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Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl delivers a treat as delicious as oatmeal cookies hot out of the oven - a memoir of a happy childhood. In charming and memorable vignettes, Carol Bodensteiner captures rural life in middle America, in the middle of the 20th Century. Bodensteiner grew up on a family-owned dairy farm in the 1950s, a time when a family could ma Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl delivers a treat as delicious as oatmeal cookies hot out of the oven - a memoir of a happy childhood. In charming and memorable vignettes, Carol Bodensteiner captures rural life in middle America, in the middle of the 20th Century. Bodensteiner grew up on a family-owned dairy farm in the 1950s, a time when a family could make a good living on 180 acres. In these pages you can step back and relish a time simple but not easy, a time innocent yet challenging. If you grew up in rural America, these stories will trigger your memories and your senses, releasing a wealth of stories of your own. If the rural Midwest is foreign territory to you, Carol's stories will invite you into a fascinating and disappearing world.


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Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl delivers a treat as delicious as oatmeal cookies hot out of the oven - a memoir of a happy childhood. In charming and memorable vignettes, Carol Bodensteiner captures rural life in middle America, in the middle of the 20th Century. Bodensteiner grew up on a family-owned dairy farm in the 1950s, a time when a family could ma Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl delivers a treat as delicious as oatmeal cookies hot out of the oven - a memoir of a happy childhood. In charming and memorable vignettes, Carol Bodensteiner captures rural life in middle America, in the middle of the 20th Century. Bodensteiner grew up on a family-owned dairy farm in the 1950s, a time when a family could make a good living on 180 acres. In these pages you can step back and relish a time simple but not easy, a time innocent yet challenging. If you grew up in rural America, these stories will trigger your memories and your senses, releasing a wealth of stories of your own. If the rural Midwest is foreign territory to you, Carol's stories will invite you into a fascinating and disappearing world.

30 review for Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Since this is my memoir, it's better to share what readers say: “I grew up on a family dairy farm. My parents sold the cows when I was 13. I remember saying I’ll never milk a cow again. My dream was to be a CPA. Then I met and fell in love with my husband and lo and behold we took over his family’s dairy farm. To this day I still milk cows at 4:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. every day. We’ve had a good life with the cows. Thank you for the memories!”—Lola, A fellow farm girl who grew up country. “I was bo Since this is my memoir, it's better to share what readers say: “I grew up on a family dairy farm. My parents sold the cows when I was 13. I remember saying I’ll never milk a cow again. My dream was to be a CPA. Then I met and fell in love with my husband and lo and behold we took over his family’s dairy farm. To this day I still milk cows at 4:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. every day. We’ve had a good life with the cows. Thank you for the memories!”—Lola, A fellow farm girl who grew up country. “I was born on a small farm and I could relate to all the incidents in your book. We had a monster rooster and a sweet cow. I only had one disagreement with your whole book. I can’t understand how you dealt with the chickens. I was able to clean hog houses, as a child and as an adult, but you could always knock me over with a chicken - dead or alive.” —Bev, an Iowa farm girl Back cover quotes: “Carol’s book evolves into a page turner, not because of high drama but rather because we come to care for this little girl who’s living a good, simple life that has evaporated—just like yesterday’s family farm where she grew up.” — Mary Kay Shanley, author “I loved the book because it celebrates a unique and important time in the history of rural American and the transition to modern production agriculture. Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl is up on my bookshelf where I keep all the books I enjoy re-reading.” - Mark Pearson, host of Public Television’s “Market to Market” “If you have ever milked cows, made hay, dressed chickens, wondered about Santa Claus, or had your dad shush you at the noon dinner table while the weather and markets were on, you’ll identify with these situations. Carol isn’t afraid to get personal in the telling.” – Lee Kline, farm broadcaster, WHO Radio

