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Laddie: A True Blue Story
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Laddie: A True Blue Story

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  3,296 Ratings  ·  370 Reviews
Loosely based on Stratton-Porter's own childhood, Laddie is a double tale -- the classic poor-boy/rich-girl romance and the story of a child of nature and her idyllic childhood.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 1st 1988 by Indiana University Press (first published 1913)
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Jan 09, 2008 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adult and beyond
Recommended to Christina by: TJED
My favorite quote in the book:

"Had I life to live over, I see now where I could do more; but neighbor, believe me, my highest aspiration is to be a clean, thrifty housekeeper, a bountiful cook, a faithful wife, a sympathetic mother. That is life work for any woman, and to be a good woman is the greatest thing on earth."

I loved the education the children had. The constant learning that was modeled for the children by their father and mother, and the importance they placed on that learning.
Jan 04, 2008 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book because it is the ideal life that I would love my kids to live...on a small family farm, working the land into something beautiful...the family all coming together for every life event...all the women learn everything they should learn about caring for their own home and raising children before they leave home...they all receive a superior education in addition to what they learn in school because their parents are so well educated in classic literature.... I just love everythi ...more
Sep 10, 2009 Jill rated it it was amazing
I just reread this favorite and tried to pay attention to why I like it so much. It certainly can be a bit wordy and tedious in descriptions at points, unless you Really relate to the descriptions of nature and surrounding. Which I usually do I guess. It can also be rather glorified and idealistic when describing some of the characters. But overall I think I just really admire how the family lives life. I think they live each moment to the fullest, putting their whole hearts into it. They cry wh ...more
Dec 07, 2007 Jeanine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Families who value good character
Recommended to Jeanine by: Oliver Demille
I really love the natural education of little sister. I love how she has so many poems of the McGuffey readers memorized.

I love how well trained the characters of little sisters family are. I cant get over this remark by mother"with all of our twelve never has there been one who and nine months of age did not stop crying if it's father lifted his finger, or tapped his foot and told it to."

Mother speaks about educating her children to Mr. Pryor "From the start we have rigorously guarded our speec
Feb 17, 2008 Christy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Laddie is one of my all time favorite books. It is written from Little Sister's point of view and with a strong Methodist background.

It gave my family so much to discuss. Some of my favorite lessons were how Laddie treated the situation between Little Sister and the school teacher. Even though Little Sister was right, she shouldn't have reacted the way she did. We LOVED how Laddie cared for Little Sister and because of his love, she would do anything he asked of her. Great lesson for our family
Mar 05, 2011 Bev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laddie: A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton-Porter is a lot like my mystery favorite The Mystery of Hunting's End. No, it's not a crime novel. But I have loved this book for a very long time for a lot of reasons. Like Hunting's End, it came in a box of books from my Grandma. It's a first edition--but it's a well-loved, well-used first edition. The spine covering was none too firm when it arrived and it fell off altogether before I'd managed to read it the first time. I taped up the binding to kee ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Tarissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A goodie from 1913. A story that Little Sister tells about her large-sized family, but most specifically, about her older brother whom she simply adores, Laddie.

It is a rather "pretty" type of story from the late 1800s in Indiana. Written in descriptive prose, similar in style to perhaps L.M. Montgomery or Louisa May Alcott (a favorite type of writing style for me!). It contains many great lessons pertaining to a loving family and an Almighty God. I enjoyed how much of the family's Christian fai
Angela Coan
Jun 30, 2016 Angela Coan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aloud-to-kids
I just finished reading this gem aloud to my kids, and out of the dozens and dozens of read aloud books we've done I'm sure this is our favorite. (Little Britches would be a close second.) Unlike some readers who've understandably needed more time to connect with the book, we all loved it from the start. Little Sister's innocent devotion to her older brother and her passion for nature and family, as well as a startling spiritual maturity made us all enjoy her right away. The family is a certain ...more
I wanted to read this after I finished the Gene Stratton Porter biography that I read last week called "Nature's Storyteller." I was struck by how many small little details that Gene included in Little Sister's character and life that were straight out of Gene's own life (not enjoying her Saturday night hair washing, taming birds to the point of dressing them in little clothes, her adoration of her parents and just so much more). The same with her family and certain incidents in their lives. The ...more
Jan 03, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, although I kept waiting for Laddie to die. I figured since he was so wonderful he had to die. But he didn't. I'm glad.

