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Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

3.8 50
by Kate Douglas Wiggin

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This classic novel about a lively little girl from Maine has delighted both young and old ever since it was first published, in 1903. Mark Twain called the book beautiful and warm and satisfying, and, indeed, Kate Douglas Wiggin's timeless creation lives on in the hearts of countless readers.

And who can resist the charms of Rebecca Rowena Randall from Sunnybrook


This classic novel about a lively little girl from Maine has delighted both young and old ever since it was first published, in 1903. Mark Twain called the book beautiful and warm and satisfying, and, indeed, Kate Douglas Wiggin's timeless creation lives on in the hearts of countless readers.

And who can resist the charms of Rebecca Rowena Randall from Sunnybrook Farm? From the moment she steps on board Uncle Jerry Cobb's stagecoach on her way to a new life in Riverboro, all who encounter her are enchanted by this irrepressible, passionate child with the wonderfully beguiling eyes. Her classmates and friends; the young businessman, Mr. Aladdin; and in the end, even prim and proper Aunt Miranda can't help but be won over by Rebecca's good nature and remarkable spirit.

Full of humor and warmth, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is an American treasure. This beautifully produced facsimile, featuring six full-color plates and thirty-two pen-and-ink drawings by Rebecca's original illustrator, Helen Mason Grose, is sure to be enjoyed by a new generation.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
These classic illustrations by Wiggins' original illustrator bring Rebecca Rowena Randall to life as modern pictures never seem to do. Whether she's thoughtful or playful or in trouble, alone or with her aunt, teacher, or friend, Rebecca is wonderful. I can only hope that a new generation of readers will re-discover one of my best friends.
From the Publisher
"The illustrations impart a cozy, familiar feel to a long-ago world, and reveal a lively, generous spirit in the heroine who leaves her home to live with her two elderly aunts." Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Dover Publications
Publication date:
Dover Children's Evergreen Classics Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.66(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"We Are Seven"

The old stage coach was rumbling along the dusty road that runs from Maplewood to Riverboro. The day was as warm as midsummer, though it was only the middle of May, and Mr. Jeremiah Cobb was favoring the horses as much as possible, yet never losing sight of the fact that he carried the mail. The hills were many, and the reins lay loosely in his hands as he lolled back in his seat and extended one foot and leg luxuriously over the dashboard. His brimmed hat of worn felt was well pulled over his eyes, and he revolved a quid of tobacco in his left cheek.

There was one passenger in the coach — a small dark-haired person in a glossy buff calico dress. She was so slender and so stiffly starched that she slid from space to space on the leather cushions, though she braced herself against the middle seat with her feet and extended her cotton-gloved hands on each side, in order to maintain some sort of balance. Whenever the wheels sank farther than usual into a rut, or jolted suddenly over a stone, she bounded involuntarily into the air, came down again, pushed back her funny little straw hat, and picked up or settled more firmly a small pink sunshade, which seemed to be her chief responsibility — unless we except a bead purse, into which she looked whenever the condition of the roads would permit, finding great apparent satisfaction in that its precious contents neither disappeared nor grew less. Mr. Cobb guessed nothing of these harassing details of travel, his business being to carry people to their destinations, not, necessarily, to make them comfortable on the way. Indeed he hadforgotten the very existence of this one unnoteworthy little passenger.

When he was about to leave the post-office in Maplewood that morning, a woman had alighted from a wagon, and coming up to him, inquired whether this were the Riverboro stage, and if he were Mr. Cobb. Being answered in the affirmative, she nodded to a child who was eagerly waiting for the answer, and who ran towards her as if she feared to be a moment too late. The child might have been ten or eleven years old perhaps, but whatever the number of her summers, she had an air of being small for her age. Her mother helped her into the stage coach, deposited a bundle and a bouquet of lilacs beside her, superintended the "roping on" behind of an old hair trunk, and finally paid the fare, counting out the silver with great care.

"I want you should take her to my sisters' in Riverboro," she said. "Do you know Mirandy and Jane Sawyer? They live in the brick house."

