Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Yearling

Finished The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings. It won the Pulitzer in 1939. Set in the early 20th century, it is the story of Jody, an only child, living with his mother and father. Jody craves a companion. He finds an orphaned fawn and brings him home as a pet. The fawn, named Flag, and Jody grow up together amid the beauty and dangers of backwoods Florida. These dangers include flood, rattlesnakes, wolves, bears and alligators. One bear in particular, Old Slewfoot, is brazen enough to walk off with the family's brood sow and several calves. Jody learns the ways of the woods and how to track and hunt from his father. He and Flag continue to grow until they are both really "the yearling." This book is beautifully written and as with any animal story there is sadness and grief, but I enjoyed it immensely.

The edition I read had color illustrations by N. C. Wyeth, an American illustrator of the Brandywine School. He illustrated many classics including Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Robin Hood, Robinson Crusoe and The Last of the Mohicans.

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