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Coon Tree Summer by Mary M. Landis

April 16, 2010

Published by Rod and Staff in 1978, this first of two children’s books about the Brookes family and life on the family farm is a wholesome and uplifting chapter book suitable for 4th grade and up. Life on Merry Brook Farm is full of the simple pleasures of farming, gardening, raising animals and raising a large family of eight children.

Coon Tree Summer

Coon Tree Summer is about life on the farm

Christian virtues are modeled as this family navigates the usual minor disagreements, and growing pains of young children. The child characters have their moments of selfishness and bickering, but they are always resolved with compliant and respectful attitudes towards their parents. I suppose some may find these overtly Christian books too simplistic in their approach to life, but we always found them encouraging and refreshing.

The happenings on the farm range from bird watching, farm chores, and household chores, to catching fireflies, wading in the creek, finding a raccoon’s home in a hollow tree, and the birth of a new foal. The climax of the story is when Larry gets caught in a thunder storm while out looking for the soon to foal mare. He finds shelter and credits God with his safe keeping.The book is written from a conservative Mennonite perspective. Topics on what is considered Godly is decidedly inline with Mennonite beliefs, such as:

Paul disobeys and gets a spanking – pg 215.

Obedience as evidence for Christianity discussed on-  page 299

Swimming in swimsuits is regarded as immodest – pg 226

There is an incident when a visiting girl gives Daisy some hair ribbons. Daisy is told that wearing them (so she will look pretty) is prideful – pg 302

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