Garnet Linden loves life on a Wisconsin farm, in spite of financial difficulties, hard physical labor and dependence on the weather. She and her friend Citronella lead a simple life, doing many things children today can no longer do. They walk into town without telling their parents and manage to get locked into the public library. Garnet hitch hikes 18 miles to the nearest city when she gets angry at her brother and eventually brings her pet hog there to the fair and wins a blue ribbon.
Despite all that, Garnet’s loyalty to her family and way of life are refreshing and healthy. Her parents, brother and neighbors demonstrate the magnanimity and hospitality that one often finds in rural communities. Many readers may be surprised at the independence that a nine year old girl had in the countryside of the 1930’s. Garnet, however, demonstrates that human nature has not really changed. Nearly a century after this book was written, adventuresome young girls still need family and friends.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ.