Caddie Woodlawn

by Carol Ryrie Brink
275 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by emmanem

A good, humorous work of historical fiction set in the 1860s.


Caddie Woodlawn is a spirited girl who lives in Wisconson in the 1860s. Her father thought he would try an "experiment", and raise her like he would raise his sons. Caddie's mother objected from the beginning, but gave in to the idea. The book is centered around this, resulting in many laugh-out-loud moments.


Caddie and her brothers are reprimanded and sternly disciplined when they do things that are not right. Their younger sister, Hettie, is a bit of a tattle-tale. An interesting moral facet involves the Indians who live near the Woodlawns, and how they ought to be treated by the white settlers.

Spiritual Content

The Woodlawn are Christians, and there are several scenes in which the Bible is read. A circuit preacher shows up several times.


The Woodlawn children are whipped, but only when they do wrong.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content



Caddie Woodlawn is a book based on the life of the authoress' grandmother, but the author added some incidents to make it more engaging. With amusing anecdotes reminiscent of the Little House on the Prairie series, a fun (though flawed) protagonist, and good, firm morality, this book certainly deserves its Newberry Award.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 8-10

Review Rating:

Average rating: 4 stars
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