Lord bless your soul, he knew 'em as well as if he'd made 'em!

"Well, she's going there, and they're expecting her. Will you keep an eye on her, please? If she can get out anywhere and get with folks, or get anybody in to keep her company, she'll do it. Goodbye, Rebecca; try not to get into any mischief, and sit quiet, so you'll look neat an' nice when you get there. Don't be any trouble to Mr. Cobb — you see, she's kind of excited. We came on the cars from Temperance yesterday, slept all night at my cousin's, and drove from her house-eight miles it is — this morning."

"Good-bye, Mother, don't worry; you know it isn't as if I hadn't traveled before."

The woman gave a short sardonic laugh and said in an explanatory way to Mr. Cobb, "She's been to Wareham and stayed over night; that isn't much to be journey-proud on!"

"It was traveling, Mother," said the child eagerly and willfully. "It was leaving the farm, and putting up lunch in a basket, and a little riding and a little steam cars, and we carried our nightgowns."

"Don't tell the whole village about it, if we did," said the mother, interrupting the reminiscences of this experienced voyager. "Haven't I told you before, she whispered, in a last attempt at discipline, "that you shouldn't talk about nightgowns and stockings and-things like that, in a loud tone of voice, and especially when there's men folks round?"

"I know, Mother, I know, and I won't. All I want to say is"- here Mr. Cobb gave a cluck, slapped the reins, and the horses started sedately on their daily task — "all I want to say is that it is a journey when" — the stage was really under way now and Rebecca had to put her head out of the window over the door in order to finish her sentence — "it is a journey when you carry a nightgown!"

The objectionable word, uttered in a high treble, floated back to the offended ears of Mrs. Randall, who watched the stage out of sight, gathered up her packages from the bench at the store door, and stepped into the wagon that had been standing at the hitchingpost. As she turned the horse's head towards home she rose to her feet for a moment, and shading her eyes with her hand, looked at a cloud of dust in the dim distance.

"Mirandy'll have her hands full, I guess," she said to herself, "but I shouldn't wonder if it would be the making of Rebecca."

All this had been half an hour ago, and the sun, the heat, the dust, the contemplation of errands to be done in the great metropolis of Milltown, had lulled Mr. Cobb's never active mind into complete oblivion as to his promise of keeping an eye on Rebecca.

Suddenly he heard a small voice above the rattle and rumble of the wheels and the creaking of the harness. At first he thought it was a cricket, a tree toad, or a bird, but having determined the direction from which it came, he turned his head over his shoulder and saw a small shape hanging as far out of the window as safety would allow.

Meet the Author

Kate Douglas Wiggin (1856–1923) was a teacher, lecturer, and editor, as well as a writer of novels and short stories for adults and children.

Shawn Thomson is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Kansas.

