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Little Joe Hardcover – August 24, 2010


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Little Joe + The Beef Princess of Practical County + Levi's Lost Calf
Price for all three: $33.18

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375860975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375860973
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,145,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-6–This is a sweet book about the relationships among three generations of farmers–Eli Stegner, his father, and his grandfather. It is also about Eli's connection to the first calf he gets to call his own. Little Joe is destined to be a winner at the county fair cattle show, but that blue ribbon will pretty much insure that he goes to the highest bidder and then to the butcher. Such is the reality of farm life. However, Eli and Joe are in for a happy ending, as are the boy and his father, whose relationship evolves from one of prickly distance to mutual understanding, thanks to the gentle influence of Eli's grandfather. A helpful diagram shows the parts of a beef animal. This thoughtful, tender book will appeal to those readers who are familiar with the Stegners' world, and many more will be able to identify with the highs and lows of familial love.Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Nine-year-old Eli, excited to be raising his first Angus calf, dubs the young bull Little Joe. Dad cautions against getting attached (“No use naming something that’s gonna get eaten”), while Eli worries about living up to Dad’s standards at the fair. Luckily, Grandpa is more understanding, teaching Eli the finer points of showing cattle, reassuring him when Dad is too punitive, and purchasing the prize steer to keep it out of the food chain. Wallace sets her story in rural Pennsylvania, where spring peepers and spotted salamanders still cross country roads and swimming holes are a welcome summer respite. Characters are well drawn, especially Eli, Dad, Grandpa, and Keller, a ne’er-do-well friend who raises pigs. Animal lovers will be fascinated by the details of raising beef cattle as well as the economic realities of modern farm life. Elliott’s pencil sketches decorate each chapter heading and highlight key scenes. Grades 3-5. --Kay Weisman

More About the Author

A former news anchor and ESPN announcer, Sandra Neil Wallace may have snagged her best lead yet in uncovering the inspirational achievements of the Jerome Muckers football team. She discovered the story while sifting through a box of letters and other memorabilia. The trail of letters led her to write MUCKERS.

Sandra was named an outstanding newcomer to the children's literature scene by the Horn Book following the publication of her first novel LITTLE JOE,which has been translated into Simplified Chinese and Japanese. BABE CONQUERS THE WORLD is Sandra's newest book, a biography on sports legend Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Sandra lives in New Hampshire with her husband, author Rich Wallace, and travels frequently to Jerome Arizona, to visit the surviving Muckers players. Visit gomuckers.com for more on MUCKERS and sandraneilwallace.com for Sandra's other books.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
Perhaps you have to have some knowledge of the topic to make it really good.
Grammy
Little Joe is an endearing tale of three generations -- Eli, his Pa and Grandpa, and how they each deal with their love of the animals they raise to show and sell.
janet k lucy
As parents it is a joy to find a book we enjoy as much as our little one does.
Erika Romer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Molly on August 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I picked up Little Joe and was instantly captivated with the story of Eli and raising his first calf Little Joe, to be shown in the County Fair. For many of us, the relationships we build with our animals, be it farm animals or household pets, is a special bond and yet we all bump into people who view these relationships quite differently. Eli is raised in a traditional farming household where beliefs about raising beef cattle differ from generation to generation. Eli's youthful idealism, and kind, caring heart are easy to fall in love with as he experiences what it means to raise a calf for the first time. Sandra Neil Wallace writes a compelling story, that has one turning the page for more, waiting to see what happens both with Little Joe and Eli as they prepare for the County Fair and the moment when both their lives, and relationship have the opportunity to be altered forever. Each chapter introduces one to Eli's family as well as his community and one gathers a strong sense of place and character within these pages. I felt by the end of reading Little Joe, that I had spent the summer tagging along after Eli, wondering what would become of Little Joe, and pondering over life's grander questions while also gathering a true sense of his town, community, and country life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy R. on September 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Its hard to find a book that both boys and girls find appealing, and this one's a keeper. If your kids love animal stories like Charlotte's Web or Babe the Gallant Pig, they'll be captivated by this book. I read it aloud to my nieces and nephews and they made me keep going past their bedtime, wanting to know what happens to Little Joe, Keller's hogs and pa's first calf, Shamrock. some of them live in the city and the only place they get to see animals is at the petting zoo, so they felt like they were right there with all the barn animals spending the seasons with Eli and feeding apples to Little Joe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynda W. on October 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My ten year old daughter and her cousins really enjoyed this book. They took turns reading it to each other over summer vacation, and the characters and story came up in their conversations for weeks. The story is very sweet but still earthy and real, so it appeals to kids of a wide range of ages. Best of all, it succeeds at being really compelling for kids while at the same time being a story that any parents would want their kids to read, and read again. I think this book will be around for a very long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Colleen M. Evans on October 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
Once you get started you won't be able to put it down...I read Little Joe cover to cover in a day, and felt transported to a rural landscape and lifestyle that was charming and educational at the same time! I highly recommend this book to anyone who has even the slightest interest in this world that is so much a part of our existence on this planet...it reminds us of our deep humanity and connects us all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By janet k lucy on October 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
Lively descriptive writing punctuates this sweet story about a farm boy who can't help falling in love with his newborn beef calf. Little Joe is an endearing tale of three generations -- Eli, his Pa and Grandpa, and how they each deal with their love of the animals they raise to show and sell. Sandra Neil Wallace knows her subjects, farm life and creative writing! Lots of great discussion topics for children, their parents and teachers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michelle on March 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Like Eli entering the dark, cave-like world inside the barn, guided by the gullies cut into the floor, I was transported to a completely different environment in reading Little Joe. It's a captivating one, especially because it's real. Eli, the tender-hearted farm boy, grows as close to his calf as a city kid would to his dog. There's no cell phones in this story, but frozen ponds to chip water out of, salamanders to rescue, and a calf to raise. As the harsh realities of farm life set in, Eli's heart gets bruised but he never hardens, and like his grandfather, lets the miracles in nature take hold of him, even if it hurts. Any child who loves animals will cherish this book, destined to become a classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emily on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm a sucker for farm stories, and this one didn't let me down. I love the vivid setting, the realistic characters, and the variety of relationships and tensions developed throughout the book. The line drawings are warm and inviting, too, giving the book a classic feel. I'm thinking about getting it as a Christmas gift for a few kids I know.
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