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Century Farm: One Hundred Years on a Family Farm
     

Century Farm: One Hundred Years on a Family Farm

by Cris Peterson, Alvis Upitis (Photographer)
 

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The Peterson family farm is one hundred years old and about to enter a new century. Here, in wonderful family anecdotes, the author shares the story of the farm as it grew from a barn and house and granary in the 1890s to a thriving dairy farm in the 1990s. There has been plenty of hard work--sawing down the trees to erect the first buildings, the endless cycle of

Overview


The Peterson family farm is one hundred years old and about to enter a new century. Here, in wonderful family anecdotes, the author shares the story of the farm as it grew from a barn and house and granary in the 1890s to a thriving dairy farm in the 1990s. There has been plenty of hard work--sawing down the trees to erect the first buildings, the endless cycle of planting and harvesting, chopping firewood to keep the house warm--but there has also been golf practice on the pasture land, Sunday drives in the family car, and cross-country skiing in the meadows. Over the past hundred years many things on the farm have changed, but many things have stayed the same. There is still one family working together to make the farm a viable business. There is still one kitchen where cookies are baked and meals are cooked to feed family and friends and those who help on the farm. Filled with photos selected from a century's worth of family albums as well as dramatic shots from recent years, this NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book provides a glimpse into the past and the future of one American family farm.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Peterson assumes the likable voice of her husband, Gary, fashioning a folksy, lyrical portrait of the farm his great-grandfather started in the 1890s. "I grew up in the middle of the century in the middle of America on this middle-sized, Midwestern farm," says the conversational farmer. Throughout, the text emphasizes the many constants over decades that concurrently brought major developments. Visually, too, this warm volume is a pleasing mixture of old and new: Upitis's (who collaborated with Peterson on Horsepower) informal, contemporary shots of modern life are cogently paired with flashbacks, provided by sepia-toned photographs from family albums (e.g., Grandpa's tractor and Gary's share a spread, with a caption that contrasts the acre a day Grandpa could plow with the 25 acres his grandson plows today). Upitis's photos, taken over a period of a decade or so, allow youngsters to see Gary's children grow up and reinforce the sense of the farm's continuity. Peterson's theme is as clear as the Wisconsin sky in Upitis's photographs: though farming techniques and machinery, household appliances and fashions have changed radically in a century, the Petersons still catch fish in the same lake, all hands still pitch in to help birth a calf and, after the annual planting in the same plot of land, the corn "still reaches for the sun and whispers in the wind." Perhaps most valuable is the silent underscoring of the immeasurable rewards of strong family bonds and the fruits of hard work--a message worth carrying into the next century. Ages 7-up. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Susan Hepler
Through the voice of her husband, Peterson tells of life on the Wisconsin dairy farm owned by her husband's family for more than a century. For children who have never been on a farm, this book will open their eyes to the hard work and fun, the contrasts in farm life a century ago and now, and a sense of daily life on a prosperous working farm. Fun includes golfing on sheep-mowed grass, canoeing on a nearby lake, baking cookies, and driving the big machines. Photographs are from old family albums as well as Alvis Upitis' collection, some of which appeared in Country/USA: 24 Hours in Rural America. But it is the sepia-toned family photos of folks proud of their harvest, machines, and huge families that make readers want to look at this book more than once.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-A look at a Wisconsin dairy farm owned by the same family for four generations. The current owner tells the story and weaves family history into the descriptions of early day operations. While the author details the many changes that have taken place in the past century, readers are also reminded that many things remain the same. Vintage sepia photos of the farm and Peterson's grandparents as well as good-quality, full-color contemporary photos enhance the text. Interesting captions add even more information. The author's respect for the history of the place and her knowledge of her subject is evident. This title is definitely quality-checked and deserves serious consideration.-Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS
Kirkus Reviews
This is the delightful story of a middle-sized, Midwestern farm in Wisconsin as told in the first-person narration of Gary Peterson, husband of the author. In the family for five generations, this dairy farm has been lived on and worked for the last 25 years by the Petersons and their three children, who are now grown. Full-color photographs by Upitis, as well as sepia-colored photos from the family album, show life on the farm for 100 years. Peterson says, "Much has changed in one hundred years, but many things have stayed the same." It's a distinctly personal story; the author makes no attempt to broaden the discussion, but readers will come away with an appreciation for the hard work that goes into the dairy farm, the continuity brought by five generations, and, in a scene of new construction, a genuine sense of the future of this lovely spot. (Nonfiction. 7-11) .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590787731
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
11/01/2009
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
642,727
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Cris Peterson was named National Dairy Woman of the Year to honor her writing and leadership in agriculture. She lives in Grantsburg, Wisconsin.

Alvis Upitis
is a commercial photographer who has collaborated on a number of books with Cris Peterson. He lives in Hawaii

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