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Freckles (Limberlost #1)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  6,088 ratings  ·  427 reviews
Focus on the Family Great Stories are riveting novels from the past for today's readers. Each book features the complete text and, in convenient footnotes, present-day definitions for older words. They also include in-depth introductions that shed light on the authors and the times in which they lived and discussion questions.

Into a majestic forest wanders an orphaned you

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Hardcover, 312 pages
Published April 12th 1994 by Gramercy (first published 1904)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tweety
Jul 17, 2014 Tweety rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoy and old-fashioned story
Even better than A Girl Of The Limberlost!

Freckles is and Irish orphan who has spent nearly all twenty of his years in a foundling home, stories abound of how, when he was only a few months old he was brutally beaten and left more dead than alive on the orphanage steps. Freckles wishes he knew for sure that it wasn't his mother who left him, that she loved him just as much as normal mothers do, after all, isn't that what every orphan dreams of?

Even once he has moved on to work as the Limberlost
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Teresa Carrigan
This book was written several generations ago. When I first read it (more than 40 years ago?) it was a bit dated already, but a basic coming of age plus love interest story, with a lot of tidbits about nature thrown in. Rereading it now, I found myself noticing the cultural differences between now and when it was written. Most noticeable were these:

1. Class stratification. Upper class people were just plain not supposed to even think about marrying those from the lower class, particularly if it
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Toni Miranda
(Spoiler alert!) I chose this because I absolutely LOVE Laddie (also by the author). This one was okay. I would have given it one more star, but I didn't like the ending. Freckles was an orphan who didn't know his parents and who had a terrible childhood, but he turned into an honest, honorable young man. I didn't like that in the end it was inferred that he could only be such a fine young man if his parents had been rich or of noble birth. And then of course it turns out that he is the son of a ...more
Teri
A few of my friends had responded to the 10 book facebook challenge where you list 10 books that were meaningful to you in some way. A few people had mentioned "A Girl of the Limberlost" by Gene Stratton-Porter. Years earlier a co-worker had mentioned it and I had put it on my list and bought it on kindle. This book has kept haunting me so I felt it was time to finally read it. I went to look it up again and on goodreads it said Limberlost 2. Surprised, I looked up the first one in the series an ...more
Hilarie
This is truly a forgotten classic. I first read it many years ago, and recently had the desire to pick it up again. I found that it was not as readily available as many other classics, which is certainly a shame as it is a wonderful book.

The story concerns a young orphan, named Freckles, who has personally experienced many of the worst aspects of humanity in his short life. Sadly, these experiences have left Freckles with only one hand, no material possessions, little education, and most importa
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Rrshively
This is my favorite by Gene Stratton Porter that I've read so far. I like it even better than Girl of the Limberlost. Sometimes it's good to turn back the clock to the turn of the 20th Century and the type of writing common at that time. Of course it can be very sentimental, but can render such a good story! Most of the characters would be good role models. Freckles is such a brave loyal soul! As a side story, one can understand how the beautiful natural habitats were destroyed for the lumber an ...more
Ricky Orr
My wife's 4th grade teacher awarded this book to my wife for her perfect attendance, with a note that the author lived around Fort Wayne. For whatever reason, the book sat on our shelf for all these years, unread. Because we recently visited Gene Stratton Porter's home, I decided to read the book.

What a straight-forward, sweet story, set within a simpler time around the late nineteenth century or the early twentieh century. It is a story about a young man, Freckles, orphaned as a baby, who knows
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Kristy Powers
I would rate the first half of Freckles 4 or 4 1/2 stars. The last little bit was a 2, for me. So I averaged the numbers out to a solid 3. Nature-lovers and conservationists and yes, Louisa May Alcott lovers, should read this book and others by Gene Stratton-Porter.

If you have ever felt the power of the beauty of nature while standing in the midst of it, you will recognize the experience in this book.

