Beansie loves his free and simple life with Ma, Pap, and his sister, Louisa, on their Indiana homestead. But now his parents want him to go to the new log cabin school, where he’ll be cooped up inside all day. How will he and Louisa find their way to school and back? How will Beansie cope with rough boys such as Oliver Sweeny, who can outrun, outlick, and outholler anybody?
Awards and Recognition
- Best Children’s Books of the Year 2005, Bank Street College of Education.
- Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award nominee (Florida), 1987–88
Reviews and Comments
“This short, solid chapter book is set in 1820s rural Indiana. Narrated by six-year-old Beansie, it tells of his first reluctant experience with school … The book is rich with colloquial language, superstitions, and information about this pioneer family. Nicely done, shaded, pencil drawings help set the tone. This novel will work well for curriculum ties, and may spark interest in the period when read aloud.” (School Library Journal, starred review)
“Lawlor’s keen eye for the specifics of childhood dread bring the book vividly to life.” (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“Lively writing, abundant details about homestead life, and old-fashioned words and expressions sprinkled throughout the text make this a fine introduction to the period as well as a solid story of a brother and sister learning to help each other feel important.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Set in central Indiana in the 1820s. … It’s a folksy, funny portrayal of the time and place.” (Booklist)
“[Laurie Lawlor] has obviously researched the way settlers lived, what they ate, and how schools looked. … The truth of hardscrabble existence for early pioneers rings true as the six year old has to help with chores, hold up his end in not complaining, and learn quickly what behaviors work to make friends.” (Children’s Literature)
written by Laurie Lawlor
illustrated by Ronald Himler
Holiday House, 2004
Please look for this book at
your favorite public library
or used bookseller.