1936 winner Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink is one of the few books that I remember from my own childhood. Most of the winning books that I have read were read to my own children. I really enjoyed Caddie and her adventures when I was young and I enjoyed it again now.
Set in the mid 19th century, Caddie and her six brothers and sister grow up in rural Wisconsin. But the rural lifestyle described in the book could be any rural area. I spent most summers in rural Tennessee with my three male cousins and while the times had changed, the escapades had not. We got into everything and then some. However, Caddie's world was filled with danger and she showed great courage in accepting the truths she understood about other people and cultures. The tenacity of this 11 year old girl is portrayed in a way that children can identify with and learn from - additionally, Caddie is quite the tomboy - a relief for young girls who are not so girly! The stories in the book are based on the stories told by the author's great-grandmother.
I have been reading like a mad woman but not posting due to family emergencies which have occupied most of my non-working time. Through all of the confusion and sadness, I was reminded that a book, even a 37 year old book written for children, can transport us somewhere else and provide brief respite from daily concerns. Not an escape from reality, but a time for rest.
Wishing you happy respite and reading!