Living Books

Being a Boy

Being A Boy, by Charles Dudley Warner (PDF ebook)

Today’s resource is this absolutely delightful and entertaining book about the life of a farm boy in New England in the early 1800s. As we go through the seasons of the year, we learn of the hard work, play, holidays, interests and pasttimes of farm boys of the day, and also of their family and community life in those bygone days. Written in the later 1800s with a realistic but warm and nostalgic style, this would make an excellent read aloud, and is also a great “living history” book that captures a glimpse of childhood and rural life in pre-Civil War days. What an eye opener. Highly recommended!

Excerpt:
One of the best things in the world to be is a boy; it requires no experience, though it needs some practice to be a good one. The disadvantage of the position is that it does not last long enough; it is soon over; just as you get used to being a boy, you have to be something else, with a good deal more work to do and not half so much fun. And yet every boy is anxious to be a man, and is very uneasy with the restrictions that are put upon him as a boy.

And a review from a mom from a few years ago when we first featured this story:

Great book!  Am nearly finished reading it aloud to my 11 and 12-yr-old sons. They’re enjoying it, and it has helped to increase their vocabulary. Extremely well-written although some sentences are a bit run-on. The author is not just a writer, but a poet, a wordsmith. My sons’ eyes have been opened to the hardships of late-1800 farm life, but also, they joyfully relate to the boyish, wildly imaginative heart of the boy and the self-made adventures he enjoys which transcend generations. The boy freely admits his boyish misbehavings and offers excuses, but the reader knows that the heart means well; it’s just that there’s a huge, wonderful, delectable world all around him to explore and savor, and it continually tugs him away from his chores. All-the-while, though, he is growing (sometimes relunctantly) into the mind and responsibilies of an awkward young man. I hope you offer this again for everyone who missed it. – Karen

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and save to your computer. Mac users, press the control key then click the link and save to your mac.

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