  2. 5 out of 5

    J.P. Lane

    Not by any stretch of the imagination are memoirs my preferred reading and I had doubts about this one by merit of its title, but Carol Bodensteiner succeeded in making a convert of me with her charming collection of vignettes in “Growing Up Country.” This is a beautifully written book, with vivid descriptions of farm life in rural Iowa in the 1950s. It’s filled with interesting historical details, but they’re by no means one-dimensional. The author infuses her accounts of life back then with wa Not by any stretch of the imagination are memoirs my preferred reading and I had doubts about this one by merit of its title, but Carol Bodensteiner succeeded in making a convert of me with her charming collection of vignettes in “Growing Up Country.” This is a beautifully written book, with vivid descriptions of farm life in rural Iowa in the 1950s. It’s filled with interesting historical details, but they’re by no means one-dimensional. The author infuses her accounts of life back then with warmth and emotion that allows you to relive her memories with her. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and I'm sure you will too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Allizabeth Collins

    Description: Growing Up Country is a fun and innocent childhood memoir about growing up in the 1950's on an Iowa farm full of cows, chickens, Sunday dinners, and mischief. Each chapter is a single story or memory of growing up on the farm and learning family values, hard work, determination, respect, and discipline. Review: This memoir was everything I expected! It was an entertaining flashback of memories from "the good old days" with a genuine feel. The details were well-written and vivid, all Description: Growing Up Country is a fun and innocent childhood memoir about growing up in the 1950's on an Iowa farm full of cows, chickens, Sunday dinners, and mischief. Each chapter is a single story or memory of growing up on the farm and learning family values, hard work, determination, respect, and discipline. Review: This memoir was everything I expected! It was an entertaining flashback of memories from "the good old days" with a genuine feel. The details were well-written and vivid, allowing me to get lost in Carol Bodensteiner's charming childhood stories, without the bulk of facts seen in other memoirs. The writing style was easily readable and very enjoyable, I even recommended it to a thirteen year old as a good candidate for a book report. I liked that it wasn't written just for adults, but also gave children a look at how life was in a different time; even though most life lessons have remained the same. I didn't grow up on a farm, but I did grow up in the country, so I appreciated the author's childhood thoughts and ideas, especially those that reminded me of my own grade-school memories. I haven't read many books about happy childhoods lately and it is refreshing to read about one that was so full of love and laughter. Overall, I am very happy I was able to read this book and get a look at a true American family. I only wish that the book hadn't ended so soon. Rating: On the Run (4/5) *** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan Weidener

    This memoir immediately transports you to a more innocent, simpler time. Even though I grew up in suburbia, it left me nostalgic for my own childhood, the aroma of my mother's cooking in the kitchen, daydreaming on a warm summer day, the smell of woolen mittens drying on the radiator after a snowfall. As I read this book, I was amazed by the author's capacity to remember the details of her childhood, and life growing up on a farm in rural America. I felt her nostalgia for something lost . . . of This memoir immediately transports you to a more innocent, simpler time. Even though I grew up in suburbia, it left me nostalgic for my own childhood, the aroma of my mother's cooking in the kitchen, daydreaming on a warm summer day, the smell of woolen mittens drying on the radiator after a snowfall. As I read this book, I was amazed by the author's capacity to remember the details of her childhood, and life growing up on a farm in rural America. I felt her nostalgia for something lost . . . of a time and a place long gone where people worked hard as individuals - getting up at 4 a.m. to milk cows - and for the greater good of the community by donating cherry pies and bidding on their own heifers at raffles to raise money for their church. Each chapter represents a little gem, a standalone "mini-story" that allows the reader to savor this trip into the past, put the book down and come back to it at a later time without losing the thread of "the story" - a young girl's initiation into the importance of family, integrity, and hard work. As Bodensteiner writes in the Epilogue, "It's true my memories are made more beautiful by a golden glow that shines brightly on the positive, while shading the negatives with forgetfulness." It is this admission that keeps the book from sliding into the sappy and provides a window into the author herself. She is quite clearly on a sentimental journey that this reader could appreciate.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Showalter

