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Freckles (Limberlost #1)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  6,483 ratings  ·  449 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

Hardcover, 312 pages
Published April 12th 1994 by Gramercy (first published 1904)
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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
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
Mar 20, 2015 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
Ashley Williams
This was a delightful MG read! I loved every minute of it.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
4/2015: It must be that I'm getting older? For years I have struggled with these books. Now I am finding them refreshing and wholesome. Perhaps I'm seeing life for what matters most now(?): family, friendship, character, goodness, hard work, redemption. . .

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..
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
Wow, I’m not sure what to say about this one. Freckles is the one-handed Irish orphan who is trying desperately to make his way in the world. Luckily, someone gives him a chance. He is hired to guard timber in the swamp, and he proves to be quite the employee. Not only is he a loyal and vigilant guardian of the timber, he also become a bit of a naturalist. And, of course, he falls in love.

Oh, this is just so weird. The language is dated and strange, the plot is preachy and boring, and Freckles i
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
J.L. Day
Apr 30, 2015 J.L. Day rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!!! Teens and Pre-Teens especially
Recommended to J.L. by: My Grandma, my Aunt Re and my Mama
My favorite book of all time and one of my absolute favorite AUTHORS, as well Gene Stratton-Porter. I have old collector's editions in hardback and also a couple of paperbacks. I probably have about 8 different editions of this, not counting e-book versions of which I have downloaded every single one of his publications via Project Gutenberg, a phenomenal place to download older publications for FREE and even lots of newer ones, as well.

I very much enjoy the 19th centur
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
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
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
Celeste Batchelor
I loved the character of Freckles. It makes me sad to know that people can have such lonely lives with such a good heart. My only complaint is that the ending is a bit contrived. I don't want to spoil it, so I won't, but it seems a bit too easy and canned. I do love that the author shows some humanity in the characters and deftly models the orphan viewpoint, the questions they always have and the doubt of their parentage.
Definitely sappy but beautiful too. Cute love story. It is strange though to read about someone's love of nature while at the same time they are happily employed by those destroying it with no thought or care to its preservation. Early 1900's was a different time for the Naturalist, I suppose. Now, we are hopefully fighting hard to preserve or restore these stunning ecosystems.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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
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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