Series: Little House #3
Published by HarperCollins on April 8, 2008
Genres: Young Adult
While Laura Ingalls grows up in a little house on the western prairie, Almanzo Wilder is living on a big farm in New York State. Here Almanzo and his brother and sisters help with the summer planting and fall harvest. In winter there is wood to be chopped and great slabs of ice to be cut from the river and stored. Time for fun comes when the jolly tin peddler visits, or best of all, when the fair comes to town.
This is Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved story of how her husband Almanzo grew up as a farmer boy far from the little house where Laura lived.
As much as I love the Little House books I don’t recall ever reading this installment of the series. Farmer Boy was really interesting and a different look at that time period (1860s) in upper state New York. It mainly focused on farming which was the families bread and butter/forte.
I don’t posses a green thumb, everything I touch seems to die. I am aware of the basics, like a virgin on her wedding night, but that’s about it. Thus, the Wilders gave me a “farming for dummies” course. I knew there was a science to planting/harvesting crops but the fashion it was written kept my eyes from glazing over, describing the procession and teamwork it required if anything goes amiss, a situation akin to the I Love Lucy Candy Factory episode.
Even though Almanzo had to wake at 5am each morning to tend the cows,horse and general chores you could tell it was in his heart especially when he interacted with his horses, treating them with such a tender heart, almost as if they were his children.
While I found life on the farm very informative, I found their trips into town just as entertaining. There is one particular time during a fair in which Almanzo has enter his prized pumpkin in a contest (winning first place) it was so cute to see his excitement and anxiety to the verdict. Also, on two separate occasions he is given spending money, once from his father which he spent on a pig and another from a begrudging man after returning a lost wallet, putting the two hundred dollars in the bank showing a sensible mind. I felt it showed his character 360.
Farmer Boy was a delight to read, as sweet as pumpkin pie.