"Caddie Woodlawn," which has been captivating young readers since 1935, was awarded the John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Now it is in a brand-new edition with lively illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman. In her new foreword, Carol Ryrie Brink lovingly recalls the real Caddie, who was her grandmother, and tells how she often "sat spellbound, listening, listening!" as Caddie told stories of her pioneer childhood. Children everywhere will love redheaded Caddie with her penchant for pranks. Scarcely out of one scrape before she is into another, she refuses to be a "lady, " preferring instead to run the woods with her brothers. Whether she is crossing the lake on a raft, visiting an Indian camp, or listening to the tales of the circuit rider, Caddie's adventures provide an exciting and authentic picture of life on the Wisconsin frontier in the 1860s. And readers will discover, as Caddie learns what growing up truly means, that it is not so very different today.
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These adventures of a young girl in the Wisconsin ‘wilderness’ make for a great read. It is hard today to imagine Wisconsin being considered ‘the west’ let alone ‘wilderness’. The strength of spirit it must have required to make a home and raise a family in the wilderness is unimaginable. This ‘American’ spirit is embodied in our young heroine, Caddie Woodlawn, as she matures from a tomboy to a young woman; without losing her self-reliant and independent streak. As father of three daughters, I appreciated the ‘talk’ that Caddie’s father gave her near the end of the book:
"It’s a strange thing, but somehow we expect more of girls than of boys. It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman’s task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It’s a big task, too, Caddie—harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things. The have them just as much as the men who build bridges and carve roads through the wilderness. A woman’s work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man’s. But no man could ever do it so well."
Don’t imagine that this book is only for girls! The stories and adventures will appeal to both boys and girls. I highly recommend this book to young readers, especially those who enjoy the Little House on the Prairie stories or the feisty Anne of Green Gables.
Review: Caddie Woodlawn, SoftcoverUser Review - Kathy Nadeau - Christianbook.com
I'm using this book with my 4th graders as we study the pioneers of North America. The story is still interesting today. The students are enjoying the story. Read full review
The Circuit Rider
Pigeons in the Sky
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