Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass

Gary Paulsen, Author, Ruth Wright Paulsen, Illustrator, Ruth Wright Paulsen, With Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $19.95 (120p) ISBN 978-0-15-118101-8
Gary Paulsen, author of adventure novels for young people, shows us a world of unremitting hard work and self-sufficiency in his powerfully elegiac account of the seasonal activities of a multigenerational farming family of Scandinavian descent on the northern Great Plains some 70 years ago. This is not exactly Lake Wobegon, but akin to it. Uncertainties and rewards provide a theme. Spring represents a time of birth for animal stock. Summer means plowing, collecting wild fruit and canning garden produce on wood stoves. Fall brings the harvest and its chores--killing animals for meat--while winter, nominally a period for the farm to rest, entails gathering firewood and logging timber (a cash crop). Everybody worked, even when they relaxed at the end of the day--women quilted or crocheted, and men sharpened tools as they spun tales. Any reader with a rural background will be transported by Paulsen to the past. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 140 pages - 978-0-15-600052-9
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