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Caddie Woodlawn (Caddie Woodlawn #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  37,798 Ratings  ·  1,105 Reviews
Caddie Woodlawn is a real adventurer. She'd rather hunt than sew and plow than bake, and tries to beat her brother's dares every chance she gets. Caddie is friends with Indians, who scare most of the neighbors -- neighbors who, like her mother and sisters, don't understand her at all.

Caddie is brave, and her story is special because it's based on the life and memories of

Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Aladdin (first published 1935)
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❄Elsa Frost❄ I liked Caddie Woodlawn better (and still do). Caddie Woodlawn felt more like an interesting and altogether new story to read about the pioneer life.…moreI liked Caddie Woodlawn better (and still do). Caddie Woodlawn felt more like an interesting and altogether new story to read about the pioneer life. Little House does represent a more pioneer lifestyle, but Caddie Woodlawn felt closer to the heart for me and more entertaining.
But if you asked me which one I'd be more likely to recommend to younger people, I'd honestly say "Neither". Some children will prefer Little House, others will prefer Caddie Woodlawn. But both are excellent stories/series, and I hope they continue being remembered for the great classic children's books they are!(less)
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa GregoryThe Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Best Historical Fiction
96th out of 5,812 books — 22,376 voters
The Giver by Lois LowryHoles by Louis SacharA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleNumber the Stars by Lois LowryBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Most Deserving Newbery
25th out of 96 books — 2,537 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Deborah Markus
Reading this in your forties while you're also reading Lies My Teacher Told Me is very different from reading it when you're ten years old. Although even then, I remember cringing a bit.

Because on the one hand, Caddie Woodlawn is all kinds of awesome. She's a redhead roaming wild in the woods of western Wisconsin, and you won't catch her sewing a seam or polishing the furniture when she could be climbing a tree or plowing a field.

On the other hand, this is Wisconsin in 1864. "Pioneer days," as t
May 31, 2007 Amy rated it it was amazing
Mrs. Klatt, my 5th grade teacher, read this book to us and then we went to visit where Caddie lived (about 30 miles south of where I grew up). I loved the Little House books, but to me, I WAS Caddie. She was a bit older and more aware of what was happening around her. If you want to read about a pioneer gal who lived in western Wisconsin and was as fiesty as her red hair, read this book. You can go see and walk through Caddie's house. It's a rest area south of Downsville, Wisconsin. I try and ...more
Mar 11, 2011 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery, kids
I read this over a period of about 4 months. I'm not sure I've ever taken that long to read a book. But I was reading it with a 6-year-old, a chapter at a time, sometimes one chapter a week, sometimes none.

I cried more than a few times while reading: a dog is lost, a reformed bully saves the day, the family makes a great sacrifice for the happiness of Father Woodlawn. Each time, my little reading friend would turn around and smile at me and wipe away my tears. I tend to cry freely when I read an
This was my first time reading the novel as an adult and I loved it all the more for all the sense of fun and adventure I so enjoyed as a child, and found a deeper appreciation of so many more elements—such as Father and Mother’s relationship (I had tears in my eyes at the end of the chapter, Pigeons or Peacocks?) and Mr. Woodlawn’s wonderfully unorthodox parenting style with Caddie (and Mrs. Woodlawn’s trust in him in allowing this to happen), letting her “run wild with the boys” to regain her ...more
Feb 17, 2010 Malbadeen rated it it was amazing
I would give this book 5 stars based on 1 chapter alone.
This chapter is Mark Twain hilarious mixed with Flannery O'Connor morbid.

In this chapter the eldest boy tells a story he's made up to amuse his younger siblings while they do chores. The story starts with a farmer accidentally killing his wife then tricking passer-byer that he'd in fact killed the farmers wife by punching her and her subsequent falling into a near by lake and drowning. HA-HA-HA! right? seriously it gets more absurd and hila
Book Concierge
This Newbery Award winner tells the story of Caddie Woodlawn, age about 12, in 1864 Wisconsin, growing up on a farm with her six brothers and sisters, and her two parents.

Brink based the novel (and a sequel) on the stories her grandmother told about living in Western Wisconsin during the time of the Civil War. The family is tight-knit and the children have many adventures, including exploring the river and woods near their homestead, and visiting the local tribe of Native Americans (“Indian Joh
Jul 27, 2011 Ensiform rated it really liked it
Winner of the 1936 Newbery, this book centers on the tomboy of the title, the middle girl in a pioneer family of seven children in the open plains of 1860s Wisconsin. Strongly evocative of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, it's a wide-eyed, child's view of American pioneer life. The Indians are friendly, primitive, and highly mistrusted by the whites. The Civil War is far away; in one of the bits possibly most surprising to those who think of America as a classless society, Mr. Woodlawn has paid ...more
Sep 25, 2008 Wendy rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery
I saved this for the last of the Newberys (yes! I'm done!) because I was sure I would like it, and I wanted to go out on a good note.