    This book breaks open the memory channels for me. Not only was the author a farm girl, but she grew up on a dairy farm with its special joys and burdens. Here are just a few of the vivid memories we share: Farmall tractors, teaching calves to drink from a bucket, church socials, baking and cooking, taking "lunch" to the men working in the fields, and carrying milk beginning at age ten. The stories would work well as bedtime stories for young children who love Little House on the Prairie. The writ This book breaks open the memory channels for me. Not only was the author a farm girl, but she grew up on a dairy farm with its special joys and burdens. Here are just a few of the vivid memories we share: Farmall tractors, teaching calves to drink from a bucket, church socials, baking and cooking, taking "lunch" to the men working in the fields, and carrying milk beginning at age ten. The stories would work well as bedtime stories for young children who love Little House on the Prairie. The writing is vivid, the characters complete, and the spiritual life of the farm is made visible in the description of daily life. Adults will enjoy also, whether you were lucky enough to be a "dairy maid" yourself or you want to know what life was like when 158 acres was considered "sustainable" and all the food was fresh and locally grown. I'm writing a memoir myself. So I particularly appreciated the great dialogue and description. The author's years in writing, editing, and public relations serve her well.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda Hoye

    There are some books I’ve read that left such a strong impression upon me that I can remember exactly where I was and what was happening in my life when I read them. Carol Bodensteiner’s Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl has just joined the ranks of books that are that memorable to me. Reading her memoir was like wrapping an old worn quilt around me, traveling back in time and going home. I didn’t grow up on an Iowa farm in the 1950s like Bodensteiner, but her rich descriptions o There are some books I’ve read that left such a strong impression upon me that I can remember exactly where I was and what was happening in my life when I read them. Carol Bodensteiner’s Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl has just joined the ranks of books that are that memorable to me. Reading her memoir was like wrapping an old worn quilt around me, traveling back in time and going home. I didn’t grow up on an Iowa farm in the 1950s like Bodensteiner, but her rich descriptions of a childhood nourished by family, faith, and a good measure of fun, made me wish that I had. Carol says in the epilogue of this book that she doesn’t think it’s possible for farm kids today to grow up with the same kind of rich life experienced by her and her three sisters. I say, that’s a shame.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    Being a Wisconsin farm girl isn't that much different than being an Iowa farm girl. A lot of this book brought up fond memories of when I was younger. It was funny, it was sad, but it was really good. Even the way her Dad talked reminded me of my Dad. The photos in the book were good too. It actually was a pretty good description of day-to-day life on a farm too. I enjoyed it a lot. Being a Wisconsin farm girl isn't that much different than being an Iowa farm girl. A lot of this book brought up fond memories of when I was younger. It was funny, it was sad, but it was really good. Even the way her Dad talked reminded me of my Dad. The photos in the book were good too. It actually was a pretty good description of day-to-day life on a farm too. I enjoyed it a lot.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary Gottschalk

    A magical book about farmlife, a world where the boundary between work and play was seamless, a world in which being allowed to get before dawn and help milk the cows was considered an honor. It's a book that makes me wish I had grown up on a farm. I wanted Carole’s stories to go on and on. A magical book about farmlife, a world where the boundary between work and play was seamless, a world in which being allowed to get before dawn and help milk the cows was considered an honor. It's a book that makes me wish I had grown up on a farm. I wanted Carole’s stories to go on and on.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sven

    My grandmother, her cooking, and her cookstove are showcased in the cooking chapter! It's fun to read about real people growing up a generation before me in places that I know and love. My grandmother, her cooking, and her cookstove are showcased in the cooking chapter! It's fun to read about real people growing up a generation before me in places that I know and love.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa McKay

    I loved this book. It made me long for summer and my mother and canning.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jody

    Carol Bodensteiner paints beautiful pictures with words. Lovely book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brian M.

