Caddie Woodlawn

I finished another one of the children's books I've set myself to read this year - Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. I've known about this book for YEARS, but refused to read it - I think I thought her name was stupid. Caddie- like a golf thing.

The book is about Caddie Woodlawn, a pioneer girl living in the Wisconsin during the 1860's. What struck me at first was that the book took place at the same time and place as Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods. But that is where the comparison ends. Where Laura never talks about the difficulty of being brought up as a pioneer lady, Caddie is faced with it constantly. Her father made a bargain with her mother - he wanted to improve Caddie's frail health as a little girl by letting her grow up "with the boys" - outside, wild and free. She seems to have had a lot more spirit and spunk than Laura had, but so many other aspects of her life were different than the Ingalls family - more children, a father who didn't have a wandering heart and BROTHERS, that you can't really compare them together...

One thing that I find interesting about books like this one is that girls are always the same no matter what year it is. We want to be wild and free and yet we like the responsibility that comes to us as women and mothers. I liked seeing into Caddie's thoughts and heart, something that I didn't get to see in the Little House books. Harumph!

Another thing that I always think about when reading books of 'a long time ago' is how much less stuff they have. No WalMart. No dollar store. No 8 bazillion little doodads to buy from gumball machines to clutter up your house and life. I know that I would have not liked doing without so much, but I do wish I had fewer things to worry about. (Please God, don't answer my prayer with a house fire!)


RoMo said…
I recognized the illustrator Trina Schart Hyman right away. She's a favorite of mine. Is it just the cover, or are there more illustrations inside?
Heather Eddy said…
Lots more inside. She's a good illustrator - very feminine (luscious curvy lines).

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