Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

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.
There is a reading challenge happening right now where people are reading the Newbery Award winning books over the years. I did not officially join, but I was organizing my bookshelves and I accidently left out a pile of young adult books from the to be read pile, so I decided to read them instead of rearranging everything again. This meant that there were a few Newbery winners to read, so I will be reading a couple.

Caddie Woodlawn was originally published in 1935 and it really reminds me of Little House on the Praire, so if you have read all the books you want to read in that series, you might be interested to read this book. It is a cute novel about a rebellious youth that spends her childhood playing with the boys and avoiding being a girl. During the course of this book, though, she starts to make a transformation into her own person. Her mother was never happy with her rebellious ways because it was not the correct way for a young lady to act and her father adored her because she was her own person and did not act like everyone expected her to.

I thought this was a good young adult book and I think it was worth the award that it won. It is also based on the authors grandmothers life, so that makes it even more interesting.



  1. I hadn't heard of this one. I will have to check it out. My favorite N.B. is the Giver.

  2. I read The Giver already. It is a very good book, one of these days I would like to read more by her.

  3. I read Caddie Woodlawn when I was in elementary school, and it's one book that I'd love to revisit. I'm glad it won the award.


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