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The Yearling

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  24,032 ratings  ·  949 reviews
Young Jody adopts an orphaned fawn he calls Flag and makes it a part of his family and his best friend. But life in the Florida backwoods is harsh, and so, as his family fights off wolves, bears, and even alligators, and faces failure in their tenuous subsistence farming, Jody must finally part with his dear animal friend. There has been a film and even a musical based on ...more
Paperback, 513 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Aladdin (first published 1938)
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Ellie Pojarska I have not read the book, but my 10-year old just finished it and absolutely loved it. I think he said that there were a couple of moments that were a…moreI have not read the book, but my 10-year old just finished it and absolutely loved it. I think he said that there were a couple of moments that were a bit difficult emotionally, but he didn't seem deterred by them. He is a pretty sensitive boy, too. (less)

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Diane Barnes
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reads, favorites
I have read this book twice before, once as a child, and again as a young adult. It was presented as the MOD choice on the group "On the Southern Literary Trail" by Tom, so I took the opportunity to start the New Year with a Pulitzer Prize winning novel that I already knew would be a wonderful read. I had forgotten just how great it really was.

The setting is Florida in the 1870's, before concrete and condos and retirees and tourists. Before Disney World and Universal and Gatorland. This was a Fl
I absolutely hated this book. I'm not even sure that "hate" describes how I feel.

This is based purely on how I felt reading it and not the writing quality, though that was really rather poor as well.

I suppose that most people were supposed to have this reaction:


and then natter on about how amazing this book is. How the "coming of age" story is so poignant and beautiful. How they wept and then fainted from the overwhelming feelings that they had for Jody. And, of course, how they recommended thi
I started this classic novel with only a vague idea of what it was about. I knew the book was supposed to be sad and I knew “the yearling” was a deer. But that was it.
As it turns out, I was partly wrong about both things.
Yes, the novel is sad, extremely so, but its overriding feature is an almost ecstatic love of animals, especially wild ones. And yes, the yearling is a deer but more importantly, it’s also the story’s protagonist; a 12-year old boy caught right in that moment between an innoce
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you read a book and it is just words on a page, sometimes it becomes a story. And sometimes, when you're very lucky the book becomes so real you feel transported right into the pages. That was my experience here.

I loved Jody and Penny's relationship, how overwhelming Penny's love is for his son, how much he wants for Jody to learn and grow. And how he watches Jody enjoying life.

The Forresters were entertaining and heartbreaking at the same time. There is much to learn from the characte
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Every night for three weeks, my nine-year-old and I would snuggle together under a blanket, tea cups balanced on our laps. I would read aloud in what my spouse says was a pretty good Southern accent and she would read along silently over my shoulder.

After we'd finished the book and blown our noses and she'd talked a bit, I realized that she and I got different messages from the story. She loved it for the outdoors and the animals---both the cute baby animals raised by Fodder-Wing and Jody and t
Tom Mathews
The Yearling is a fine coming-of-age novel that I have somehow managed to avoid reading until know. Fortunately, thanks to the fine folks at the On the Southern Literary Trail Goodreads group, I finally had the opportunity to read and discuss it with others who appreciate it.

Uninformed readers such as I will automatically assume that the yearling in question is the fawn prominently displayed on the cover but that is not really correct. It soon becomes apparent that the fawn is but a minor chara
Rob Warner
Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A Civil War-era coming of age novel that's a spiritual cousin to Where the Red Fern Grows, but with a broader story and a deeper dive into life's challenges. Reading this book reminds you how deeply people understood the consequences of choice, as sloth translated brutally into starvation. Indeed, the need to work for one's supper every day, planning for both the moment and the future, contrasts starkly with our present-day welfare state that, for some, rewards indolence.

One other thing that jum
Book Concierge
Rawlings’s 1938 Pulitzer-winning novel focuses on the boy Jody, his parents Ora and Penny Baxter, their neighbors the Forresters, and their hard-scrabble lives in central Florida in about 1870.

