17 Comments

  1. Loved getting your thoughts on this! I read it in 6th grade and loved it. We watched the movie a few weeks back, but I didn’t remember enough about the book to compare. I’m sure it took some liberties, and it didn’t include either of the passages you mention “editing.”

    There’s an abridged version that my daughter read. I didn’t screen it myself, but now I’m curious…

    We finished Caddie Woodlawn, and I’m linking up here:
    http://www.acrossthepage.net/2011/05/05/caddie-woodlawn/

  2. Great review of an excellent book! I’ve seen the movie, and as far as I can remember, my family enjoyed it. However, it’s been a while, so I don’t really recall how true it stayed to the original story.

  3. Amy

    Ink Slinger–thanks for weighing in in the movie. Thanks for clicking over to my blog this weekend!

  4. I red Rascal so long ago that I don’t remember much about it. Some books are more challenging to read aloud. Right now I’m reading Joni to a nine year old, twlve year old and a fourteen year old. I think some of the subject matter is a little too much for the nine year old, but she’s the one who wants to keep reading when we’ve finished for the day.

  5. Mark

    I read this book many times as a child and trace my continued love for raccoons to Sterling North’s wonderful account of his pet coon and the incredible drawings found in this fine book.

    So this year I give the book to me 7 year old niece and we read it together. I was shocked to find evolution being taught and even one occurrence of the D word! I didn’t remember anything like that ever … but there it was. I smoothed it over but I may be a little less eager to recommend this book in the future. That makes me sad because it’s a wonderful book … but there are certainly some places one needs to be careful with.

  6. Heather

    I’ve just finished reading Rascal for the first time. I teach 4th grade and was considering it for a lit. group, particularly because of the multitude of animal adaptation and behavior references. They tie in so wonderfully with our science. Having finished it, I realize it is too lofty for them to read independently so I will use it as a read aloud.

    Though I respect the opinions about the difficult topics addressed, I plan to read the book with all parts (yes, including the “d” word) to preserve the author’s words. I prepare my students by discussing the author’s purpose for authenticity in telling the story. If a child already knows it’s a bad word (and they all do), then he knows not to repeat it. Just as the character comes to his own realization about trapping animals, it is through education that we grow and come to our own conclusions.

    I’ve written all kinds of notes to myself in my copy and cannot wait to read it to my kids. I think they’re going to love it as much as I do.

    • Amy

      Heather,

      In general I am not in favor of censoring an author’s original words. However, since my children are very young (just 8 and 6 now, so they were much younger when I read Rascal aloud to them), I tend to err on the side of caution. Now that I also have a two year old listening along, I am even more cautious, for while they would understand that a word is “bad,” he would not. Certainly your situation with a classroom full of age-mates might be looked at differently. Thank you for commenting and I hope your school year goes smoothly and successfully!

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