This was an interesting story in and of itself, but I particularly loved the glimpses of how the parents educated their children in various areas - religion, housework, farming, geography, etc. I loved the routines and ideas. I enjoyed her thoughts that children learn about nature by being in nature, about geography by visiting lakes and mountains and
Rob Cannon
Nov 11, 2009 Rob Cannon rated it really liked it
This is the delightful story of a loving family narrated from the perspective of the "Little Sister." The story was published in 1913 and probably takes place in the mid to late 1800's. We get to appreciate Little Sister's love of the land, the birds, her family and particularly her love and devotion to her oldest brother and hero, Laddie.

While we enjoy seeing how a loving family associates, disciplines, and cares for one another with a love and belief of God and the Savior, we also see some co
Mar 24, 2013 Trace rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, favorites
I finally "GET" what all the fuss is about (among my fellow home educators group) regarding this book. To quote a fellow homeschooling mom - this book has given me a higher vision for me and my family. Its absolutely FABULOUS and its a classic through and through... AND one that I will have to purchase for our own library....

Just got this through an interlibrary loan (which means I can't renew it) - which means Anna Karenina goes on the back burner while I read Laddie!
Apr 17, 2014 Anna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Another re-reading of Laddie only cements it as one of my favorite books of all time. As it is said to be based on Gene Stratton-Porter's childhood, I can only wish I had known her family. The values espoused by her parents deserve to be emulated. If you have never read this book, you are missing a great treat.
Jan 02, 2008 Trina rated it it was amazing
I usually don't re-read books, but I first read Laddie years ago, and it was the selection for my book group. I must say I enjoyed it a lot more this time. It's true that the first time you read the book, mainly you are interested in the plot. The second time, you can enjoy the characters more and any foreshadowing is more meaningful.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is an uplifting book.
Feb 17, 2009 Rachelle rated it it was amazing
As my mother predicted... I loved this book. It left me thinking that perhaps I was born about 150 years too late. The idea of living off the land, surrounded by nature appeals to me. But what I loved the most is the wonderful characters. Laddie, the most honest, faithful, compassionate man who ever lived, the mother, who has so much wisdom about the world, human nature and her children that she is adored and respected by all and of course "Little Sister" who at her young age knows more about Go ...more
I grew up reading the classics, mostly from my Grandfather's library, but it was my Dad who introduced me to S-P. His favorite book growing up were Freckles, Laddie, and anything by Horatio Alger. :) Re-reading Laddie and Freckles many years later I can understand why my Father loved them, and see how the boy who delighted in these stories chock-full of natural history became the man who swerved the plow to miss a nest of baby rabbits in a field and came home every day reporting on their growth. ...more
March 2014: I have read this book at least (!) five times in the last ten years trying to love it or at least like it. Each time I have simply not liked it. It's stayed at a two star for ten long years. It became a running joke (no pun intended haha) among my daughter and some friends as Alcott and Stratton-Porter continually pained me.

Again I picked it up. This time I had set a goal to start reading while running on the treadmill as the winter was dragging on and my runs needed some excitement
Apr 28, 2010 Joey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
One of the main reasons I really liked this book was because of the family life the Stantons in this book led. All of them were very close to one another and Mr. and Mrs. Stanton genuinely loved their children. Every meal time the dad talked to his children about all matters of life, such as politics and theology. It was neat how they really trusted God and had a passionate love for Him even when they had rough times. He also educated them very well(though they did attend a one room school house ...more
Nov 08, 2010 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I love the way porter writes. Not only did i learn a great deal about home life and marriage and other family values from this book, but I also was entranced by her writing. It makes me want to be little again and live on a farm. I liked the little details she illustrated so beautifully and so well through the eyes of a child; just as a child would see them. I loved this part found on page 317- I loved the soft warm dust, that was working up on the road. Spat! Spat! I brought down my bare feet, ...more

I haven't read a book that touched me this deeply in many years. I laughed and cried throughout the book. I looked forward to each moment I had a chance to read it. I had a hard time getting started with it, but I'm glad I kept going back. I tell my kids sometimes you have to take several bites of the "apple" to get to the good, juicy parts and this book started like that for me.

