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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2002
A long time ago, eight-year old Almanzo Wilder and his family lived on a farm in New York state. Every evening, he and his brother, Royal, had to do their chores, which were milking the cows, filling the horse�s troughs with water, pitching hay, chopping ice, hauling wood, and more. They had to grow their own corn, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, and peas,which also meant they had to fight frost to save the corn. They made their own clothes and tools. Almanzo had two calves that he had to train to haul things.
In this book, many things happened to Almanzo. When he and his father went to chop ice, Almanzo fell into the water. Also, Almanzo�s mother and father went away for ten days, leaving Almanzo and his siblings at home. While they were away, Almanzo painted the stove black. While he was painting, his sister, Eliza Jane, came in and made him mad. He started waving his hand with the paintbrush in it around, and it flew out of his hand. It hit the wall and made a black splotch, so Eliza Jane patched it up.
I would recommend this book, because it is kind of, but not too descriptive. Also, it is fun to read and listen to because the writer makes boring things sound fun like when Almanzo has to do chores.
My favorite character was Alice, one of Almanzo�s older sisters, because she did everything that Almanzo and Royal did, even though she was a girl. She was also really nice and never got mad, even when Almanzo and Royal tease her.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Since my first four children are boys, I thought Farmer Boy would be the perfect introduction for them to the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The hero of this story is Almanzo Wilder, a spunky country boy who is only 9 years old when the story opens.

Almanzo lives in New York State in the late 19th century with his mother and father, older brother Royal, and two sisters, Eliza Jane and Alice. Almanzo is the youngest. They live in the days of horse drawn carriages, home made dinners, no electricity and the one room school house.

Mrs. Wilder draws us into the story immediately with a dangerous situation in the school house. A new teacher is in town and he has to deal with the Hardscrabble boys. These are older boys, really young men, who have taunted and provoked previous teachers. They beat one teacher so badly that he died. Mild mannered Mr. Corse has taken the position and with the help of Almanzo's dad, comes up with a very politically incorrect (by our standards) but effective way of dealing with these ruffians and saving the school year for the other children.

This is just one of the very exciting adventures in this book. I found as I was reading it to my children, that I could pick out virtually any chapter and find an exciting story that could stand by itself, with Almanzo right in the middle of it. From falling through the ice, to saving the crops from freezing, a mysterious stray dog, to trying to prove his maturity to Father, this book captivated my sons and even my 7-year-old daughter!

My kids particularly enjoyed Mrs. Wilder's description of food and meals. She describes everything so wonderfully that you can almost smell the odors and taste the food.

"Almanzo ate the sweet, mellow baked beans. He ate the bit of salt pork that melted like cream in his mouth. He ate mealy boiled potatoes with brown ham-gravy. He ate the ham. He bit deep into velvety bread spread with sleek butter and he ate the crisp golden crust. He demolished a tall heap of pal mashed turnips and a hill of stewed yellow pumpkin. Then he sighed and tucked his napkin deeper into the neckband of his red waist. And he ate plum preserves and strawberry jam, and grape jelly and spiced watermelon-rind pickles. He felt very comfortable inside. Slowly he ate a large piece of pumpkin pie."

Yum!!

What strikes me throughout the book was that there was a rhythm and circle to life that had to be followed for survival. When it was time to cut ice for the year, it was time to cut ice. If you waited too long or started too early, you would not have enough ice to last until next year. When it was time to plant, everyone worked to get the crops in. When it was time to harvest everyone worked hard then too. There was also no waist. Every bit of the crop was used. When a pig or a steer was butchered, all the parts of the animal were used for food, clothing and even making soap and candles.

Although Almanzo and his siblings work well together, they still have their squabbles. One of the more endearing parts of the book was an exchange between Eliza Jane and Almanzo that could have been real trouble for Almanzo, and upsetting for mother. However, but Eliza Jane out compassion for her brother and sorrow for her own part in it, makes things right.

The book has much humor in to. Our favorite part came in the end when the town tightwad tries to tip Almanzo with a nickel, and Almanzo quips that he wouldn't take his nickel, because, "I can't change it!"

