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 Farmer Boy Goes West--Chapter Reviews

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Proverbs 3:5-6
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PostSubject: Re: Farmer Boy Goes West--Chapter Reviews   Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:01 pm

Chapter 17---Tales of India

Almanzo was surprised by things that confused Willy. He wasn't used to
the kind of food they ate. He almost never finished his bread. They
didn't eat as much bread in India. After Willy had been there for a
week, he asked for rice instead of potatoes at dinner. In India he had
eaten it almost every night. Willy also missed curry, a hot spice. Since
everyone in India used it, food in America seemed bland.

Willy drank tea four or five times a day, but the tea in India was more
flavorful. He also drank it with milk and sugar like the English did,
since the British owned India. Willy often immitated the way the British
people spoke, which made them laugh.

On a day off from chores, Almanzo took Willy blackberry picking. Perly
rode on Almanzo's back and searched through the thickets. They filled
buckets to take back to Mother for preserves. The sun was warm and they
laid on their backs to look at the clouds. Almanzo gave Perley a roll
while the older boys talked. They talked about the blackberries and
other fruit like coconut, plums, cranberries, bananas, and strawberries.
Willy said he missed India sweets the most. He told Almanzo about the
sweet shop at the Indian bazaar, where woven baskets overflowed with
treats. Willy found he really liked Mother's pancakes, though,
especially the maple syrup.

Mother was afraid the school in India might not have prepared Willy for
school here, but she soon found out she was wrong. Even Alice was
impressed with all Willy knew. The students found Willy fascinating.
Only Eddie and Elmer stayed away. The boys asked about alligators and
elephants. Eddie finally wandered over and told them he thought India
was no big deal. He had been to Boston. So had Willy. Eddie said he saw
the circus in Chicago. Well, Willy had seen the canals in Venice. Eddie
called Willy scrawny. Willy admitted he had scarlet fever last year. "I
bet you can't even lift a bale of hay," said Eddie. "I bet you can't
stand on your hands," Willy answered back. Everyone cheered when he was
done and they laughed at Eddie, even Catherine.

That night, Almanzo told Alice he thought Willy was brave for sticking
up to Eddie. He told her he couldn't even work up the courage to talk to
the girl he liked. Alice told him it wasn't fair girls had to wait for
boys to be brave. She also admitted she thought he could do better than

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PostSubject: Re: Farmer Boy Goes West--Chapter Reviews   Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:53 pm

Thanks for putting all these chapter reviews up! I have read the book before, in February, I think, when it came out. Reading some of the chapter reviews made me want to read it again. I think your doing a great job!
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PostSubject: Re: Farmer Boy Goes West--Chapter Reviews   Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:32 pm

Chapter 18---Walking Catherine Home

After school the next day Almanzo waited for Catherine. Alice and Willy had already bagan their walk home. His hands were sweaty and he was afraid that Catherine would laugh at him.
She came out of the schoolhouse and almost went right by him without even noticing him. He stepped into her path and asked to walk her home. At first she was startled but she agreed. She suggested that Willy walk with them but unfortunately for her, he had already left.
They walked very slowly and she did most of the talking. He was shy and so he didn't mind her chatter. She laughed at the comments that he did make and that make. It was a nice walk but she was going so slowly that he was afraid that he would be late for chores. They had two farms to take care of and it always took awhile to get them all done.
Catherine talked about her hopes to have many dresses. She had spied a nice piece of material in the general store and hoped that she could buy some for a new dress. Then she fretted about finding the right shade of hair ribbons. Almanzo thought that the ribbons she had on were very nice but she replied that they were pink and the new dress would be blue, they wouldn't go together. Catherine wandered what it would be like to be a queen and wear jewels, how they would shine. Almanzo thought that they might look as pretty as the world in the sun after the first frost.
By this time, Almanzo's nerves had settled and he commented that he would like to move out west to farm many acres of potatoes, wheat and corn. Catherine said that she loved corn and for a minute the two of them talked about something that Almanzo was very interested in, FOOD! But that conversation didn't last long and Catherine went back to talking about hair ribbons.
He was courteous as he left her at her door, tipping his hat to her. She walked politely until he was out of sight of that door and then he ran all the way home. He was late! But Alice and Willy had started his chores for him and teased him so much that he went to the calf pens just to get away from it.
The next day he walked Catherine home again and she walked even more slowly than before. He was at his wits end. She talked about a new dress that was being made for the next social and her hopes of another new one for Christmas. Almanzo met a frustrated Alice after his run home and told hem that he needed to do his own chores. Father was looking for him and she didn't want to be telling fibs to cover for him.
Almanzo wondered how he could get to know her and find out if she was the one he was to marry if he didn't walk her home? At that Father came into the barn and asked what all the marrying talk was about. He advised his children to make sure that the mate that they each picked was one that would better their lives. Marriage was work and the right mate must be found.
The next day Almanzo told Catherine that he had a surprise for her. He went to the hitching post and brought Queen and Stella over to where she stood. Catherine was not impressed at all. She didn't want to ride on a smelly horse and have her pretty dress smelly for the rest of the week.
Almanzo was in shock. He suddenly realized why Alice never cared at all for Catherine. She was vain and spoiled. She only cared about herself and worst of all, she didn't like horses. After seeing the face that she had made while looking at beautiful Queen, Catherine didn't look very pretty anymore. Almanzo realized that he had made a mistake.
Catherine told Almanzo that he could still walk her home but he said that he couldn't leave the horses alone. Besides, he had chores to do. Catherine went off home in a huff and Almanzo was relieved that he had found out the real truth about her before it was too late.
Alice, Willy and Bert were waiting behind the schoolhouse. Alice had known that this would happen. She knew that Catherine didn't like horses because she was always complaining about them.
As Willy and Almanzo rode the horses home and Alice and Bert walked, Almanzo thought about his future. He would go out west and find the right girl. She might be quiet like him and she would appreciate his horses just like he did. It might take awhile but he wasn't in a hurry. He would wait for as long as it took to find the right girl.

