Title: Caddie Woodlawn’s Family (originally titled Magical Melons)
Author: Carol Ryrie Brink
Sequel to: Caddie Woodlawn
Major Themes: Wisconsin, Pioneer Life, Farm Life, Family Life
Synopsis: This sequel to Caddie Woodlawn tells more stories about the Woodlawn family and their neighbors.
A couple of months ago, someone remembered the book Caddie Woodlawn. It had been several years since we had read it, and she figured the younger children should hear it. After we read Caddie, we located a copy of the sequel, Caddie Woodlawn’s Family, in an online library. I read it aloud to the family one time, but it was so long ago no one remembered it. I’m thinking it had to have been at least 15 years ago. So, we read it and enjoyed it as much as we did the first book.
Caddie Woodlawn’s Family is not one continuous story, the way Caddie Woodlawn is. Instead, it is a series of independent stories about the Woodlawn family and their neighbors. The first story in the book is the one that the original title, Magical Melons, comes from. When one of the Woodlawn boys found melons hidden in the hay in the hayloft, there was only one possible explanation the children could think of – but was it correct? Another story tells how Caddie got a pet, and then one of her brothers got a pet, too—after the little girls rescued a rooster for their pet. Then there is the hilarious story about the cattail fight!
Some stories are very touching. The circuit rider had a beautiful story about God providing food for his family when they didn’t have any, and then Warren, Caddie’s brother, took that to heart and had an amazing experience of his own. Then there was Hetty and her friendship with a neighbor lady, which was also very touching. And, don’t forget the story about cousin Lucy and the candle in the night. That was very funny!
These stories are all based on memories that Caddie shared with her granddaughter, Carol Ryrie Brink, the author. All of them are based on Caddie’s childhood and give a delightful picture of life on the frontier in Wisconsin in the 1860s. If you can find a copy of Caddie Woodlawn’s Family don’t miss it! You will enjoy reading it, especially if you enjoy the Little House books, Caddie Woodlawn, or the Grandmas Attic books.
WARNING: Chapter 5: divil a bit. I noticed golly five times throughout the book, but I didn’t get notes taken of each location. Chapter 14: divil take the contest.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, 10 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12