I loved the wisdom shared throughout the book. The children received the perfect education and it made me that much
Mary Jo
Jun 15, 2007 Mary Jo rated it liked it
I can't say the actual story is my favorite though it is well written and entertaining. However, it has significant sentimental value. When I was in 5th grade when we lived in Iowa, we were doing a family history project and were supposed to interview a grandparent. So I interviewed my grandpa Armstrong and one of the questions was "what was your favorite book when you were a kid?" His answer was Laddie. So he got to thinking and got it in his head that he would give it to me for Christmas. So h ...more
Jan 04, 2008 Anne rated it it was amazing
I just re-read Laddie, and loved it again. It's not often that you find books with strong, heroic characters, but that's how Gene Stratton-Porter writes.

Little Sister was child #12 in her family and it seemed at first that everybody was tired of babies except her big brother Laddie. He watched over and loved her and took care of her. They lived on a big beautiful farm in Indiana and the love of the land really comes through every page.

But 12 isn't too many children, and Mother and Father are st
Feb 12, 2008 Yvonne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book a number of times since I first received an old copy from my grandfather. It is such a sweet story of love between an older brother and a little sister (the narrator) in a large family of siblings. It also shows the romance blossoming between said favorite older brother and his girl. So it's also a great romance. I love Gene Stratton-Porter's books for the reason that they too were written around the same time period as the Great Depression, but they aren't as depressing as b ...more
Sep 08, 2008 Jorgina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I have learned... How to be a good mom. The importance of a good education. The importance of a happy home kids want to come and stay. Georgic approach to living with the land and community. What kind of man I should have married and how to help my daughters choose more wisely. Appreciation for life, nature, critters, and especially family. Nice to know this is based on the authors own life and only Mrs.Freshit (the black neighbor) was a fictional addition.
Dave Johnson
Oct 13, 2016 Dave Johnson rated it it was amazing
A really good read. Unusual in that this family loved each other, prayed together, attended church together, ate together, and helped each other. Boring you say? Nay, I say. Gene Stratton Porter has a way of telling a story that will make you not want to put the book down. No wonder her books are still around after all this time. I will read more of her books. Highly recommended!
Jan 08, 2016 ShaLisa rated it it was amazing
I did not want this book to end, rather, I want to live my life all the while gleaning from their forever story. What beautiful people! What honesty of self and feelings, how open with their love, what importance God plays in their lives and how kind they are. This book is tender and lovely and virtuous and praiseworthy and so good. I read slowly and basked in every word!
Mar 10, 2015 Melanie rated it it was amazing
This book is sort of like the Little House books, but - dare I say it? - better. I repeatedly found myself smiling while I read. Just a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable story. I loved how the family loved to learn and especially how the characters could quote so much poetry.
Dec 11, 2007 Megan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everybody
this book is one of my favorites and perfect for reading to children. its about family, love, growing up, the importance of living a life of happiness doing what you love and the roles of men and women.
Aug 09, 2009 Karyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
Loved this book! The family relationships are so wonderful. The value of education and work in the family in this story is fabulous. The love "Little Sister" has for her big brother is beautiful. The mom of the family of 12 kids amazes me. What a great story...
Dec 31, 2014 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Gene Statton Porter is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors of quality classic literature. She emphasizes the importance of character and virtue in all her books. Loved Laddie! Fun quality reading for all ages.
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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...

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“Is he well educated?"
"Yes, I think so, as far as he's gone," I answered. "Of course he will go on being educated every day of his life, same as father. He says it is all rot about 'finishing' your education. You never do. You learn more important things each day...”
“Do you know that being a stranger is the hardest thing that can happen to any one in all this world?” 12 likes
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