    Finally! I finally finish writing my review of Carol Bodensteiner’s book. Leaning back in the tall chair at my desk, I revel – just a bit at the work I’ve just completed. Now, I go back to my key board and find Carol’s book on Amazon. I never look at the reviews others have written until I finish the review I am writing. As I begin scrolling down, a sick feeling struck my stomach. One review after the other – and nearly all have the same underlying theme. Is that good, or is it bad? Should I scr Finally! I finally finish writing my review of Carol Bodensteiner’s book. Leaning back in the tall chair at my desk, I revel – just a bit at the work I’ve just completed. Now, I go back to my key board and find Carol’s book on Amazon. I never look at the reviews others have written until I finish the review I am writing. As I begin scrolling down, a sick feeling struck my stomach. One review after the other – and nearly all have the same underlying theme. Is that good, or is it bad? Should I scrap the review and write it differently? No. I decided that this book is written so well, it evokes feelings of times past, when children played outside without fear and home was the center of the family’s universe. If these emotions are felt by nearly every person that reviewed this book, then that fact too should be part of the review. Reading this book transports the reader to simpler times – when the day to day events were not as violent: when pressures to keep up didn’t muffle the sound of the wind blowing through a tree, and the smells of nature in all forms permeated the air. Walking without a care in a serene, peaceful world. Life was good, and so was the home cooking. Carol’s book, ”Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl” brought me immediately to that time, and that scene. And I lived my life in the city! My memories of 1950′s TV shows are the foundation of rural living for me yet, I felt connected to that life and that time when I read this book. Carol is a skilled storyteller. With each page turned and each chapter read, I willingly followed the path her words created. Yes, this is a memoir, but this memoir is a well written story that entertains us from the surface of our conscience minds to the rudimentary foundations of our memory. “Growing Up Country” was a pleasure to read and I feel compelled to recommend strongly that you read it too

  13. 4 out of 5

    Iowa City Public Library

    I just finished Carol Bodensteiner’s memoir about growing up in Iowa and absolutely loved it. I don’t typically read memoirs; however, I was searching for a good book to use for our outreach program with Iowa City Hospice. As a part of this outreach program volunteers read out-loud to persons in local retirement residences and then lead discussions of the text with the goal of stimulating memories. Growing Up Country reminds me a lot of Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish. In each chapter I just finished Carol Bodensteiner’s memoir about growing up in Iowa and absolutely loved it. I don’t typically read memoirs; however, I was searching for a good book to use for our outreach program with Iowa City Hospice. As a part of this outreach program volunteers read out-loud to persons in local retirement residences and then lead discussions of the text with the goal of stimulating memories. Growing Up Country reminds me a lot of Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish. In each chapter Bodensteiner shares her personal memories along with historical documentation of her generation, traditions, and values. Themes include life-lessons learned from 4-H projects, the joy of community gatherings, and the hard work required to keep a dairy farm running. Each chapter mixes humor, childhood innocence, and reflection into many delightful stories. It’s hard to pick a favorite chapter (I enjoyed them all) but “A Dangerous Game” ranks up at the top. In this chapter Carol, her sisters and cousins are chased up a tree by a 2,000+ pound heifer (cow) who just wants to play. The children are stuck up in the tree until they find a way to distract the cow and make a getaway. That reminded me of my childhood when and friend and I were chased through a farm-field by a cow. We were barely able to jump over a fence before the cow caught up to us. We still laugh about that story! If you grew up in Iowa or the Midwest, Carol Bodensteiner’s book will bring back many wonderful memories. ~~Enjoy~~ --Kara From ICPL Staff Picks Blog

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle Ayala

    The vignettes are authentic, heartwarming and inspiring. The author's voice is exactly that of a ten to twelve year old girl. She speaks as a child would and transports the reader back in time to her kitchen, barn, or field. Each adventure was a complete story, with a goal, tension, hoped for outcome and a lesson. I loved every one of the stories, except for the one about the cow with milk fever and the last one. But such is life, and the bad times are not papered over. I came to know Carol, her The vignettes are authentic, heartwarming and inspiring. The author's voice is exactly that of a ten to twelve year old girl. She speaks as a child would and transports the reader back in time to her kitchen, barn, or field. Each adventure was a complete story, with a goal, tension, hoped for outcome and a lesson. I loved every one of the stories, except for the one about the cow with milk fever and the last one. But such is life, and the bad times are not papered over. I came to know Carol, her two sisters, two grandmothers, mom and dad, and her schoolmates and Mrs. Fowler almost as if they were my own neighbors. Carol, or Squirt, took me through her lessons, mischief, trials and accomplishments. My chest fill with pride when Squirt accomplished her goals, whether it was lifting a milk pail, or selling her radishes, and I felt keen disappointments at her setbacks, especially the 4H club, the bet, and the carny. This book was so rich and filled with adventures and historical information, I wouldn't be surprised if it were read in history classes. It went beyond farm life to the way people lived, interacted, hoped and feared during the pre-Sputnik times. Carol combined the voice of her childhood with her wiser adult voice looking back in a seamless manner. It's incredible how much detail she remembered from fifty years ago. What a wonderfully nostalgic view of life in time and place that no longer exists. Carol has done an excellent job of preserving it, much like her mother preserved vegetables, she preserved memories.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caren

