[bksvol-discuss] Just submitted Little Heathens, by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

  • From: "Jana Jackson" <jana@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 02:29:20 -0500

Hi, all!  At the recent request of a member, I just submitted Little 
Heathens: Hard Times And High Spirits On An Iowa Dirt Farm During The Great 
Depression, by Mildred Armstrong Kalish.  Should be an easy validation for 
someone.  I tried to put all the picture captions at the end of the file, 
right before the book jacket info, like I usually do.  I think I got them 
all, but I may have overlooed a couple.  Other than that, this one shouldn't 
be hard.  Here's the info from the book jacket:

I tell of a time, a place, and a way of life long gone. For many years I 
have had the urge to describe that treasure trove, lest it vanish forever. 
So, partly in response to the basic human instinct to share feelings and 
experiences, and partly for the sheer joy and excitement of it all, I report 
on my early life. It was quite a romp.

So begins Mildred Kalish's story of growing up on her grandparents' Iowa 
farm during the depths of the Great Depression. With her father banished 
from the household for mysterious transgressions, five-year-old Mildred and 
her family could easily have been overwhelmed by the challenge of simply 
trying to survive. This, however, is not a tale of suffering.

Kalish counts herself among the lucky of that era. She had caring 
grandparents who possessed-and valiantly tried to impose-all the pioneer 
virtues of their forebears, teachers who inspired and befriended her, and a 
barnyard full of animals ready to be tamed and loved. She and her siblings 
and their cousins from the farm across the way played as hard as they 
worked, running barefoot through the fields, as free and wild as they dared.

Filled with recipes and how-tos for everything from catching and skinning a 
rabbit to preparing homemade skin and hair beautifiers, apple cream pie, and 
the world's best head cheese (start by scrubbing the head of the pig until 
it is pink and clean), Little Heathens portrays a world of hardship and hard 
work tempered by simple rewards. There was the unsurpassed flavor of tender 
new dandelion greens harvested as soon as the snow melted; the taste of 
crystal clear marble-sized balls of honey robbed from a bumblebee nest; the 
sweet smell from the body of a lamb sleeping on sun-warmed grass; and the 
magical quality of oat shocking under the light of a full harvest moon.

Little Heathens offers a loving but realistic portrait of a 
"hearty-handshake Methodist" family that gave its members a remarkable 
legacy of kinship, kindness, and remembered pleasures. Recounted in a 
luminous narrative filled with tenderness and humor, Kalish's memoir of her 
childhood shows how the right stuff can make even the bleakest of times seem 
like "quite a romp."


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  • » [bksvol-discuss] Just submitted Little Heathens, by Mildred Armstrong Kalish