Book talks for readers at Chisago Lakes Middle School.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Our Farm by Michael J. Rosen

When I heard about this book I knew it would be special. I didn't live on a farm growing up, but many of my favorite times were spent visiting my grandparents' farms. Our Farm: Four Seasons with Five Kids on One Family's Farm, by Michael J. Rosen, gave me a chance to relive those good times and reminisce about the farms I still feel connected to.

Some of you out there haven't had much experience on a farm, but I know you're curious. I think it's still true that you can't live in Minnesota without hearing about "life on the farm" from someone you know. Growing up on a family farm is obviously a different lifestyle than many of us are used to. I have a lot of respect for those that have grown up on farms, and maybe I'm revealing a little jealousy, too. Kids that grow up on farms know that the quality you get in something is a direct result of the effort you put in. Kids that grow up on farms are natural problem solvers and improvisers. Kids that grow up on farms basically have a different appreciation of what's important in life.

In Michael J. Rosen's book, Our Farm, we get to meet the Bennett family-Mom, Dad, and the 5 kids. We get an inside look at what it's like to live on their farm, mostly from the kids' perspectives. I could only smile when the kids talked about jumping from the hay loft. I felt a tear form in my eye when their dog Angus crawled with his two good legs to their dad's feet to look at the cows one last time. And, I had to laugh out-loud when the kids describe how they tease the man that comes to their farm to artificially inseminate their breeding cows.

Reading, Our Farm, by Michael J. Rosen made we wish for a July afternoon to swing on the hammock that hangs just outside the Bennett farmhouse overlooking their pond stocked with walleye and panfish begging to be caught. Add the smell of fresh cut grassy hay into the air and I'd probably do more thinking than fishing. But, I can also imagine the Bennett kids taking one look at me and charging to see who could flip me over in the hammock first. They wouldn't do it just to be mean-they probably would do it so I'd get off my butt and help them bale more hay. What a life!

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