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Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  710 ratings  ·  130 reviews
The colorful boyhood of a popular author comes to life in this personal account

Imagine learning from a nosy classmate that your mother is having yet another baby. To Ralph's classmates, news of one more Fletcher baby is just "scuttlebutt." But for Ralph, the oldest of nine, being part of a large family means more kids to join in the fun—from making tripods in the woods and
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Kevin Kuehn
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the question/answer part of this book, Ralph Fletcher mentions how much he appreciates when authors don't waste any words or sentences. If that is his criteria for success, I would say mission accomplished. This memoir is not only clever and enjoyable and meaningful, but you can almost feel the purpose of each and every word. He gives you just enough so that you can connect to the story, but leaves you to figure out why it was meaningful. Absolutely delightful.
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lit-ii-2016
Ralph Fletcher's memoirs from childhood - in class today we created our own autobiographical maps to begin our Lit 2 writing workshop.
Jul 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful book full of "snapshots" of Ralph's childhood. Any single chapter would be a great model for children learning to write about the ordinary, and not so ordinary, moments in our lives. It took me back to my own childhood.
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book because mainly it was true. It was also funny. My favorite chapter was probably when Karen Arrenberg told Ralph he was moving because it was a, "Whoa, didn't see that one coming", Moment. It was a great book, and I understood it even more after reading it a second time.
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this with my son for his summer reading. It was a funny story. My son thought it was a little unrealistic because the author didn't have any problems and everything was always worked out smoothly. I thought it was a nice story about a young boy in a big family.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Marshfield Dreams by Ralph Fletcher
183 pages nonfiction biography

Marshfield Dreams is a biography about Ralph Fletcher's life as a kid. It starts around when he was two and ends when he moves to Chicago when he is around thirteen. Ralph Fletcher is the oldest of eight kids each one with a different personality. Ralph is closest to his brother Jimmy who is one year younger and loves to play in the woods. From Jimmy down the kids are Lainie, Tommy, Bobby, Johnny, Joey, and Kathy. Through the book
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Riya #26
“Funeral” By Ralph Fletcher
In life, you should have friends, even if someday, they might leave, they do and have done a lot for you. This is what is taught in the story, “Funeral” by Ralph Fletcher. To think of the bigger picture, think of it this way, you are the Sun and your friends are the planets revolving around you, they will always be with you because of the gravitational pull you emit. Even if they are miles away from you they are there for you. To prove this, Ralph’s fri
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Life is full of times when you have to say goodbye, such as when you are moving away. In “funeral” by Ralph Fletcher, Ralph has to say goodbye to his friends because he is moving away, and his friends made the “funeral” for him. “Funeral” teaches you that you should always make your friends feel happy. This is true when Ralph cries in happiness, when his friends said that they would never forget him, and most importantly, the funeral made him feel a lot less sad knowing how much his friends car ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In literature authors often write about characters overcoming difficulties. In the story A Pox Upon Us All by Ralph Fletcher, the author writes about his family overcoming difficulties in his childhood. This is true when the kids have the chicken pox, when they race around the house getting sore muscles, and most importantly when they get the Mumps. This is true for Dad, Dr.Wentworth, and especially Mom. A Pox Upon Us All is a wonderful story about family difficulties, and overcoming obstacles. ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The world can be hard for someone whom is going to step into a new life, without any friends. It is like being reborn to your age. In the short story, “Funeral”, by Ralph Fletcher, (also the main character) Ralph is going to move away from his friends. The story Funeral teaches you to trust and believe in your friends. It shows this when Ralph gets no alert that his friends are going to put pine needles on him, when he closes his eyes, and most importantly, when he goes into the woods at the la ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it

The world can be a tough place were overcoming hard obstacles can help things get better if you are willing and able to try, this is just like the story Pox Upon Us All by Ralph Fletcher when all seven of the Fletcher kids get chicken pox and the mumps in the Winter. Dr.Wentworth, Dad, and most importantly Mom need to overcome the difficulty of caring for the sick kids.
The text teaches us that you can overcome difficulties if you try. This is true for Dr.Wentworth. At the end of the story when
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it

Recollect a time when you were sick and helplessly lying in bed, trying to recover. You must have felt really horrible, right? But, have you thought about what it feels like for the person taking care of you? The author of A Pox Upon Us All , Ralph Fletcher, portrays the challenges of taking care of one another. Particularly the character “Mom” in the story picked up the knowledge that it is possible to become sleepy, frustrated, and worried in the process of taking care of someone.
To begin
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In life, it is important to have friends. The short story Funeral by Ralph Fletcher shows the importance of friendship. In the story, the main character Ralph is moving away and his friends, Andy, Larry, and Steve, are having a “funeral” for him because according to them, Ralph will be “dead” to them because they won’t see him anymore. During the funeral, they talk about all the good things they did together. In the text, there is evidence that Ralph is a good friend, because he has unique chara ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it

