School at Crooked Creek

Book Description

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

starred review“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)

School at Crooked Creek

writ­ten by Lau­rie Lawlor
illus­trat­ed by Ronald Him­ler
Hol­i­day House, 2004

Please look for this book at 
your favorite pub­lic library
or used bookseller.