1-1 | Childhood on the Farm: Work, Play, and Coming of Age in the Midwest

Book Review

Childhood on the Farm: Work, Play, and Coming of Age in the Midwest

Pamela Riney-Kehrberg
Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005. Notes, bibliography, index, photographs. $34.95 cloth. xi, 300 pp. ISBN: 9780700613885

by Simon J. Bronner

First Paragraph:

As the nineteenth century came to a close, a Midwestern farm boy ruminated about the assigned theme of "Life on the Farm." For child and adult, he wrote, "It is work from early morning till late at night, with a few minutes set apart for each meal" (p. 199). He must have been well aware of a dramatic shift sweeping across the nation's breadbasket. Whereas earlier generations had flocked to the West to stake their claim to land and to see harvests they could call their own, turn-of-the-century youth were leaving the farm for the possibility of better pay for less arduous work.