Our Farm

Our Farm

by Michael J. Rosen

Told through the voices of the children, this inside view of life on their farm is authentic and sometimes surprising. Readers will learn about baling hay, tending cattle, work dogs, hunting, manure, and other activities on the Bennett farm, as well as some insights into the culture of living in a rural area.


Told through the voices of the children, this inside view of life on their farm is authentic and sometimes surprising. Readers will learn about baling hay, tending cattle, work dogs, hunting, manure, and other activities on the Bennett farm, as well as some insights into the culture of living in a rural area.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Erin Wyatt
A year in the life of Ohio farm living is told through anecdotes from the members of the Bennett family, five young people ranging in age from four to seventeen and their parents. After an introduction to the family members, the book is structured by the seasons detailing the life on this working farm that grows crops and raises animals. The realities of farm life are presented in a matter-of-fact way. The youth explain a wide range of topics including the farm animals and pets, the many chores, the process of breeding the animals, and how they balance work on the farm with school and fun. This book would be particularly valuable for students who lack exposure to rural life. Color pictures are generously sprinkled throughout the book to complement the text. At times, it seem as if the anecdotes being told were not necessarily in the voices of the children but edited versions of what they might have said. Although that discrepancy in voice makes it difficult to distinguish which person is which, it actually helps the flow of the book to have the voices written similarly. The book would prove difficult as a research tool as there is no index, but it is written in such a way that makes it easy to read a portion of the book for information, and it provides valuable insight into what daily life is like on a farm. Reviewer: Erin Wyatt
Children's Literature - JoAn Watson Martin
Through text and photographs, this Junior Library Guild Selection takes the reader to the Bennett farm. Rosen seems determined that this journal not be a back to the simple life account nor a nostalgic view of country life. Rather, he presents an authentic family living day by day with the hopes and dreams, difficult situations, and problems of any family. His commentary is brief, so the reader sees the 150 acres in central Ohio through the eyes of the children, even allowing them to share their thoughts and opinions. Caleb, 17, has a busy life with football, wrestling, baseball, and homework. He coaches his younger brothers, drives a tractor, and moves cows from one pasture to another. Chase, 15, is the reader, but he also likes video games, makes straight As, and enjoys cooking. His dream is to work at NASA. Cayne, 10, thinks farm work is fun, but prefers to build things. Grey, 8, built a treehouse. He and Cayne are in charge of the chickens and the dogs. Ali, 4, is the only girl. She loves her swing set, bike riding, and playing in the hayloft. Her favorite chicken is Oddball. She says the best thing about having four brothers is NOTHING. The three dogs have their own personalities. In winter, snow activities are fun, but Cayne cautions, "Never eat yellow snow!" When the author visited the farm in 2006, Chase took him on a tour. They walked through manure, over iced puddles, and between two electric fence wires. Rosen was not prepared to see how the death of one creature enabled another to survive. With 27 new calves each year, it is hard work to keep them alive. Rosen offers this book so that others may understand other worlds than their own. Reviewer: JoAn Watson Martin
School Library Journal

Gr 3-7

Through this photographic journal, readers are invited to share one year on an Ohio farm, complete with children, animals, and enough work, adventure, and fun to keep everyone busy. Keeping his commentary to a minimum, Rosen records conversations and comments made mostly by the young Bennetts. Their voices are strong and wise, revealing knowledge about life, death, hunting, reproduction, economics, and the importance of community and family. "If a cow dies, Dad scoops it up with a skid steer bucket and carries it over to the woods, far from the house, because it stinks for a while," 10-year-old Cayne observes matter-of-factly. "We always have a fort up in the hayloft, but...the cows eventually eat the whole fort" (Grey, age 8). "It [corralling cows] can be dangerous..." Chase (15) explains, "...but cows prefer to kick to the side; you're usually safe so long as you're straight behind them." Sensitive to the fact that some people might consider them "a bunch of farm hicks," Chase points out that his school "has scored among the top Ohio schools in the proficiency tests." More comprehensive than Raymond Bial's Portrait of a Farm Family (Houghton, 1995), this engaging book is an unsentimental, appreciative look into the world of one farm family. It's packed with information and plenty of interesting photographs. Children will love it.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI

Product Details

Darby Creek Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.60(d)
1010L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Michael J. Rosen is the acclaimed author of some three dozen books for children of all ages (and even more for grown-ups!), including The Cuckoo's Haiku and Other Poems for Birders; Our Farm: Four Seasons with Five Kids on One Famiy's Farm (which he both wrote and illustrated with some 400 photographs); A Drive in the Country; Don't Shoot!; A School for Pompey Walker; and Elijah's Angel. For over 35 years, ever since working as a counselor, water-safety instructor, and art teacher at local community centers, Michael has been engaged with young children, their parents, and teachers. As a visiting author, in-service speaker, and workshop leader, he frequently travels to schools and conferences around the nation, sharing his stories, poems, creativity, and humor.

As a talented editor and illustrator, Michael has enlisted hundreds of other authors and artists to create 15 philanthropic books that aid in the fight to end childhood hunger through Share Our Strength's national efforts, or that offer care to less fortunate companion animals through The Company of Animals Fund, a granting program he began in 1990.

For the last four years, working with the Ohio Children's Foundation, Michael created a early literacy activity book, particularly designed for kids who are likely to start school without knowing the alphabet: You, Me, and the ABCs: 100 Ready-for-Reading Activities for Kids and Their Favorite Grown-ups.

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