Dedicated to sharing great children's fiction - old and new - with kids and their parents.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
In 1935, when Caddie Woodlawn was published, the real Caddie (Caroline Augusta Woodhouse) was 82 years-old.Both books written by Brink, Caddie’s granddaughter, give the reader an excellent glimpse into Wisconsin frontier life during the 1860’s.
Caddie Woodlawn won the Newbery Medal in 1936.
"How far I've come! I'm the same girl and yet not the same. I wonder if it's always like that? Folks keep growing from one person into another all their lives, and life is just a lot of everyday activities. Well, whatever life is, I like it." -Caddie
Due to her father's intervention, and much to her mother's dismay, Caddie is allowed to run with the boys.She was a sickly baby, and her father worried that she would die young.So, he decided she must be allowed to be outside as much as possible.His decision proved the correct one because she grew into a healthy, robust young girl.Caddie and her brothers, Tom and Warren, are inseparable.They wade the shoulder high river to watch the Indians make canoes.They gather hickory nuts, and they play many tricks on their city slicker cousin, Annabelle.When Uncle Edmund comes to visit, he challenges Caddie to a canoe and raft race and promises her a silver dollar if she wins.The first leg of the race, Caddie paddles the canoe up the river and wins.
Then, on the way back, she takes the raft.Uncle Edmund plays a trick on Caddie, and she loses the race, but he gives her the silver dollar anyway.Caddie uses the dollar to buy candy, combs, and handkerchiefs for three half-breed boys in her school.Later, Caddie prevents a massacre when the townspeople get agitated about the rumors of Indians on the warpath.
And its sequel
Caddie Woodlawn’s Family
One day, while Tom, Warren, and Caddie play "I Spy" (hide and seek) in their loft, Warren discovers watermelons buried in the hay.The mysterious circumstances of the melons' location, and their subsequent discovery lend a magical quality to them.Slowly, over the following weeks, their numbers diminish as Tom, Warren, and Caddie enjoy eating this secret stash.Then one November evening, Robert Ireton, the hired man, brings the family a special surprise for desert- watermelons.He had stored them in the barn so the family could enjoy summer fruit during the winter.As punishment for not asking permission, Tom, Warren, and Caddie must watch their family eat the remaining melons.When unseasonably snowy weather forces a sheepherder to leave his flock spread throughout the farms of Dunnville, Caddie adopts one of the ewes.This ewe dies during lambing, but Caddie successfully raises the lamb.These and many other stories fill the pages of this book.