I first heard of this classic of children’s literature when I was about 10 years old, but I never read it. I hadn’t even seen the movie. I had only a vague notion about the plot – a boy and his pet deer, “the yearling” of the title. I’m so glad that I finally read it.

Rawlings tells the tale from Jody’s p
Christian Engler
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In past reviews, people have speculated that if The Yearling were to have been published in today's times, would it still have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. For me, I would have to say that that would be a resounding yes. I say so because the novel captures, with vivid simplicity, a bygone American era via the stark usage of the literaty resources available to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings at the time, quite simply, the values, environment and language which surrounded her. Being th ...more
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: Southern Literary Trail
The Yearling is Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ Pulitzer prize winning novel about the coming of age of Jody Baxter, the son of a backwood farming family that is trying to eke a living from a bit of high land in the Florida scrub shortly after the Civil War. The story is about a boy’s love for a fawn, a man’s love for his son, and the difficult lessons life throws in the path of a boy who lives in a world where he must become a man in order to survive.

There are many wonderful characters apart from the
Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to J.M. by: a librarian
A classic I had never been assigned to read or really had recommended, this 1938 novel was suggested to me by a librarian and I read it chapter by chapter over a number of weeks.

Taking place on "Baxter's Island" in post-Civil War Florida, this follows the bond formed between a boy, Jody Baxter, and a fawn he rescues from the wild and attempts to domesticate. I found it surprisingly touching, with some beautiful passages depicting the ineffable link we may feel between ourselves and nature, espec
``Laurie Henderson
At least young Jody was having a wonderful and happy childhood until the last chapter...
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gaye by: Classic Chick Book Group
What language. It was dense and thick and like poetry. The story, The Yearling, is of a young boy named Jody and his life in the hardscrabble backwoods of northern Florida in the late 1800's. Jody and his parents live a solitary life and one where frivolous things don't belong. Yet all Jody wants is something that belongs just to him; a pet. When his father is struck by a rattlesnake in the deep woods, a doe is shot and killed for her healing organs, leaving behind a tiny fawn. This fawn now bec ...more
May 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Looking at the book cover, I thought I was going to read about a child and his pet deer. Well, there is a child and there is a deer but their relationship is only secondary to that of the boy and his father. I think that this is foremost a story about a father and his son and the valuable life lessons that he gives his child through one memorable year. Taking care of a deer is just one of those life lessons.

The boy Jody lives with his parents in the Florida brush in a time when children were ex
Kathleen L. Maher
Jul 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, pulitzer, read-in-2018
The Yearling in 1938 brought Rawling's the Pulitzer Prize and worldwide recognition as a great talent., she wrote about what she knew, poor life but close to nature. I believe it is well written, but some of the dialect I had to reread to understand.
Penny Baxter chose to leave behind the city to live on an isolated island with his family. Along with that, comes the daily struggle of surviving. Penny has the will to keep getting back up once knocked down by all the incidences that take place on
Jenn Garrett
Aug 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I had never read this classic, despite the fact that it is set just south of here, I have seen the original manuscript at UF archives, and been to Rawlings house where whe wrote it. It was slow, but there is some nice vivid imagery of rural Florida. The story is centered around a boy, maybe ten years old, and his expireinces growing up as an early settler in Florida. I was shocked by Rawlings descriptions of some of the female characters, but understood after finishing the book whay she wrote th ...more
Jul 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it
I read this book because I was required to, and any joy I may have gotten out of it was destroyed before I even started.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan Priddy
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the movie as a child and cooked from my grandmother's copy of Cross Creek Cookery (which is a very entertaining read all by itself). I even saw the film Cross Creek (1983) and loved it. But I had never read this novel which is beautiful and wonderful and charming in turn.

