We’re finishing up a read aloud book this week that the kids and I have really enjoyed: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. It is the true story of a middle-child tomboy who grew up in Wisconsin during the Civil War. It’s reminiscent of the Little House on the Prairie books but not as “girly;” and the Woodlawn family is in a more economically stable position than the Ingals family.
Caddie is a spunky, lovable, outdoorsy girl who grows up primarily outdoors with her 2 brothers. Lady-hood looms in the future, and she knows she’ll have to reckon with it some day. But today the sky is too blue and the kitchen too burdensome to worry about that. For now there are local Indians to befriend (and defend during the massacre scare), the one-room schoolhouse to attend, horses to ride, berries to pick, and even clocks mend (a trade she learns from her father.)
Brink has done a wonderful job of capturing the dawning thoughts of an 11 year old girl. I’ve already put the sequel, Magical Melons, on hold at the library.