For an authentic look at what life was like just before the 20th century, I would highly recommend this book. If I wanted to pass on the importance of hard work and preparation, I think Farmer Boy also illustrates those lessons well. But most importantly it's an uplifting story of a family that works together as a team, and a little boy trying to grow-up and reach his dreams.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2000
When reading this book, I formed an alliance to it. Growing up on a farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I could relate to this book. The weather that could ruin a crop, the pride of having the barn full for the winter and the county fair being the highlight of the summer's end. Almanzo was a farm boy to the bone. While the hard work was always there, there was still the closeness of family working together. You can feel the great love Alamnzo has for Alice, the respect for Royal and tolerance of bossy Eliza Jane. In the end, Almanzo realizes he does have a love for Eliza when she repairs the parlor wallpaper he nearly ruined after throwing the blacking brush at her. The family has a great sense of humor and prided themselves as being farmers. I enjoyed the way this book was written. Almanzo's parents were such hardworkers from morning to dusk. His father tending to all farmwork plus the animals. He'd get up in the middle of the freezing winters to make sure his animals did not freeze. Everything was done with determination and elbow grease. His mother made all there clothes plus canned and prepared all foods. They were very self efficient and did not rely on others for their daily bread. A wonderful story that shows love, jealously, teamwork, fun and respect. One of my all time favorites!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2003
Farmer Boy
By: Alicia
Farmer Boy is about a boy named Almanzo that wanted a colt really bad. He wanted one all through out the book. His father is like a firm and stern person, and Almanzo doesn't think he'll let him have one. Although his father is like that he is a good lesson teacher. He teaches him lots of things like what hardwork is and to be honest. He is a lot like his father. He makes and does the same things as him. One time he brakes his calves and entered his pumpkin in a contest. He also got a pig. When a potato hit him in the eye I hoped he was ok. You should read how Almanzo and his brothers and sisters helped each other, how they worked, and how they played.
I think Laura wanted to tell us that our dreams can come true and to keep believing. I think She wanted to let us understand what respect is and she taught a lot of good lessons in the book. Also what hardwork is and about farm life and how it was back then.
I liked the book because Laura Ingalls Wilder has a good description of her book. It made you want to be there and do it. Also to see if Almanzo's dream or wish would come true. It made me want to read it. Did Almanzo get what he wanted? Do you think his life is easy? What happened when a potato hit him? Did he win the contest? Read it and find out!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2010
Farmer Boy (Little House) was written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She wrote the book about her husband Almanzo Wilder's life as a child. Farmer Boy takes place on the Wilder family's big farm in New York State in the 19th Century. Almanzo`s father was known for his prized horses. Almanzo wanted to have his own colt to train and to play with. Mr. Wilder said he wasn't old enough or responsible enough to care for a colt. Almanzo and his family worked very hard to reach their goals. Almanzo had to get up very early in the morning to help plant, water and harvest the crops when needed. Sometimes the weather was very cold. Once when harvesting the potatoes, it was so cold that Almanzo had to make a fire out of potato tops. At the Independence Day Celebration in town, some older boys dared Almanzo to ask his father for a nickel to buy lemonade. Instead his father gave him a half dollar. Almanzo bought a sucking pig instead of buying lemonade with the money. This showed his father that he understood the value of money and how hard a person must work to earn it. At the end of the story Almanzo was old enough and more responsible so that he could have his own colt. I recommend this book to everyone because it is a very good book. I rate the book five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2003
FARMER BOY
In Farmer Boy, written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, there is a boy named Almanzo Wilder. He is spunky and loved the farm life and especially horses and colts. His father owned and trained them. Almanzo always wanted a colt, but his father wouldn't let him have one. When he goes to the county fair he sees horses there. He asks if he gets a colt, he could take it to the fair next year.
I think that Laura tries to tell us that hard work and being responsible really do matter. Also that if you try you can accomplish anything you want to. I also think that she tries to show us how hard life was in the 1800's. When they needed milk they have to go out and milk the cow in the cold. They can't go to the store and buy a half- gallon of milk.
I really enjoyed reading this book because Laura gives good descriptions and words it very well. She also shows how hard farm life was back then. So does his responsibility pay off? Does he get a colt or not?
By: Maura
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2000
This is the third book in the "Little House" series but is a radical departure from the others since it chronicles the yearly events of LIW's husband as a young boy on a 19th century farm in Malone, New York (as opposed to pioneer life). There isn't really much of a plot, but if you are interested in the details of daily farm life during this period from a young child's point of view, it is a fantastic read. It gives a lot more detail than the other Little House books and, along the way, describes such things as butter-making, "breaking" horses and cattle, Sunday dinner, clothes-making, shearing wool, ice-cream making, planting crops, going to school, etc... While this may sound boring, it's actually quite colorful and entertaining. I highly recommend this for people of all ages (I read my first LH books in 3rd grade and still re-read them occaisionally), especially children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2003
Farmer Boy
Farmer Boy is about a smart and eger boy named Almonzo who wants to train the colts but there is just one problem he is not old enough. This book also talks about how life styles were different than ours today. Another great aspect of this book is that it is full of adventures that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Also the author gives many specific details about the food.
I think that the author is trying to show her readers that you should always work hard to reach your goals and never give up. Good thing happen to thoses who wait and work hard. But most of all, it teaches you to do the right thing when choosing right from wrong.
I like this book because the author made this story as if I am in the characters shoes. It was written well and full of laughter. I wanted to know if he ever got to train the colts, so I read it that night and got my answer.
kayla
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2006
This book is about a boy growing up on a farm. His name is Almanzo or "Manzo" for short. He has two sisters(Eliza Jane & Alice)and a big brother (Royal). He also has a pair of yearling oxen (Star & Bright)! This book tells you a lot of interesting things, like how to plant potatoes, wheat, rye, and carrots. It also tells you what you can do with all the parts of a beef and how to shear sheep. It is very exciting and

really makes you wonder what will happen. An example is(pg.181) when Frank dared Almanzo to ask his father for a nickel. "Yah, you're scared! Frank jeered. Double dare! Double dare!" Back then a nickel was a lot of money and a penny was the most valuable coin he had for his whole life so

far! If you want to find out what happens next read it!

What I liked about this book is that it's written in the third person. I prefer "he" to "I". I like all the animals in the story. I would not like to live on a farm like Almanzo because it would be too much work, but I would like to pet the animals and eat all the homemade Homegrown food.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2002
I like the book Farmer Boy, because I really like the way the author wrote the book. It's easy enough for almost anyone to read. I also like all the details and the pictures. It gives really good details and there's some good pictures in it.
The best part of the book is when Almonzo's dad gave him a half dollar for helping plant potatoes. Almonzo's snotty cousin, Frank was surprised and jealous. The worse part of the book was when someone tried to break into Almonzo's home. A stray dog saved all their lives.
The story elements that I like most and are most vivid to me are the characters and the setting. The setting was in the 1800's, and I like to read how people use to live in those days. All the characters have totally different personality's. For example, Almanzo's sister, Eliza Jane is bossy while his other sister, Alice is nice and isnt at all bossy.
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