    Throughout this collection of the author's childhood memories, she returns to her efforts to show her world through art, through drawing or painting. She is never pleased with the results, they never really show the world she is perceiving. Lucky for the reader, she found, as an adult, that her true medium is words. This is a beautifully written telling of a way of life that has mostly disappeared. I grew up close to the same time period, but in a town, so this telling of how it was to grow up o Throughout this collection of the author's childhood memories, she returns to her efforts to show her world through art, through drawing or painting. She is never pleased with the results, they never really show the world she is perceiving. Lucky for the reader, she found, as an adult, that her true medium is words. This is a beautifully written telling of a way of life that has mostly disappeared. I grew up close to the same time period, but in a town, so this telling of how it was to grow up on a dairy farm in the heartland at that same time was really fascinating to me. There were some similarities: I had parents who worked hard and demanded respect and discipline, but who were also very loving. The author, the middle of three girls, certainly had much more demanding chores than I ever had. I knew farm life entailed hard, relentless work, but she brings that home here. However, there is a wonderful, wistful charm in this telling. The hard work also meant experiencing the world of other creatures in a very personal way. I loved her accounts of how she and her sisters taught the calves to suck milk from their fingers and of how her father kept close watch over every cow and knew each one personally. It was almost hard to believe that as recently as the mid-twentieth century, the sisters could walk across a field to what was essentially a one-room schoolhouse. Once again, the wonder of the written word has allowed me to experience another way of living. The author's lovely prose pulls the reader into that way of life. It was magical.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diane Rapp

    Enjoy a vacation to the past. I don’t usually enjoy reading memoires but this one was an absolute pleasure. The author paints a verbal portrait of a young girl growing up during a time period some of us remember with fondness. Growing up on an Iowa farm wasn’t easy. Chores that modern youth would view as hardships became rights of passage. Milking cows, plucking chickens, cooking dinner, and driving a tractor are hard work? No, earning the right to perform these chores was a milepost in Carol’s m Enjoy a vacation to the past. I don’t usually enjoy reading memoires but this one was an absolute pleasure. The author paints a verbal portrait of a young girl growing up during a time period some of us remember with fondness. Growing up on an Iowa farm wasn’t easy. Chores that modern youth would view as hardships became rights of passage. Milking cows, plucking chickens, cooking dinner, and driving a tractor are hard work? No, earning the right to perform these chores was a milepost in Carol’s maturity. She earned her parents’ trust. The values and life lessons described in "Growing Up Country" are universal: Hard work prepares us for the real world. Don’t gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. Winning isn’t always the prize, sometime losing is a better lesson. Playing with a cute little calf could become dangerous later. Parents who accept hardships without complaint provide a valuable role model for their children. I meandered through this book one chapter at a time. Reading the chapters allowed me to take short vacations into the past and the stories spurred memories of my own. When modern stresses assault us from all angles, it’s a pleasure to take a “mental vacation.” Buy this book and enjoy the journey. It’s an inexpensive vacation that burns no gas.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This was an enjoyable memoir of the author's childhood on an Iowa farm. It's a pleasant relief from memoirs that focus on dysfunctional families and abusive or neglectful parents. Ms. Bodensteiner's parents were responsible, hardworking, and cared about their daughters. (There was only one scene that did not sit well with me: when the author asked for ( and was given) a sip from her father's beer. Not a good idea, but this was admittedly a very different era.) While the family was not wealthy, t This was an enjoyable memoir of the author's childhood on an Iowa farm. It's a pleasant relief from memoirs that focus on dysfunctional families and abusive or neglectful parents. Ms. Bodensteiner's parents were responsible, hardworking, and cared about their daughters. (There was only one scene that did not sit well with me: when the author asked for ( and was given) a sip from her father's beer. Not a good idea, but this was admittedly a very different era.) While the family was not wealthy, they were certainly not impoverished. I found it very refreshing that a father from this time period encouraged his daughters to take on some chores that were typically reserved for sons. The memoir is laid out as a series of chapters, each of which taught the author an important lesson (though I doubt that she realized it at the time). The level of detail provided really makes the reader feel like she is living the experience as the author describes it. This memoir was reasonably well-written, though there were a small number of places where an experienced editor would have assisted in removing some rough edges. All in all, an enjoyable read that brings the reader back to a "kinder, gentler" time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    TX Dee

