This Tender Land
Language: There are some uses of damn and g--damn and on…moreFor sure okay for high school, and I would say "maybe okay" for very mature middle schoolers.
Language: There are some uses of damn and g--damn and one instance of f---.
Violence: Yes, there is violence, including abusive punishments that take place at the school, a few encounters that turn deadly, and reference to abuse/massacre of Native Americans by settlers. (And it's set in the 1930s, before the Federal Firearms Act, so guns were as common as shovels in most communities!) There are allusions to child abuse/molestation (only in the first section while at the school) but it's never discussed outright.
Sex: Very little sexual scenes other than a brief reference to an extra-martial affair and a quick kiss between two 13-year-olds. One scene unfolds in a brothel, but it's very clean.
There are a few passages and themes that get a bit religious (and anti-religions).
The novel's "cleanliness" aside, the reader needs to have a decent grasp on basic Depression-era history in order to understand some of the novel. Several themes require a strong emotional intelligence as well. That alone might preclude this from being good for a middle schooler.
Based on the subject matter, I would highly recommend this as an excellent example of contemporary literary fiction that a high schooler might actually ENJOY. ;) It would be a good read in place of or in comparison to The Grapes of Wrath or Huckleberry Finn. Very reminiscent of John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens. (less)
After reading this book I think there should be a separate genre for incredibly well written books that will endure the test of time, this is truly a “masterpiece”. It is literary fiction, adventure, mystery, a lesson in morality and forgiveness, and so much more. To understand this book you really MUST READ it, and I seldom say that about a book. It is every bit as good as Ordinary Grace by this author.
The time frame for the book is during the ...more
Although this may sound li ...more
The best historical fiction doesn’t just take me to the time and place depicted in the story. It takes me into the heart and soul of people who lived there and then. This is precisely what William Kent Kruger has done in this beautifully written story of four orphans on their journey to find safety, home, and love while discovering themselves along the way. He does this with characters who are everything to this telling of history, whose stories tell of the extreme hardships of the Great Depress ...more
“Home is where the heart is.” And Odie, Albert, Moses and Emmy are all looking for their own ...more
This book was a beautiful symphony to my ears, refreshing smell of nature to my nose, healing hands to my soul, heart-warming, emotional touch to my heart, lyrical, poetical, nurturing elements to my brain. There was not much words to express my feelings how I loved this book and how I enjoyed each word, sentence, each of the journey those orphans have taken, each i ...more
“This Tender Land”, is a mesmerizing tale with wonderful characters, rich themes, extraordinary storytelling, delicious writing....with dialogue that sprinkles gold nuggets in our hearts, gut, and mind.
A couple of times I thought: “Stand By Me” - meets “Deliverance”....meets Huckleberry Finn. It has those ‘type’ of a ‘feelings’.
I’m pleased as a pickle—to say this novel is every bit as good as “Ordinary Grace”...( another book by Krueger that’s one of my favorites).....
starting wi ...more
The story takes place during the summer of 1932, right before Odie turns thirteen. He and his sixteen year old brother Al ...more
The story takes place in the 1930's during the Great Depression in Minnesota. Odie and Albert are two white orphaned teenage brothers who live at the Lincoln school. It's a school for Native American Indian children who are forcibly separated from their parents and sent there to be educated. Four and Albert are forced to live there as well, with the Indians. They were the only two white orphans in the school. Mrs Brickman who was known as The Black Witch was the school superinten ...more
True to his word, William Kent Krueger did pour his heart and soul into this book. His writing is both moving and beautiful. I found myself highlighting large sections of text. He has the heart of a poet. If you ha ...more
I have been waiting for a long time to say this about a book, and now I can: This novel is a masterpiece. It is William Kent Krueger at his very best - it is clear he threw his entire heart and soul into this book. I will buy a hardback copy (something I never do) and keep it forever.
Set during The Great Depression in 1932 in my home state of Minnesota we follow our protagonist, 12-year-old Odie, and his three fellow travelers (self-dubbed The Four Vagabonds) on their searc ...more
The story is an odyssey. It is a little episodic and meanders just a tad until the conflict is set (once we know the little gro ...more
Wonderful book! As the author describes in his Author's note...: 'The river voyage upon which Odie O'Banion and his fellow Vagabonds embark in the summer of 1932 is a mythic journey'.... Odie and his older brother, young girl Emmy and the silent Indian young guy Mose escape from a sad home for parentless children, brutally run by amongst others a cruel couple. They embark on the river to go and search out an aunt livin ...more
“Maybe it really is like it says in the Bible,” I offered. “God’s a shepherd and we’re his flock and he watches over us.”...more
For a long while, Albert didn’t say anything. I listened to that kid crying in the dark because he felt lost and alone and believed no one cared.
