Farmer Boy – by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1933)

In 1857, just four years before the Civil War of the United States, Almanzo Wilder was born on a farm in New York State. He grew up doing the things all kids did back then – help his father with plowing and harvesting, take care of the farm animals, and go to school long enough to become proficient in reading, writing, and math. Family and farm were everything.

As an adult, Almanzo and his older brother Royal caught the homestead craze, and rushed to the Dakota Territory to claim some free land from the government. He went on to marry Laura Ingalls, the woman who wrote the famous “Little House” books. Most of the Little House books focused on Laura’s life as a child, but she published “Farmer Boy” as a memoir of her husband Almanzo’s childhood.

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The Boxcar Children: The Mystery Of The Forgotten Family – by Gertrude Chandler Warner (2020)

Not long ago, I found this book at the library and brought it home to read aloud to the grandson. We had read books one and two in the Boxcar Children series, but this was book #155. Those kids never age! Ms. Warner wrote the first book about the four Alden children in 1942, and went on to write eighteen more stories about them. Many more books were added to the series by other authors, who continued to write under the Warner name.

In “The Mystery Of The Forgotten Family”, the Alden kids stop in their local antique shop to buy a gift for someone, and discover that the shop owner – Mr. Muldaur – has had a dramatic change of personality. After an accident, in which he suffered a head injury, he has lost quite a bit of his memory. His shop is disorganized and messy, and the kids offer to help him organize everything. A nasty note has been taped on the front door of the shop, and Mr. Muldaur doesn’t know who it’s from, or why the person is so angry with him.

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