Teacher Guide

The Bean Trees Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Bean Trees

The Bean Trees is Barbara Kingsolver's first novel, published in 1988. It was followed in 1993 by a sequel, Pigs in Heaven. The Bean Trees tells the story of Taylor Greer, a young woman from rural Kentucky. Taylor buys a beat-up old car and leaves her hometown for the first time: she changes her name, and decides to drive as far west as the car will take her before breaking down. While Taylor is dealing with some mechanical issues on a Cherokee reservation in Oklahoma, a woman gives her a young child and begs her to take it away. Taylor calls the child Turtle. They eventually settle in Tucson, AZ, where they meet Lou Ann, another Kentucky transplant, and Mattie, a tire shop owner and...

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