    I picked this book to read aloud to my 99-year-old mother, mainly because she grew up on a farm in Minnesota and I thought she would enjoy hearing the stories that the author had to tell. I did NOT expect to enjoy it so much myself. Honestly, it was like spending time with my cousins out on the farm. The author and I grew up in the same era in the same general geographical location and this brought such a richness to the reading experience. So many of her memories were similar to my own. My moth I picked this book to read aloud to my 99-year-old mother, mainly because she grew up on a farm in Minnesota and I thought she would enjoy hearing the stories that the author had to tell. I did NOT expect to enjoy it so much myself. Honestly, it was like spending time with my cousins out on the farm. The author and I grew up in the same era in the same general geographical location and this brought such a richness to the reading experience. So many of her memories were similar to my own. My mother, too, enjoyed the book even though they were still using a horse and buggy on the farm when she was a child. It was delightful to see how this book captured Mom's interest and kept her engaged from week to week as I read several chapters at each visit. If you want to see what life was like growing up in the Midwest in a rural setting in the 50's and early 60's, you should read this book. There are times when we all need to escape to a kinder, less complicated time, eh?

  19. 4 out of 5

    A.D. Trosper

    I am not usually one to read memoirs, but after interviewing the author on my blog, I thought I would give it a try. I loved every page. So many memories, beautifully told in such a way that I felt like I was right there next to the author. I walked next to her and struggled with her as she hefted milk buckets for the very first time in the early hours of the morning. I ran with her to escape the cow. I clung to the steering wheel with her in the hot afternoon during hay season and as she did her I am not usually one to read memoirs, but after interviewing the author on my blog, I thought I would give it a try. I loved every page. So many memories, beautifully told in such a way that I felt like I was right there next to the author. I walked next to her and struggled with her as she hefted milk buckets for the very first time in the early hours of the morning. I ran with her to escape the cow. I clung to the steering wheel with her in the hot afternoon during hay season and as she did her best to keep the tractor straight. This is a book well worth reading and I have only two complaints. Number one: She never said if the with milk fever lived or died. Having raised dairy animals myself, I really wanted to know that. Number two: It ended way too soon. I could have happily kept reading for much longer.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    We are packing for a trip to north central Iowa for a family reunion. My mother was born in 1930 and grew up on the family farm in Algona. She died in 1994. She would tell stories of growing up there - the hard winters, learning to drive a tractor at 13, the small school, etc. This book is so sweetly written. And I mean that in a complimentary way. The reader waits for something bad to happen, but this is NOT an Oprah read. This is the what we are so rarely encouraged to read - a wholesome life We are packing for a trip to north central Iowa for a family reunion. My mother was born in 1930 and grew up on the family farm in Algona. She died in 1994. She would tell stories of growing up there - the hard winters, learning to drive a tractor at 13, the small school, etc. This book is so sweetly written. And I mean that in a complimentary way. The reader waits for something bad to happen, but this is NOT an Oprah read. This is the what we are so rarely encouraged to read - a wholesome life with kind people who are happy. I am so happy that I get a small slice of this (just canned enough beets for the winter and am out staking cucumbers as I listen to this book). Can't wait to see my Iowa relatives. I give this book 4 stars for someone who does not have the Iowa connection. 5 stars if you do.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    For anyone who grew up on a farm, this book will delight you. If you were lucky enough to grow up on an Iowa farm, this book will doubly delight you. As the wife of a retired Air Force man (who is also an Iowan), whenever I get to missing home, this is my go-to book. It is spot-on! Thank you, Carol, for making me laugh and be proud of where I came from.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tom Park