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Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (Classic Starts Series) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm is a wonderful story for young women. It goes through the life of Rebecca Randall, a girl around the age of 11. She is sent to live with her aunts, and the book tells all of her adventures. And it has wonderful filling end! You will not be disapponted! If your buying this for your daughter, grandaughter or yourself, indeed, this is a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great story about a determined girl who is determined to have success. A great picture of the time period too. You must read it, It's worth your time.
Bekah Polen More than 1 year ago
Best book ever! Everyone should read this book you cant put it down. Not a waste of time for sure. Kat Douglas wiggin thank you for writing this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This incredible tale is for all the ages. I read this novel when I was a little girl & I still keep on reading it. I fell inlove with Rebecca's character and the period setting of the story. It all fit together perfectly. I also loved how determind and positive Rebecca's attitude throught out the book. No matter what she just never lost her ability to love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebbeca is an outstanding girl who tries very hard at things. She is very incouraging.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for any age! Lovely book to read. Over all great book to lift you up. Wonderfully writen. But kind of long to read. Other wise great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the book. Should i buy it???????????????
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Rebecca, like Eleanor Porter's Pollyanna, suffers from the misconception that she promotes a "happy go lucky, whistling in the dark, rosy tinted glasses" view of life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Set in the state of Maine, probably around the turn of the twentieth century or just before, the book chronicles a young woman's coming of age and ultimate triumph in spite of many trials and tribulations. Rebecca's mother Aurelia had married what most people in Riverboro considered the town ne'er-do-well. The disdain that the couple felt finally forced him to move away to Temperance where he bought a farm and finally died, but not until he had left his wife with seven children. As the book opens, ten-year-old Rebecca Randall is traveling from Temperance through Maplewood back to Riverboro to stay with her mother's two maiden sisters, Aunt Miranda and Aunt Jane. They had originally asked for her older sister Hannah to help them, but Aurelia needed Hannah's help with the younger children, so she sent Rebecca instead. Miranda is somewhat harsh while Jane is more understanding. Rebecca gets into her share of trouble, usually not intentional and often as a result of her "different" way of looking at things, but she also tries hard to do her best. The sisters scrimp to send her to school and she makes a lot of friends along the way. However, the news from back home is not good as one brother dies, the crops fail, the family cannot come up with money to pay the mortgage, and finally her mother falls while putting up hay in the barn and is seriously injured. So, Rebecca is torn about making plans for her own future, taking care of her failing Aunt Miranda, and now worrying about her mother and siblings. She has to make some hard choices. How can everything turn out all right? Yes, there is some sadness, especially at the end, but there is also hope because Rebecca always seeks to do what is right. The quaint writing style and vocabulary of a former time may make the reading a little difficult for some children today, and Mrs. Wiggin's sense of humor may be lost on a lot of people, but there is nothing objectionable in the book, and it is a charming insight into the way of life from a previous age. It would probably best be appreciated by girls, but I read it aloud to our son Jeremy (then age 11) and he thought that it was great. As the back cover of my edition notes, "This charming story of the good-natured, but never goody-goody Rebecca has delighted generations of children on both sides of the Atlantic." Mrs. Wiggin did write a sequel, The New Chronicles of Rebecca, in 1907. A distant cousin of Mrs. Wiggin's husband, Eric Wiggin, is a name that is known to some in the homeschool community. A minister, public and private school teacher, and college English professor, he edited the Harvey's Grammars and provided the answer keys for these books republished by Mott Media for their Classic Curriculum that is used by many homeschoolers, and he also wrote a series of six books "Hannah's Island" about a homeschool family who lives in Maine (and uses the McGuffey Readers also republished by Mott Media and used by many homeschoolers today, including us), as well as The Gift of Grandparenting for Focus on the Family, another series of three books "Maggie's World," and a book about Rebecca's further life, Rebecca Returns to Sunnybrook.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Kiss marry kill
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A favorite from childhood
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rabbitstar. Tom. Leader. White pelt. Yellow eyes. Mate:died. Crush:none. Kits: Whitekit Deerkit Leafkit Foxkit and Sadly i forgot the other one's name. Sootfur. Shecat. Deputy. Light grey with black splotches. Yellow eyes. Mate:none. Crush vnone. Kits:none. Sorralpaw. Tom. Apprentice. Brown pelt. Light blue eyes. Mate:none. Crush:none. Kits:none. Whitekit. Shekit. Kit. White pelt. Dark blue eyes. Mate/crush/kits: none. Deerkit. Shekit. Kit. Brown pelt. Brown eyes. Mate/crush/kits: none. Leafkit. Shekit. Kit. Golden pelt. Green eyes. Mate/crush/kits: none. Foxkit. Tom. Kit. Red with white tipped tail. Blue eyes. Mate/crush/kits: none.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't care for this book. Seemed to be filled with description after description and rambling from one character to another.
minesayn More than 1 year ago
This is the 1903 classic tale of Rebecca who goes to live with her maiden aunts, righteous Miranda and sweet Jane, in the little brick house. Rebecca makes friends, young and old, and is irrepressible in her lust for education and life (in general). The language is rich and even erudite, and worth the read to see just how books used to be written without all the cliches seen today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lacking romance but still a bit hit
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this is a wonderful book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont listen to the other reviews because this is an absoloutly awesome book! Once you read one page, you will be hooked. Highly reccomrnd this book.
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