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Little Joe

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  60 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
It’s a cold December night and Fancy, the Stegner family’s cow, is about to give birth. Out pops Little Joe, a huge bull calf, and with him comes nine-year-old Eli’s first chance to raise an animal to show at next fall’s county fair. Over the next ten months, Eli, and Little Joe, learn some hard lessons about growing up and what it means to take on bigger responsibilities, ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Yearling (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 205)
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Jessica Henry
Okay everyone, it is time to come to the carpet. Please find your spots on the rug. We have started a new theme this week. Can anyone tell me what it is? (Pause for student response.) I need hands only please, no blurting. That's right, we have been learning about the farm and the people who work on it and the animals that live in it. Today, I have a new read-aloud to share with you. I am going to show you the illustrations in the book and then I want you to listen while I read the back
Mar 20, 2011 Skye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cute children's book. It resonated with my rural agricultural roots.
Molly (Conan the Librarian) Crumbley
Nine-year-old Eli comes from a long tradition of cattle farmers, and he is bursting with pride when he is finally given a calf of his very own. Little Joe, an Angus beef calf with an impressive pedigree, is a real beauty, if a little skittish, and it isn’t long before he and his young master have forged a sweet relationship. Under the tutelage of his grandfather Joe (the calf’s namesake), Eli learns how to take care of and train his animal, also learning some big lessons about the miracles of na ...more
Oct 11, 2011 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is fantastic...

i am a public "library lady"
(who's "main job" is
storytelling outreach
at schools....


i will highly
recommend this sweet,
wonderful book to

i am so happy to have
read another great
kids book to add
to my lists of favorites!!

today, at work,
(public library)
i am "freaking out
a bit", because
i recommended this book
to a mom and her son
and daughter,
they were on their
way out of the
library, they'd
chosen books to
take home,when i
told them of
a few of my new
May 26, 2011 Darlene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Farm boys?
Recommended to Darlene by: GoodReads First-Reads
Shelves: children, first-reads
Yay! I am a winner of this book from GoodReads First-Reads. I look forward to reading this! Thank you!
Received today. Can't wait to get into it! Thanks for the book and Swag!

* * *
I just finished reading this book. I think I am just too grown up for it, or too female to relate? I just felt like the characters weren't developed enough. Even Little Joe was missing (forgive the pun)--meat. I did feel negatively toward the dad, but even then not much.

Gorgeous illustrations! I loved the ending. At
Jan 10, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little Joe is a charming book that will definitely go over well in my rural elementary school. (There is a dairy about a half mile from the school.) This story about a boy and his first show calf is reminiscent of Charlotte's Web and is sure to be a hit with young readers, especially those familiar with farm life. There is a certain level of suspense leading up to the end of the book that will keep children turning the pages for more. Will Eli and Little Joe win the blue ribbon at the fair, and ...more
Won this book in a first reads giveaway and was very excited to read it.
Absolutely lived this book! A very sweet story about a young boy raising his first show calf. The end was a but predictable but perfect fir the story in my opinion. The book was a little young for most if my students and many would not be able to identify with farm life having grown up in the city and the suburbs. Great book to show how someone else lives.
The author included a handwritten, personal note which was very thou
Mary V
May 04, 2012 Mary V rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won Little Joe, by Sandra Neil Wallace, on It was a fun book to read. I really enjoyed it, as it brought back memories of raising farm animals from birth only to have to sell them. I also was reminded of when my daughters were first showing animals at our local fairs. Eli has such similar experiences raising, training and showing Little Joe that it was all very familiar to me. Children should enjoy it along with any young at heart adults.
The book opens with Little Joe's birth on Christmas, he is the best gift Eli has ever had. This is the story of Eli raising Little Joe for the fair competition and sale. Description of the web of rural life are charming with hints of how small farms are imperiled. Dad has sold his dairy herd and is working at a mill. Mom runs a beauty shop out of the old dairy...still Eli is growing up to be a farmer.
Jul 06, 2012 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little Joe is a charming book about the dynamics of three generations in a family that raise beef cattle. Eli doesn't understand why his father treats the beef cattle like the numbers with which they are tagged while he feels so close to his grandpa who still calls the cows by name. By the end of the story, Eli understands why his father is the man he is and that it is ok to be himself.
May 11, 2012 Twyla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ms. B
Oct 30, 2011 Ms. B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, 2011
Touching story about Eli who is raising his first beef calf bull, Little Joe. He is excited to show at the local country fair and possibly win a blue ribbon. He is not as excited about the beef sale that follows after the show and fair are over.
Note - All beef cattle are sold at the end of these competitions.
May 18, 2011 Pj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers, kids,4-H kids
Recommended to Pj by: I got it FREE from firstreads free books
I loved-hated this book and could not put it down.I loved the grandpa and his relationship with Eli. I didn't like the father very well. I was afraid to finish the book because I didn't want to calf to leave. Read it yourself to find out what happens to Little Joe at the county fair.
I must admit, as a city girl, this book did not grab my interest at first. There were a lot of farming details that I did not understand, but were definitely needed for the plot. The well developed characters and heartwarming story had me hooked after a few chapters.
Kris Springer
Oct 17, 2010 Kris Springer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming story about a boy and his first show cow. Author does well w/ family relationships, the natural world, and the normal feelings of a 10 year old boy (I think he's either 10 or 11). Would recommend to animal lovers and 4-H kids for sure.
Feb 14, 2013 Sari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading Little Joe. It reminded me of growing up and raising lambs for the fair. My dad was a bit more understanding though. Tjis is a book that both children and adults would enjoy reading and can be shared by the whole family.
Sep 22, 2011 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. It was about a boy and his cow, and he raised it to sell in a fair. But... Oh I can't tell you! Read it! This was the other book my Aunt got me before the book was published.
Kevin Shea
Dec 16, 2010 Kevin Shea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author weaves the story masterfully and colourfully, exploring the relationships between Little Joe and those humans that surround him. Wonderful!
May 30, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, animals
Readers of Charlotte's Web know the strong bond that forms between a child and an animal they have raised. The story of Little Joe the calf tugs at your heart.
May 09, 2012 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read as a SC book award book for 2012. Reminded me of PA but I don't look forward to having to explain the word castration to fourth graders.
Inspired Kathy
Author Interview & Book Giveaway on my blog (ends 2/7)
My favorite bits of the story are all the interactions between Grandpa and Eli. Grandpa is just a great guy.
Edward Sullivan
A delightful, gentle, and thoughtful novel. An irresistable story for any animal lover.
Gina added it
Jun 17, 2016
Shavez Stevens
Shavez Stevens marked it as to-read
May 08, 2016
Dawn marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2016
Carrie Niemi
Carrie Niemi marked it as to-read
Feb 29, 2016
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2016
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Sandra Neil Wallace had a lengthy career as a news anchor and ESPN sportscaster. She succeeded in breaking a gender barrier by becoming the first female to anchor an NHL broadcast. Her books have been named to state and national awards lists, including Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Book of the Year, ALA-YALSA Quick Picks, and Booklist’s Top 10 Sports Books for Youth. She lives in New Hamps ...more
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