Monday, September 17, 2012

Caddie Woodlawn - Carol Ryrie Brink

Summary:  Caddie Woodlawn's mother wants Caddie to be a perfect little lady.  Caddie has different ideas.  No knitting and cooking and fine manners for her!  The Wisconsin frontier of the 1860s is too ripe with excitement to sit at home.  With her two brothers Tom and Warren, Caddie makes life a constant adventure, swimming and exploring and generally causing a ruckus.  And despite all her mother's objections, she even makes friends with the neighboring Indians.

You've never met a girl like Caddie! (Summary from book - Image from www.goodreads.com )

M:y Review  I haven't read a book (for myself) in over two weeks.  TWO WEEKS!  I"m about to shrivel up and die. Right before that, though, I'm planning a catastrophic mental breakdown.  But I digress...

Caddie Woodlawn is the charming almost-true story of a spirited young girl who doesn't quite fit in with societal expectations.  Instead of growing up a demure young lady, Caddie's been allowed to run wild and free with her brothers and her adventures with them are the stuff of legend.

I liked this book well enough.  It was based off the life of a real person -- one of the author's ancestors -- and had a strong moral message, which is always a plus, but it didn't blow me away.  However, since it really doesn't matter what I think (and because I'm exhausted and not a little bit nuts right now) I'm going to let the girls finish up...my girls loved Caddie's adventures and everyday life on the family farm and were usually clamoring for more after the end of each chapter.

Kaisa, age 8, says: Baby Island was good, but then when Caddie Woodlawn came along, it fell to the bottom of the sea.  Caddie Woodlawn was a good book.  I liked the part about when they were in the field picking those berries and one of the brothers found a rattlesnake skeleton and when he shook the rattle the rattle sound didn’t stop and they turned around and saw a rattlesnake and then they ran down the hill.  I also liked the part when they were showing the scalp belt.  I thought that Caddie was a nice girl because she helped the little half-breed boys, but we don’t call them that anymore. 

Sophie, age six, says: I like Baby Island better because it's cool and they get shipwrecked and they find a place to live until someone picks them up...but I still like it how (SPOILER) Caddie finds her dog.  And I also like it because it is a good book.  And it’s really fun to read (Sophie claims to be on chapter 10…which I doubt.)  I like the pictures and illustrations even if it’s black and white, it’s still a pretty book.  If people try and make me not like it, I’ll still like it.  (That's my girl...standing up to literary peer pressure).

My Rating:  4 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  Stereotyping of Native Americans and use of terms like "half-breed", etc. -- pretty typical for the time that this book was written.  In general, Caddie's family were on friendly term with the local Native American tribe.

Sum it up:  A Newbery medal winner that my girls really enjoyed.  Think Little House on the Prairie meets....something else cool.

2 comments:

Susan@ reading world said...

Great review(s)! I read this years ago with my daughter. We were looking for something else after the Little House books. We liked Caddie, just not as much as Laura.

Lindsey said...

I also loved this book when I was about your daughter's age. I think it's a good choice for starting a love of historical fiction.

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