Jody is growing up on a lush and beautiful land and his entire life is likely to be hard. His father had a cruel and harsh childhood and as a result wants his own son to have a better one. His mother has lost six babies a
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, pulitzer
I grew up just a few small towns over from where Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings lived while writing this beloved classic. I have visited the state park that includes her home and I have eaten at The Yearling Restaurant down the road from the park many a time. I have seen the movie based on this novel countless times and I am certain The Yearling was required reading more than once. This story definitely loomed large throughout my many days of living in Florida, but I just could not remember the detail ...more
Sebelum The Yearling, Rawlings kerap kali mendapat penolakan dari editornya, Max Perkins. Namun Perkins mengarahkan Rawlings untuk menulis sesuatu yang dia pahami dari lingkungannya. Sejak itulah Rawlings mulai menulis The Yearling yang sebelumnya pernah diajukan dengan nama The Flutter Mill dan Juniper Island. Meskipun penulisan novel ini sempat terhenti, namun pada tahun 1938, novel ini berhasil dipublikasikan dan terpilih menjadi Book-of-the-Month Club pada bulan April 1938. Novel yang pernah ...more
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulitzers-read
I really enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. Perhaps that's because I was expecting it to be more of a young adult fiction book, as it is often cast. But it really wasn't.

I generally find books trying to capture accents and regional speech dialects in the written word to be rather forced and distracting. But this was not the case here. One of the book's triumphs as I see it is the natural and easy way the interior backwoods Florida dialect came across. It was never strained or pr
Scott Hubbard
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was very moving. It started out very good and continued throughout the book but, I really despised the ending. I was expecting it since there was never going to be a happy ending for them but still I was sad. The diction was strong and interesting. My favorite part was the detailed descriptions given by the author. All the settings were very involved in the action and Rawlings really made the contrasts of emotion in different scenes and different characters come to life. The relationsh ...more
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this because an adult male told me that he loved this book as a middle school kid, but it took me 200 pages of suffering to get into it. I spent 3 weeks reading the first 200 pages and then about 3 days reading the last 300. I can't imagine recommending it to a modern kid because the use of dialect is unwieldy, the length is daunting, and the copious descriptions of pastoral scenes could get tedious. There are some early scenes of bear hunts and other such exciting things, but suddenly ab ...more
Richard Kramer
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've had a ratty old edition in my basement for decades. Finally I said, well, now's the time, and sat down to read it. I've always loved the MGM version with Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman. Rawlings' book is flintier, tougher, somehow even more moving. I had to shake the images of the actors out of my head and go with her conjurings of Penny, Ora, and Jody Baxter. I'm glad I did. Rawlings was a pet of Maxwell Perkins and their published correspondence makes a great companion piece to this. This bo ...more
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-deborah
Sometimes, I just need to read a slow book that focuses on the beauty and variety of nature. Maybe I appreciate that more as an adult than I would have as a child, or maybe I felt more attuned to the nature described because I now live in the South. This book has beauty and loneliness and love and the drama of living poor; but what I loved most was the tension between the humans and wildness of nature - the way they collided and made peace. I could feel Rawlings' love for her native land in ever ...more
Lisa James
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was a little girl, & I believe my Dad read it before me when he was a boy, since this book, in one of it's OLD hardback editions, lived in the cupboard of an old red topped desk in my grandparents' home.

This was wonderfully written, an absolute delight :) It remains one of my favorites.
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Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was an American author who lived in rural Florida and wrote novels with rural themes and settings. Her best known work, The Yearling, about a boy who adopts an orphaned fawn, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was later made into a movie of the same title, The Yearling. The book was written long before the concept of young-adult fiction, but is now commonly inclu ...more
“Now he understood. This was death. Death was a silence that gave back no answer.” 25 likes
“You've seed how things goes in the world o' men. You've knowed men to be low-down and mean. You've seed ol' Death at his tricks...Ever' man wants life to be a fine thing, and a easy. 'Tis fine, boy, powerful fine, but 'tain't easy. Life knocks a man down and he gits up and it knocks him down agin. I've been uneasy all my life...I've wanted life to be easy for you. Easier'n 'twas for me. A man's heart aches, seein' his young uns face the world. Knowin' they got to get their guts tore out, the way his was tore. I wanted to spare you, long as I could. I wanted you to frolic with your yearlin'. I knowed the lonesomeness he eased for you. But ever' man's lonesome. What's he to do then? What's he to do when he gits knocked down? Why, take it for his share and go on.

—Penny Baxter”
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