I did like it, though I know I would have liked it a lot more if I hadn't already read so many similar, better books (i.e. Little House). But I can appreciate how rare it was to find interesting, funny books about real children at the time this was written. Still, I'm sort of surprised that so many of you love this so much.

Hard to believe it's by the same author as
Feb 09, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charming story! I just fell in love with the Woodlawn family, their hard work ethics, family values and trust in the Lord. It was so special to know that the author was writing about her own grandmother. The illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman were just breathtaking - I plan to seek out more of her work.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"She loved both spring and fall. At the turning of the year things seemed to stir in her that were lost sight of in the commonplace stretches of winter a
Feb 18, 2009 Lindy rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! Same vein as the Little House books - but I liked it better. (Ssh, don't tell Abbi!)

My favorite quote:

“It’s a strange thing, but somehow we expect more of girls than boys. It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman’s task is to teach gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It’s a big task, too, Caddie-harder than cutti
Mar 26, 2011 Robyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, old-faves
There is a lot to like about this book, and some to dislike, but as a child, it enthralled me utterly. In a world of historical children's heroines such as Polly Anna, and Mary Lennox, Caddie Woodlawn was a breath of fresh air. While the others are pointed at for being different, they are still essentially feminine, even trouble making Anne Shirley. Caddie however, is a tom boy through and through, and when I, as a child, tired of reading about proper young ladies, and instead wanted to hear ...more
Mar 22, 2008 Libby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Libby by: Ruth Stein, My Bobe
This is one of the books I read on long, delicious afternoons in San Diego in the summers of my childhood. My Bobe and Zade and I would walk to the library and pick out a pile of books, stopping at Thrifty's on the way home for nickel scoops of ice cream (my favorite: rainbow sherbet). I can't even think of this book without feeling a rush of immense love for my grandparents.

One day when my Bobe had first moved to Minnesota (sometime in the late '50s) and she was trying to be a dutiful faculty w
Mar 10, 2009 Lucinda rated it it was amazing
This is a classic book and was really fun to read. I loved her spunky, pioneer girl attitude...riding out on a rainy night alone on her horse at age 11 to warn the indians of the danger brewing in her town against them! And, when her uncle almost accidentally drowned her and offered her a silver dollar if she would not tell her mother. She said, "are you trying to bribe a Woodlawn!" She knew who she was and what a Woodlawn stood for! I want my kids to know what a "Foster" is and live up to it!
Apr 04, 2016 Isobel rated it liked it
pretty boring at first but it became better and than it was boring again
Mar 17, 2015 Bookworm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
Wonderful book!
Oct 18, 2010 Rhea rated it it was amazing
Caddie Woodlawn
If you’ve read and loved the “Little House” book series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, you’ll love the book Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. This enchanted book follows the tales and adventures of tomboy Caddie Woodlawn, much like Laura Wilder. Each chapter is a new adventure, a new way for Caddie to get into trouble.
Caddie is a pioneer girl born and raised in Wisconsin during the 1860s. She was a nuisance to her mother and older sister, Clara. But she was the apple of her Fat
Jun 28, 2010 Robin added it
Caddie Woodlawn is a story set in the 1860’s and is about a little girl, named Caddie, who is a tomboy. Caddie is very adventurous and is always with her brothers running wild, instead of in the home with the girls and her mother. Caddie, has also formed a bond with the neighboring Indians. She finds them intriguing and harmless. Caddie does not see color, but rather regular people when she looks at the Indians. Caddie is responsible for stopping a rampage between her family and others against ...more
Dec 08, 2010 Lavender911 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caddie Woodlawn is a real adventurer. She'd rather hunt than sew, plow than bake, and tries to beat her brothers' dares every chance she gets. Her mother and sisters just don't understand why she doesn’t want to be lady-like and sew all day. Her courage and her faith to peace and friendship are so strong that she can eleminate a massacre. Then when her cousin comes over, and she has to make a big decision that will affect her future, she opens her heart and decides to give things a change.

I love
Jul 22, 2009 Angela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
The book would make a great choice for a mother-daughter book club for girls age 8-12. The story explores what it means to be a girl, a young lady, and a woman. Caddie is a rough-and-tumble girl who favors adventure and fun with her brothers. The book also has a few teaching points from American history -- pioneers and Native Americans, the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln.

