Frontier Family: Adapted from the Caroline Years Books (Little House Chapter Book)

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9780060281571: Frontier Family: Adapted from the Caroline Years Books (Little House Chapter Book)

Frontier Family

Caroline Quiner and her family work hard on their frontier farm, but they still find time for fun. From making grass dolls to playing tag, Caroline always has the best time with her brothers and sisters!

The Caroline Chapter Books are part of an ongoing series of Little House Chapter Books.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Maria D. Wilkes first read the Little House books as a young girl and has been fascinated by pioneer history ever since. She did extensive research on the Quiner, Ingalls, and Wilder families, studied original sources and family letters and diaries, and worked in close consultation with several historians and the Laura Ingalls Wilder estate as she wrote the Caroline Years books. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Peter, and her daughters, Grace and Natalie.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

It was the twenty-fourth of June. Two minutes ago Elisa Michaels had finished the first grade. But even though she was cheering with all the other boys and girls as they rushed happily from the building, she still wished school weren't over. She could hardly wait until September, when second grade would begin. Second grade was much more grown-up than first!

Elisa's mother was waiting outside the school to walk her home. "You have a whole long summer vacation ahead of you," Mrs. Michaels said. "We'll have to think of some good things to keep you busy."

"Marshie, I'll be home to play with you every day," Elisa told her baby brother, whose real name was Marshall. He was being pushed along in his stroller. Marshall was only twenty months old. He still didn't say very much, but he could walk and run and follow Elisa around the house. He could dig in the sandbox at the park and build with blocks at home. Elisa thought it would be lots of fun to help take care of him during the summer.

Marshall banged on his stroller with the bagel he had been chewing. He was busy teething, and he didn't care about school and vacation time.

When they got to their apartment building, Elisa's big brother, Russell, who had his own key nowadays, was already home.

"Just four more days, and I'm off to sleepaway camp," he announced proudly.

Elisa had watched early in the month as her mother had packed and shipped off a big trunkful of clothing for Russell to wear during the three weeks he would be away from home. There were new T-shirts and new shorts, new socks and new underwear. In every piece of clothing Mrs. Michaels had attached a small label that read russell michaels in bright red letters.

Elisa wished she had a trunkful of new clothing with her name on every piece, but she was glad she wasn't going away from New York City to sleepaway camp. She wouldn't like to be separated from her parents and Marshall for so long. But Russell was much bigger. He was eleven years old, so he wanted to go away. At least he said he wanted to go away. Elisa wondered if he really and truly meant it.

Elisa thought it would be strange not to have Russell home for three whole weeks. But in a way it would be fun too. For three weeks she would be the oldest child in the family. For three weeks Russell wouldn't be around to boss and tease her. For three weeks she and Marshall would have their parents to themselves.

"I won't get homesick," Russell told his parents confidently.

"What's homesick?" Elisa asked.

"Homesick means that you miss your home," Mr. Michaels explained to his daughter.

"Won't you miss your home?" Elisa asked Russell.

"I don't think I'll miss you," he said. "It will be fun to live in a cabin with a bunch of other boys who are my age. We're going to have big adventures together."

"You may feel a tiny bit homesick at first," Mrs. Michaels told Russell. "But it will pass, and then you'll be home again before you know it."

"Be sure to write to me," Russell instructed his family on the morning he was leaving for camp.

Mrs. Michaels surprised him by saying, "I already did."

"Why did you write to Russell when he's still here?" Elisa asked.

"I mailed a letter to the camp. I knew it would be fun for him to get mail as soon as he arrived."

"What did you say in it?" Russell wanted to know.

"You'll have to wait and read the letter," said Mrs. Michaels.

"I wish you'd write me a letter," Elisa said to her mother.

"Someday when you go to camp, I'll send letters to you there," her mother replied. But Elisa wasn't at all sure it would be worth going away from home for so long just to receive mail of her own.

"You write to me too, Elisa," Russell requested. "I want lots of letters."

"Okay, I will," she promised her brother. She hoped something exciting would happen so she could write about it.

As soon as Mr. Michaels took Russell to the bus terminal, Elisa ran to get a piece of paper and a pencil. She sat down at the kitchen table and began writing. "Dear Russell," she wrote. "I hope you are having a good time at camp." She stopped to look at her words. That's silly, she thought. How can Russell be having a good time? He hasn't even gotten on the bus yet. Elisa scrunched up the paper into a ball and threw it in the garbage. She would write a letter to Russell tomorrow.

Supper without Russell wasn't too strange. It was as if he were having a sleepover at a friend's house. But when Russell didn't come home the next day, it felt different.

"I wonder what Russell's doing at camp," Elisa said to her mother.

"You could write him a letter and ask," Mrs. Michaels suggested.

Elisa pulled out a sheet of paper. "Dear Russell," she wrote. "Is camp fun? I've been having fun playing with Annie." Elisa stopped writing. Russell wouldn't care that she had gone to the playground yesterday. She went to the playground all the time. She wished she had something new and special to write about. She scrunched up the paper into a ball and threw it in the garbage.

 

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