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Posted April 5, 2010
This is of the "Junior Illustrated Books" by Jesse Stuart. I had purchased several of these when we were in Kentucky back in 2005. When we were back in Kentucky later, I found another one. Unlike all the others, which look at life from a boy's perspective, Come to My Tomorrowland is about a teenage girl, Joy Burton who has polio, and her parents. Joy finds an injured albino deer and nurses it back to health; it becomes a pet. Encouraged by its recovery, she elects to undergo an operation which will allow her to walk without crutches. However, after she recovers, a game warden who has learned of her pet demands that the deer be returned to the game reserve. The only negatives I found were a few references to cigar smoking and tobacco raising (common activities in the hills of eastern Kentucky where the story is set).
Some may not like the resistance that the Burtons put up to the officious game warden. In the end, after he does return the deer to the game preserve, it escapes and returns to Joy who saves it from hunters' dogs, the Burtons seek to find legal means to keep the deer. From a positive standpoint, the story illustrates love of animals, a wonderful family relationship, and perseverance in the face of hardship. Also, because Joy is handicapped, she has been homeschooled by her mother, although after the operation she can go to "real school." And for diehard Stuart fans, the principal of the school that Joy attends is "Mr. Gallion" (one of Stuart's famous novels, and one of my favorites, is Mr. Gallion's School). It is believed that the basis for this book is one of Stuart's nieces who overcame a serious tuberculosis infection and raised a ewe lamb who was killed by some wild dogs.