I highly recommend this autobiographical story of a boy growing up in small town Wisconsin at the end of World War I. I read it aloud to my 8 year old and we both loved it. North's writing is beautiful and evocative. My son was amazed that he could really see the scenes described by North in his head. I was struck by how much freedom Sterling has in the book. He is eleven, going on twelve. His mother died when he was younger and his father is often away, leaving him by himself in their house. But he's not lonely because of all his animal friends. This is a great book for kids and adults who love the outdoors, animals, and who have a nostalgia for the way things once were.