The book started off slow for me and seemed like a collection of vignettes but soon developed into a moving story. My 6-year-
Jun 08, 2015 ArtsyAshlyn rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was about a girl named Caddie Woodlawn. I liked it because Caddie is not like other girls. She is more adventuresome and likes boy games. Today boys and girls play the same games. My favorite part was when Caddie used her silver dollar on three Indian boys because their mother left them. The saddest part was when Nero their dog got lost. I loved every part of this book.
Aug 21, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it
I think that I was in 4th grade when my teacher read a chapter a day of this book to our class. I can remember the class begging for "just one more chapter". I was talking about books with a young friend--the daughter of a student--and recommended Caddie Woodlawn because I have such fond memories of the story. First published in 1935 I wasn't sure if the book held up so I checked out a copy from the local library and read it. Turns out it did.
Mar 26, 2010 Julia rated it it was amazing
We are reading a page from this for MCAS practice!! I loved it! I am also reading it for a book report and also for fun!
Oh how I wish I had read this when I was a girl! It reminds me of Anne of Green Gables- chapter after chapter of hilarious mishaps and antics, tempered by sweet moments between family and a little girl's struggle to understand her world. The language is not nearly as beautiful as Anne, but it's for younger readers so that makes sense. I loved how Caddie's respect and admiration for the Indians is clear, even if the words used are at times a little rough for our more modern sensibilities.

This is
Sep 30, 2016 Joy rated it really liked it
This was a favorite of mine as a kid and I was curious if I liked it as well as I did when I was a kid. The answer? I like it almost as well when I was a kid.
Jan 03, 2010 Christine rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: grade level 3-5
Caddie Woodlawn is quite the adventurous red-headed daughter of pioneers. As an eleven-year-old she lives in western Wisconsin near the Menomonie River. The Civil War is taking place in the East, Indian massacres are taking place in the West and Caddie hovers betweeen being a tomboy and a young lady. At the story's beginning she's full of fun: fording rivers, hunting with Uncle Edmund, collecting hazelnuts, fighting school bullies, and befriending the end of this coming of age ...more
I read this historical fiction classic aloud to my children. It takes place in 1864 during the pioneer days, and it won the 1936 Newbery Medal.

Caddie is 11 years old, and she is a tomboy who feels more comfortable roughhousing with her brothers (Tom, age 13 and Warren, age 9) than cooking and sewing with her sisters. Interestingly, the adventurous children in the Woodlawn family were the red-headed ones, and the dark-haired ones were more proper. The family moved from Boston to Wisconsin, and b
I'm the same girl and yet not the same. I wonder if it's always like that? Folks keep growing from one person into another all their lives, and life is just a lot of everyday adventures. Well, whatever life is, I like it.

Sweet, upbeat (yet sexist!) historical fiction about the irrepressible Caddie Woodlawn. Each chapter in the book chronicles an "everyday adventure," following Caddie through a year of her life. A common thread throughout the book is Caddie's struggle with the conflict between wa
Jul 13, 2011 Natalie rated it it was amazing
I read this as a child and then later as an older teen or young adult (I can't remember when I re-read it and my Mom probably read it to us the first time. . . ). This book is one of my favorite kinds of books. My first "big kid" books that I read by myself were the Little House books. A lot of the books that I read as a teenager were historical fiction and some of my favorite were set on the American frontier (that is until I discovered Jane Austin. After that England called to me). Historical ...more
I know I read this book when I was in elementary school, but I had no recollection of it beyond having a vague idea that I liked it. I picked up the audio book for a long drive, and really enjoyed listening to it. We got through slightly more than half of the audio book, and then I finished the rest in print. What a fun book!

Caddie is a spunky eleven-year-old who has been allowed to spend her days running wild with two of her brothers in the woods of western Wisconsin in the 1860s. There are sev
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Born Caroline Ryrie, American author of over 30 juvenile and adult books. Her novel Caddie Woodlawn won the 1936 Newbery Medal.

Brink was orphaned by age 8 and raised by her maternal grandmother, the model for Caddie Woodlawn. She started writing for her school newspapers and continued that in college. She attended the University of Idaho for three years before transferring to the University of Cal
More about Carol Ryrie Brink...

Other Books in the Series

Caddie Woodlawn (2 books)
  • Caddie Woodlawn's Family

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“How far I've come! I'm the same girl and yet not the same. I wonder if it's always like that? Folks keep growing from one person into another all their lives, and life is just a lot of everyday adventures. Well, whatever life is, I like it.” 17 likes
“It's a strange thing, but somehow we expect more of girls than of boys. It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman's task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It's a big task, too, Caddie--harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things. They have them just as much as the men who build bridges and carve roads through the wilderness. A woman's work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man's.” 16 likes
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