Review #64 Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

As someone who grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books and watching the TV series, I loved stories of Pioneer life and the American frontier.  Caddie Woodlawn was written in 1935, a historical fiction awarded the Newbury Medal in 1936 and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958.  The version I discovered in our book bin this summer, as I ran a camp for young writers & illustrators was the Scholastic reprint version of the 1973 book, beautifully illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.

Caddie Woodlawn is a tale of settler life on the frontier, but it is more the coming of age story about a young tomboy who refuses to settle into the mold of what is expected of a “proper” young lady.  While it chronicles her rough and tumble adventures, against a backdrop of what life would have been like in Wisconsin during the 1860s, the book also shows Caddie’s strength of character and loyalty as the friendly Indian tribe in her area is suspected of planning a Massacre like in other parts of the West. Charming, whimsical and easy to read, Caddie Woodlawn is a wonderful book for readers of any age who want to learn more about frontier life.

Paperback format, 275 pages, Scholastic Edition published in 1991 of the 1973 version with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman


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