March 22, 2012
Review of "Farmer Boy"
Honestly, it has taken me 25 years and several failed attempts to finally finish reading this book, and now that I have, I really have no idea why, because it is just simply DELIGHTFUL! I was taken aback a couple of times by how much social mores and attitudes have changed, but that's always to be expected when you're reading about events that happened in the 1860s. I must admit that I did not envy or appreciate the role of women in the book, no matter how nostalgic I may get for by-gone days, but then, some of the characters in the book commented on that same issue themselves.
When I was younger and first tried to read this but just couldn't get interested, my mom postulated that it might have been because the protagonist was a boy, and I think she was definitely on to something. After all, I hadn't often stumbled upon many girls in books with whom I could identify as strongly as I did with little Laura Ingalls, who was as big a tomboy as I was and yet still knew how to be feminine at times. Having finally found her, why would I want to take a break from HER exciting adventures to read about some boy?!
Many literature classes and quite a few life lessons later, however, I've since gotten over any such reservations, and it was fascinating to me to read about what Almonzo was up to when he and Laura were both children and hadn't yet met, to see the same general time period from the point of view of a more established and prosperous family than Laura's. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and recommend it to children of both genders and any age.