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PostSubject: Re: Farmer Boy Goes West--Chapter Reviews   Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:58 pm

Chapter 19---Homecoming

Almanzo no longer asked Father when they would be going home. He often
wrote to Royal to ask about Starlight, who he missed very much. Though
Father hadn't expected to be in Minnesota so long, everyone was happy
there. Then things changed. Aunt Martha announced she was getting
married. She would be moving to a new farm and hoped for a baby like
Perley. She told them she was grateful for their help, but it was time
to move on. Aunt Martha was going to sell them George's farm. Almanzo
was glad all the work they did on the other farm would be useful to

Soon after Martha got married, Father came home from town and told them
he found someone to manage their land for year. Now they could go back
to Malone and sell the farm there. After two years in Spring Valley, it
was strange to be leaving again. Almanzo didn't want to go east, he
wanted to keep going west. He wanted to start his own pioneer life, to
finish school and start his own farm. But he also wanted to go home,
because he didn't want to go west without Starlight.

Willy woke Almanzo from his dreams. It was the day to leave for Malone.
Frank, his dog, was curled on the floor below the bed. Willy called him
to the window. "What is it?" Almanzo asked. "I don't see anything."
"The snow," said Willy. "Look how beautiful it is." It was the first
snowfall. No big deal to Almanzo, but Willy had never seen snow before.

Willy was coming to Malone with them. His older brother, Eddie, might
join them there. Although there would be a lot of work to do, Almanzo
was sure there would plenty of time for snowball fights, sleigh rides,
and roasting chestnuts and mulled cider around a blazing fire. Almanzo
would make sure Willy didn't miss a single winter activity.

Later that day, they packed the last trunk into the wagon. Bert rode up
on Velvet to wish them a safe journey. He took Alice's hand and pressed
it between his own. "I hope you come back very soon." Almanzo knew Bert
would take good of Frank while they were gone. Almanzo couldn't wait
until everyone he cared for lived in one place.

The train ride back to Malone was a blur. Almanzo had been amazed by how
big and loud everything was the first time, but now he felt grown up,
carrying the luggage, holding their tickets, and buying food. Royal was
waiting for them at the train station in Malone. He looked taller,
thinner, and older. He also sported a thick, bristling mustache. Almanzo
told him it looked like big hairy caterpillar. Almanzo noticed Royal
didn't have to look down so far to meet his eyes.

Almanzo introduced Willy. Royal pointed out the new buildings in town as
they drove through. He shared all the latest news. A farmer had come by
to look at the house. Almanzo had a hard time listening. He couldn't
wait to see Starlight. He wanted to show his horse to Perley. He asked
his baby brother if he was going to brave when he met Starlight.
"Bwave," announced Perley. Then Almanzo told him, "You'll have to be
even braver than that when you meet Eliza Jane." Alice scolded him. Good
thing Perley knew Almanzo was joking.

When they arrived, Eliza Jane came out to greet them. She was cross that
Almanzo wanted to see his horse more than his own sister. Seemed EJ
hasn't changed at all. Father let him go. Almanzo ducked into the barn.
As if he knew Almanzo was coming, Starlight had is head over the stall.
His ear's pricked up and his soft brown eyes seemed to shine with joy.
He pushed his nose into Almanzo's outstretched palm and nuzzled
Almanzo's neck. "I'm back, Starlight," said Almanzo. "Are you ready for
a great adventure?" Then he told Starlight how they would bring all the
horses to Minnesota by boat. Almanzo admitted Starlight might not like
that part, but he would love the western prairies. "Just you wait,
Starlight," Almanzo said. "We're going west--you and me together. Wait
and see."

The End

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PostSubject: Re: Farmer Boy Goes West--Chapter Reviews   Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:59 pm

Hope you all enjoyed reading this book with us. Cheryl and I had fun writing these reviews.

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PostSubject: Re: Farmer Boy Goes West--Chapter Reviews   Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:13 am

Of course I've likes to read these reviews! You are very graphic ,Marilyn, and I can said just te same than Mary said to Laura when she was already blind and they were wandering on the prairie: "...Why, Laura! You make pictures when you talk! ". Y shoud said: "Why, Marilyn! Yo9u make pictures when you WRITE!"

Vanesa. Smiley Hug

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PostSubject: Re: Farmer Boy Goes West--Chapter Reviews   Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:10 pm

Well, I had help. Cheryl and I wrote them together. I just posted them all.

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PostSubject: Re: Farmer Boy Goes West--Chapter Reviews   Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:01 am

Wow, great reviews. I wish my library will have this book. Was this like the full chapters of the book?

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PostSubject: Re: Farmer Boy Goes West--Chapter Reviews   Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:00 pm

No, we didn't write up the full chapters, but it gives you a good sense for what each chapter entails.

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