Finally Albert whispered, “Listen, Odie, what does a shepherd eat?”
I didn’t know where he was going with that, so I didn’t reply.
One of my all-time favorite books is Ordinary Grace, a book I gave 5 stars and have read twice, even though I rarely re-read books. I was highly anticipating the author’s new release and was thrilled when offered a review copy by the publisher.
Four orphans escape an abusive situation at a boarding school and set off on a river trip in a canoe bound for St Louis. The trip is not a leisurely one, as the authorities are hot on their trail. Along the way, they meet a variety of people, all ...more
"Of all that we're asked to give others in this life, the most difficult to offer may be forgiveness."
It all begins in HELL and some of what's told here is true.
"What happened in the summer of 1932 is most important to those who experienced it, and there are not many of us left."
Odie O'Banion's life actually began in Missouri Ozark country, but now orphaned in Minnesota, he and older brother Albert need a miracle to get out of Lincoln School, the only white boys in a school f...more
William Kent Krueger sweeps aside the present and takes us to an era in American history in which hope was at a far distance and pain and heartache were daily visitors. It's 1932 and the Great Depression has dug its roots deeply into the American landscape. The Haves had far less and the Have Nots had even less than nothing.
The Lincoln School was set upon the banks of the Gilead River in Fremont County in Minnesota. To ...more
i really have no idea how else to describe this. its the wonderful combination of the reverent fondness for nature and the coming-up-age in a time where children had to look after themselves. its a very compelling story and excellently written.
it is rather lengthy, but then again, some of the best journeys take time. i enjoyed following the ‘vagabonds’ on their adventure to better living. i thought their ...more
"Everything that’s been done to us we carry forever. Most of us do our damnedest to hold on to the good and forget the rest. But somewhere in the vault of our hearts, in a place our brains can’t or won’t touch, the worst is stored, and the only sure key to it is in our dreams."
Minnesota, 1932. Odie and his brother Albert are orphans, left in the care of a school for Native American children taken from their parents, despite th ...more
I love Kent Krueger's writing, beautiful prose and descriptive passages but this book came across as a little too sentimental and contrived to me as a reader and I found it a wee bit preachy.
Set in Minnesotthe in 1932 The Lincoln School is a sad place where Native American children, forcibly separated from their families are sent to be educa ...more
A beautifully written character driven novel about the meaning of family and friendship and most of all the definition of home.
It’s 1932 and the Great Depression has hit and hit hard.
In Minnesota, four young orphans attend the Lincoln School - a school for Native American children. Odie and Albert are brothers, Odie is often in trouble for something, frustrating his older brother Albert to no end. Moses, is mute, and uses sign language to converse. Emmy has recently lost everything ...more
life as they know it, they realize no one is going to save them—and so they make a plan to save themselves that starts with escaping down the river.
A great story, beautifully told.
in the summer of 1932, four orphaned children escape The Lincoln School for Indians where they are terribly mistreated. A pair of brothers Albert and Odie, a Native American boy..Mose, and Emmy a young girl.
This story is told by Odie, who is now over 80 yrs old looking back on that summer’s journey and all the people that they came across in their quest to find safety and HOME!
This author is fantastic! I loved his novel Amazing Grace, and this one too!
An ode to another time and a journey born of desperation, a prayer for the innocence of childhood shattered by evil intentions and cruel actions of adults entrusted with their care, a classic coming-of-age tale that includes an ambitious quest, and an entreaty for the inner peace found in offering forgiveness to others.
“Ask me, God’s right here. In the dirt, the rain, the sky, the trees, the apples, the stars in the cottonwoods. In you and me, too. It’s all connected and it’s all God. Sure this ...more
The narrator, 12 year old Odie O'Banion and his older brother Albert are the only white boys in a school set up to 'take the Indian' out of native Indian boys by teaching them the white-man's cul ...more
“Ask me, God’s right here. In the dirt, the rain, the sky, the trees, the apples, the stars in the cottonwoods. In you and me, too. It’s all connected and it’s all God. Sure this is hard work, but it’s good work because it’s a part of what connects us to ...more
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