Title: Farmer Boy.
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Genre: Literature, autobiographical, Western, family saga, children's lit, YA, survival, bildungsroman.
Publication Date: October 1, 1933.
Summary: Based on the childhood of Laura's husband, Almanzo Wilder, who grew up in the 1860s near the town of Malone in upstate New York. The book covers more than one year in Almanzo's life, beginning just before his 9th birthday, and following at least two harvest cycles. It describes in detail the endless chores involved in running the Wilder family farm. Young as he is, Almanzo rises before 5 a.m. every day to milk several cows and feed stock. In the growing season, he plants and tends crops; in winter, he hauls logs, helps fill the ice house, trains a team of young oxen, and sometimes, when his father can spare him, goes to school. The novel includes stories of Almanzo's brother Royal and his sisters Eliza Jane and Alice.
My rating: 7.5/10.
♥ “Father, how was it axes and plows that made this country? Didn’t we fight England for it?”
“We fought for Independence, son,” Father said. “But all the land our forefathers had was a little strip of country, here between the mountains and the ocean. All the way from here west was Indian country, and Spanish and French and English country. It was farmers that took all that country and made it America.”
“How?” Almanzo asked.
“Well, son, the Spaniards were soldiers, and high-and-mighty gentlemen that only wanted gold. And the French were fur-traders, wanting to make quick money. And England was busy fighting wars. But we were farmers, son; we wanted the land. It was farmers that went over the mountains, and cleared the land, and settled it, and farmed it, and hung on to their farms.
“This country goes three thousand miles west, now. It goes way out beyond Kansas, and beyond the Great American Desert, over mountains bigger than these mountains, and down to the Pacific Ocean. It’s the biggest country in the world, and it was farmers who took all that country and made it America, son. Don’t you ever forget that.”
♥ Almanzo couldn’t understand it. He had seen the pea under that shell, and then it wasn’t there. He asked Father how the man had done it.
“I don’t know, Almanzo,” Father said. “But he knows. It’s his game. Never bet your money on another man’s game.”