“Caddie Woodlawn” by Carol Ryrie Brink
I remember, back in elementary school, that there was a time when all of our classes were reading books about the pioneers. While I can’t remember what book my class read, I know that a lot of other classes were reading “Caddie Woodlawn” and that I wanted to read it, too, but for some reason I never did. This doesn’t make sense to me, because I’ve always been a voracious reader and there was a period of time – thanks, probably, to the Kirsten doll of the American Girl collection – where I was really into pioneers. Anyway, now that I’m a “grown-a$$ woman” I went and found a copy at Open Books, and I read it. Boom.
“Caddie Woodlawn” is, as I expected, a charming tale of quainter times on the Wisconsin prairie back in the good old days. Tomboy Caddie is one of the seven Woodlawn children, the apple of her father’s eye and the rough-and-tumble bane of her mother’s. Along with her brothers, she finds all sorts of outdoorsy and plucky fun in the untamed wilds of Civil-War-Era Wisconsin. Caddie & Co. make friends with an Indian who lives by them, help stop a massacre that isn’t really going to be a massacre, hunt pigeons, and learn about the true value of home and loving where you live. Based on the real-life childhood adventures of Carol Rhyrie Brink’s grandmother, the book is adorable and heart-warming, and if you’re into the “Little House” series of books, this is right up your alley.
I’m happily checking this one off my “things I need to read” list.