A friend in our book group said that Stratton-Porter wanted to end the book differently but he
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Monnie
Author, nature photographer and conservationist Gene Stratton-Porter was a favorite author of my late mother, also an Indiana native, who grew up perhaps an hour from what is now the Limberlost State Historic Site in Geneva. Stratton-Porter and her husband, Charles Porter, built a rustic 14-room log cabin home now far from the roughly 13,000-acre Limberlost Swamp in the early 1900s - and it was here that she wrote and five of her seven nature books and six of her 12 novels, including this one, F ...more
Scot
How did I miss this classic work of American children’s literature in the past? It’s from 1904, and has much of the melodrama and sentimentality of that period some might describe as saccharine—think of Pollyanna which comes along about a decade later—but it also has some thrilling confrontations with dangerous bad guys and wonderful passages extolling the beauties of wild nature in swamp wetlands. It is set during a time of big timber industry transforming the wetlands ecosystem in Indiana, and ...more
Deb
I enjoyed the descriptions of the swamp flora and fauna, the story of Freckles falling in love and the action that surrounds protecting the land from timber thieves. I went through more tissues reading this, than watching Bambi.
Jenna St Hilaire
Stratton-Porter was a naturalist and wildlife photographer in the Limberlost area of Indiana, where both this book and its companion novel, Girl of the Limberlost, are set. Her obvious knowledge of and love for the territory and its native creatures give life to these two books, and it seems likely that the unnamed Bird Woman is based to some extent on herself.

I read the later-written, later-set Girl of the Limberlost first, and by my judgment it's a better novel—more cohesive and marginally les
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Beth A.
Apr 09, 2009 Beth A. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Beth A. by: Dallas I Ward Bookclub
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katherine L
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tara
An enjoyable read. Loved Freckles character, as well as "the angel's". I think it would have been an even more touching story if the angel had been able to accept Freckles even with a nameless background. And actually she would have, but the society of the day could not have, and he knew that. However, I have recently learned there is much truth in her statement that Freckles own nature proved he was of honorable stock, although it could have been honorable no matter the socio-economic class.

I a
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Magda
I'm pretty sure I like this much better than A Girl of the Limberlost, but it does get a bit sentimental/soppy, and I even had to stop a few times to figure out why on earth the people were objecting to the things they did, as that is so far removed from what is considered today, and seemed to me to be of such slight degree. May bear re-reading for all that. I agree with another reviewer that the "progress" aspect of the natural habitat clearing was strange and awkward to a modern reader as well ...more
Christi
This is the book that actually comes before "The Girl of the Limberlost," and answers several questions I had reading that book. I love both books--to me, they're classics not because of unusually awesome storytelling, but because they are great little portraits of ideals of that time period and place--the Midwest, early 20th-century, as if written by a character from The Music Man (the librarian?). They are dripping with sweetness--a little too much at times--but reflect the author's burgeoning ...more
Gloria
Dec 05, 2014 Gloria rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone; historical romance lovers; wilderness trekkers
The book opens upon an orphan, Freckles: alone, unloved, and maimed by the missing of his right hand. He tenaciously gets a job, guarding the Limberlost - or the portion of which has been claimed by Boss McLean and his lumber company.

The Limberlost is an overgrown swamp area, full of wild flowers and wildlife, including poisonous snakes and other dangers. Freckles learns how to survive in the swamp, and over the winter, makes friends of the birds and other woodland creatures when he feeds them
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Ryan
This was a cute little novel, written in 1904, by Gene Stratton Porter. I came across the second book in the series at an antique store, but I decided to attack "first things first" style and read the original in the series, "Freckles." I had never heard of this author before, but evidently she was famous in her day and was an impressive feminist leading through action. She actually even started her own movie production company later in life.

