If I could pick one book that every 7,8, or 9 year old MUST read, it would be this one. The story of Almanzo Wilder's life growing up on a farm in New York is totally compelling to children at this age. He's just a small boy, but he's strong, capable, and shoulders so much responsibility in the day-to-day on the farm. He works hard, and like all boys, is daydreamy and wistful to be off playing rather than hauling water or chopping wood, but there's such an intensity of life this brings him that the typical media and gizmo saturated child of today is genuinely envious of Almanzo and charmed to journey with him for the year retold in Farmer Boy. He comes from a large family, his parents very loving yet very hardworking people who expect a lot of Almanzo. Nearly everything they eat, wear, and use is produced there on the farm, and it is one of the greatest pleasures of the book that the planting and weaving and washing and building and milking and all the other countless necessaries are vividly detailed and the reader can almost taste Almanzo's favorite apples and onions or smell the sweetly dusty air of the hay barn. I think every child who has read this book is eager to go out at once and grow a pumpkin just the way Almanzo does it--Almanzo has the secret for growing the biggest pumpkins in the county. And there's no greater inspiration than Almanzo to tempt kids into adventuring with some good wholesome food. The boy's mealtime accounts are absolutely mouthwatering. And working hard from sun up to sun down, that boy could eat! But Almanzo is restless, and not so much to be free to play all day, but to be allowed to work with his father's prize horses. His father is known have the finest horses, and he's not about to let just anybody mess with them. Horses must be handled just right, otherwise you could easily ruin them, and Almanzo's not ready to be trusted with them. The 'coming of age' for Almanzo is one of the most touching and powerful in all of children's literature. Please - if you've a child this age who hasn't yet read or heard Farmer Boy, don't let this book pass them by. By the end of the book you have come to know and love Almanzo so well, it's a sad good-bye indeed. Reader's won't meet him again until years later, as a young man who first meets Laura Ingalls in "By the Shores of Silver Lake".