Sunday, July 6, 2008
This book was sent to me by Aunt Joan in the big ole box of her favorite books last year. By Sterling North, 'Rascal' is the memoir of the author's youth in 1918 Wisconsin. Sterling is 11 and living with his father, a sort-of idealistic daydreamer who lets Sterling run wild. Sterling's mother has passed away, leaving Sterling and his dad to fend for themselves, as his two older sisters are already living on their own.
Sterling is forever bringing home pets; dog, woodchucks, skunks! and then, Rascal, a baby raccoon he and a buddy take from its mother's nest.
The story deals with their antics, their daily peaceful, innocent lives. It also deals with Sterling's loss of his mother subtly, in the way he nurtures Rascal, in the way he enjoys the nurturing of his friend Oscar's loving mom.
Eventually, Sterling realizes that Rascal, although being a loving, intelligent best friend, really needs to be in the wild. Although heart-wrenching, Sterling knows his decision is the best.
It's a sweet book gears for the young (second through sixth graders) but it was a nice read; something I never got to read in my youth.