In life, people may make many friends, but they may only have a few close friends who they share a bond with. In the story “Funeral” By Ralph Fletcher, Ralph is moving away and his close friends take him to the woods for a ‘funeral’. The text teaches us about how good friends share a bond. This is shown when Ralph lets his friends take him to the woods, when his friends set up a ‘funeral’ for him, and most of all, when he lets his friends sprinkle pine needles on him.
Good friends share a speci
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kevin #16
January 29, 2018
This story is about a boy (Ralph Fletcher, the author) who is moving away from his friends. The story Funeral is written by Ralph Fletcher, who is the main character of this story. His friends, Andy, Larry, and Steve want to say goodbye, and they brought Ralph to the forest. They said nice things about him, triggering their important memories.
When all his best friends bring him to the forest, they have a very sad face to see one of their best friends leave the
Jan 25, 2018 added it
In the book which is written by Ralph, in Ralph’s family he had 9 siblings! The family is really close. This is shown through when they, shared the same jokes everyday, had a lot of fun, and most importantly they shared the same germs.
First reason, Ralph shared the same old jokes everyday. For instance in the text, “A Pox Upon Us All” it shows us that, “We all shared the same jokes.” This tells us that they are like a funny family and like to laugh sometimes to keep everyone happy. This mainly
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In literature, authors write a lot about characters being upset. In the story called ‘Funeral’ by Ralph Fletcher teaches to not be afraid to change. The text shows this through when the boys share memories, when they had a funeral, and most of all when Ralph moves.
To begin with, the boys in the story are afraid of what is going to happen in the future when Ralph moves. The boys make a funeral for Ralph, and in the funeral, they each say few things about Ralph. In the text it says, “He was a go
Holly Arens
Attack: By Ralph Fletcher
In the story attack by Ralph Fletcher Lainie ,jimmy, and Mom are very determine to find their beloved pets, they all show this because they problem solve,takes care of kids, and goes to Ales woods to find their roosters.Therefore Lainie, Mom, and Mom are very determine to find their beloved pets.
Lainie is very determine to find her beloved roosters. Lainie problem solves for example, she says this when all the kids were worried " Don't worry, she'll be here soon." Also
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hello, Ralph fletcher, I liked the book a pox upon us all,
In the short story, “A Pox Upon Us All”, by Ralph Fletcher, is talking about the power of mother’s care for her children, And the kid with all of his siblings, and his family is poor, trying not to miss his siblings,, telling about what happens in the house while he is sick...
The story shows that when the boy told us that if he had a bad cough or anything else that happens while you're sick, she’d come and ask him if everything is OK w
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Your life can be hard if you are closing one chapter and opening a new chapter. In the story, “Funeral” written by Ralph Fletcher, the main character, Ralph, is moving and his friends set up a funeral. Moving can be hard for a child because you are closing one chapter and starting and new chapter. This is true for Ralph’s friends (Andy, Steve, and Larry) and Ralph.

Ralph’s friends are very sad that their friend, Ralph, is moving. That’s why they give Ralph a funeral even if he is alive. A funera
Feb 01, 2017 added it
tea rook lane the world can be a rough plase. in the story tea rook lane by ralph fleter you lean about tow boys that have to dig in there haret fine braverey. tea rook lane shows us how braverrey is need to do the right thing. this is true for jimmy and most of all ralph and freddy.
my first reson is that when they jumped over the fens. anuther reson is that is they they rode there bikes back home. anuter reson is that on the fens it seid no trust pasing.
my secent reson is that when they sav
Carrie G
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
My co-teacher and I were preparing a unit on autobiographical narratives, and I was looking for a few short, humorous mentor texts. "Marshfield Dreams" provided me with several excellent options! But really, reading this book just made me nostalgic for summers spent at my grandparents' house in (very) small-town Kansas. It also made me sad for my students because none of them were able to relate to the excerpts we read in class - stories of close childhood friends and playing imaginative games ...more
Joanne Roach-Evans
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it reminded me of my childhood. It's about a big family, and all the adventures of playing outdoors at a time when none of us watched that much tv. This book reminded me of my brothers especially and how different they were from each other. When he wrote about Jimmy it was as if he were writing about my own brother. I've written several books myself along these lines so I thought it might be a good book to read for research. I really enjoyed this book and f ...more
I absolutely love this memoir collection of easy-to-read, but engaging short stories. I use it to teach so many subtle writing skills to my students and, over the course of the book, my students really grow to love Ralph and his ever-growing family, his fantastic friends, and the classic American neighborhood in which he grew up and had so many amazing adventures. Living as an expat in Seoul and teaching a transient community of learners, the final chapter gets us every. time.

One question my st
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-books
This is truly a great book for children. The storyline is very interesting describing the author's childhood in Marshfield. In each chapter, the word choise is exelent and the story is very intresting. In this book, there are many inspirational words and has a positive main idea that people can learn. Forexemple, responsibility. Though this book I learned to be more positive and with growth comes responsibilities. I highly recommend this book.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
This is a book my daughter was assigned for school reading between 4th and 5th grade, so I wanted to read it too.

The snapshots of memories author Ralph shares are to-the-point and show some of the fun, as well as some of the challenges of his childhood, being one of eight kids living in Marshfield, MA. The book ends with the family's move to Chicago for his dad's new job.
Jae Meh
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about a boy name Junior wrote memoir about his life when he was a kid to grown up. His mom have a baby every year so Junior has man brothers. The sad part it touch my heart was that Bobby didn’t get the chance to grow or live because he had car accident. I learn life is not easy and it has pain but we have to enjoy it to live. "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." That quote make me think it not too late to do whatever you want while your still living. ...more
Maria Caplin
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
2017 Mentor text for my young group of writers. They are enjoying looking and reading all of his books and the connections they are making are so important as writers. PS...I bought another copy today and it's autographed.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I look forward to using this as a mentor text for teaching. But truly it was just pleasurable to read about childhood memories. Reminded me of stories my father and uncles share about growing up in a large family.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Quick read that was fun because Paul grew up in Marshfield, but nothing special otherwise.
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Ralph Fletcher is a friend of young writers and readers as well as writing teachers. He has written or co-authored many books for writing teachers includng Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide, Teaching the Qualities of Writing, Lessons for the Writer's Notebook, Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices, and Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft That Sparks Writing. Ralph has worked with teachers a ...more

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