardens and garden ideas
across the country, and spanning the seasons. There are delicious looking recipes at
the end of the book. We see and hear about the White House Garden, which I loved the
idea of from day one.

This book is about communities, generosity and nutrition. This is about children, the aging
and dogs . This is a book about everything you want to think about in the summer, and what
you should want to think about year round. Planning is one of the keys, sharing is another. And
of course, a garden gets us moving so it is very much a book about what is important to this first
lady. Children, nutrition, good healthy food and living. I will pick this up many times in the future.
It makes me smile :)
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LibraryThing member A_Reader_of_Fictions
It is perhaps readily apparent that this audiobook lies way outside the scope of my ordinary reading. Way, way outside. However, since it was given to me, I resolved to listen to it, despite my lack of interest. I expected to be bored to tears with gardening tips, but it really wasn't that bad. Not exactly a glowing commendation, but, considering how little the subject matter has to do with me, that's fair praise.

The focus does lie primarily on gardening, with tips for how to create and maintain the garden, as well as how to know when to harvest. Amateur gardeners could certainly find this a helpful resource. Along with that, there's quite a bit of interesting history. The book does feel a bit convoluted, though, with sudden jumps from story to story. This could have been much better organized.

More interesting to me, though, were the parts where gardening took a back seat to Michelle Obama's work as a whole. This audiobook clearly serves to promote her ideas about gardening, healthy foods and obtaining exercise. Certainly, I am one of those people who could benefit from listening to her, and I admire her passion and that she's actively working on improving the country.

Though I am not the ideal audience for American Grown, I recommend it highly for those interested in starting a garden or in Michelle Obama's efforts to create a healthier United States.

Michelle Obama does the bulk of the narration, and I credit her with keeping me from utter boredom. She has a very beautiful voice, and it's so full of her passion and commitment to her cause. You can hear how much she cares in her narration, and it made everything much more meaningful than it might have been had some other narrator been hired.

The other narrators take only very short sections. They vary widely from White House staff to garden managers to Olympic athletes. All of them were involved with the White House kitchen garden or similar projects, and, while, in theory, getting to hear from these different contributors in their own voices was interesting, it didn't really pan out that way in practice. Very few of them had what I consider to be pleasant voices to listen to, and I was always grateful when I got back to Obama's narration.
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LibraryThing member poolays
I gave this book to my wife for her birthday, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself. It appeals to me on so many levels! I love the garden designs, and thinking about why they are the way they are, and enjoy the stories of Michelle's commitment to community and healthful eating. The pictures are gorgeous! It's an inspiring book.… (more)


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