I like to pick random books of the shelf and read sni
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Thomas O'keefe
Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter is a story about a orphan over the age of twenty trying to find a family. Freckles was raised in a Chicago orphanage until he left one day and kept walking until he found a job at a swamp lumber company. The man in charge, Mr.Mclean, takes a liking to Freckles and gives him a job at the company, despite his disability. Freckles is given a job as a guard for the valuable lumber, even though he is missing his right hand at the wrist. Freckles is supposed to be on t ...more
Pat Jennings
Such a sweet story written in the early 1900's about and Irish young man who made his way in the world on his own spirit and desire to belong.
I am going to recommend this book to my Irish friends and to naturalists as there are some glorious parts describing the flora and fauna of a now depleted Indiana wetland. Even though sappy stories are not my thing, this one is endearing.
Karla
This is such a sweet story. It really took me by surprise. It is filled with courage and kindness. I hate to use the word "heartwarming" because that word can be code for "cheesy" or "oversimplified stories." This book has depth and I love the world of nature that is described in its pages. A tender story that reaffirms integrity, love, beauty, kindness and humanity.
Deanna
I know, I know! I'm the only one in the world that doesn't like Gene Stratton-Porter and Louisa May Alcott books. I'm sorry!!!! I find these books so painfully boring....People keep picking them for their book club books...aghhh....but I humor them and read their books and they humor me when I pick Shakespeare and Louis L'Amour books for my book club books.

Jennifer
We read this for book club in July; I liked a lot of the moral lessons it had in it. Just simple truths, like the fact that there's more to a person that looks and that we often discount our own talents and compare our worst traits with other people's best traits. It also just shows the value of honesty, loyalty, and love.
Craig
Gene Stratton-Porter's characters are "bigger than life;" often too good to be true or eccentric, or both. Such was the case with her novel "Freckles". Set in America's midlands, Freckles (he doesn't know his real name), an orphan since birth,now 19 years old and missing one hand, comes to a lumber camp in the "Swamp" seeking work. He is hired as the camp guard and is charged with patrolling the woodlands and preventing intrusion by illegal loggers. He loves his solitary work and falls in love w ...more
Sheryl Thorell
Favorite author, so i love the sweetness of this book. About a lone boy who finds love and family in those who take him under their wings. Morals don't exist anymore like they did in this era.I like to be reminded that the world was not always so selfish.
Rachel
I read a lot with my pre-teen boys and we just finished this one. It is a short, likeable tale of an orphan boy, and sweetly describes his first feelings of love for a girl known only as "Angel." We liked it very much and recommend it to all.
Melanie
This was a sweet book about love, compassion and learning. I've decided that I really enjoy Gene Stratton Porter's writing. It was definitely not up there with Laddie, but still good.

One of my favorite quotes:
"Your face.....It's got something big in it, something really great. You must find out what it is, and then you must work on it with your heart and soul."
--The Angel

My 12 year old and I really liked it. The younger kids weren't very interested, although, my 4 year old still loves to give m
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Kerry
Aug 04, 2008 Kerry rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Of course!
Recommended to Kerry by: Jeanine Peel
Wonderful quick reading Classic. Porter paints such vivid pictures, it was disheartening to look up from the pages to be in the city. Great book, with a fascinating ending.
A good day's entertainment.
Grace
I really enjoyed this book. It almost made me cry at the end, and these tales of hard work and honest living always touch me, and make me reflect on life. However, there is something in Gene-Stratton's writing that I just can't put my finger on, but I don't really like it: Freckle's lost arm, for example, is too depressing. Also, the Swamp Angel... She wasn't explained very well, was she? I thought she was about 10, the way Gene told it, but she must have been at least 19 to be able to really lo ...more
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She was an American author, amateur naturalist, wildlife photographer, and one of the earliest women to form a movie studio and production company. She wrote some of the best selling novels and well-received columns in magazines of the day.

Born Geneva Grace Stratton in Wabash County, Indiana, she married Charles D. Porter in 1886, and they had one daughter, Jeannette.

She became a wildlife photogra
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More about Gene Stratton-Porter...

Other Books in the Series

Limberlost (2 books)
  • A Girl of the Limberlost (Limberlost, #2)
A Girl of the Limberlost (Limberlost, #2) Laddie: A True Blue Story The Keeper of the Bees The Harvester Michael O'Halloran

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“He only knew that he had lived up to his best impulse, and that is all any one can do.” 4 likes
“Ance a man-child has beaten his way to life under the heart of a woman, she is mither to all men, for the hearts of mithers are everywhere the same.” 0 likes
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