    I really enjoyed this book. It is a collection of memories from life on a dairy farm some years ago and how the family coped. Might be the fact that I spent most of the summers of my early years on a dairy farm and could easily picture what Bodensteiner was talking about.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Great coming-of-age story! I wrote about it here: http://deepmuckbigrake.com/2009/08/05.... Great coming-of-age story! I wrote about it here: http://deepmuckbigrake.com/2009/08/05....

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This was a real nice book...it really reminded me of my parent's stories too, of growing up on the farm. There's a real 'goodness' about these people & that generation. Well worth the read! This was a real nice book...it really reminded me of my parent's stories too, of growing up on the farm. There's a real 'goodness' about these people & that generation. Well worth the read!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ressa Empbra

    Review coming very soon! It's definitely one for the keeper shelf!! Review coming very soon! It's definitely one for the keeper shelf!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    This was a great little book and a walk down memory lane.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Mohr

    It's great reading to keep your mind occupied during my daily cardio work outs ... Vivid imagery takes you back to a simpler time It's great reading to keep your mind occupied during my daily cardio work outs ... Vivid imagery takes you back to a simpler time

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Pooler

    Growing up Country is a delightful glimpse into the day-to-day life of an Iowa farm girl and her two sisters in the 1950's. Carol Bodensteiner shows us how the events in an ordinary rural childhood can be woven into an engaging, heartwarming story. We are right there with her as she helps her Dad, who calls her Squirt, milk the cows or look for lost cows in the pastures; when she and her sisters pick mulberries until they are black-and blue so their Mom could make pies to stack in the freezer. E Growing up Country is a delightful glimpse into the day-to-day life of an Iowa farm girl and her two sisters in the 1950's. Carol Bodensteiner shows us how the events in an ordinary rural childhood can be woven into an engaging, heartwarming story. We are right there with her as she helps her Dad, who calls her Squirt, milk the cows or look for lost cows in the pastures; when she and her sisters pick mulberries until they are black-and blue so their Mom could make pies to stack in the freezer. Each chapter details a new adventure that you feel a part of. You can almost taste the fried chicken dinner they come home to after church services on Sundays and feel her excitement in preparing for an ironing demonstration for the state fair. She strings together a series of vignettes about different childhood escapades that are all part of a bigger story of a loving, hardworking family whose parents teach their children strong values and provide them with a secure, happy childhood. She brings her parents and relatives alive on the pages through her character descriptions, vivid scenes and dialogue. Her writing which is authentic, descriptive, light-hearted and humorous, kept me turning the pages so I could find out what other mischievous adventures were in store. She weaves in her adult reflections in a way that brings the reader close to her fond childhood memories. When I was a child, I always wanted to grow up on a farm and now I know why. Interesting that I married a man who grew up on a dairy farm and I have lived his stories vicariously. But one doesn't have to have grown up on a farm or wished they had to enjoy this beautifully written, entertaining and heartwarming memoir.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Grace Peterson

    To be honest, I wasn't sure what I would think while reading this book. Although I spent a good portion of my childhood in the country, it wasn't on a farm, with cows and chores and family dinners and parents that cared. But a few pages in and I was hooked. As a child, Carol--also known as "Squirt" by her endearing father--is a valued member of the family and farm. As she grows, so do her responsibilities. But Carol doesn't eschew hard work, she relishes it, proud to please her parents and feel To be honest, I wasn't sure what I would think while reading this book. Although I spent a good portion of my childhood in the country, it wasn't on a farm, with cows and chores and family dinners and parents that cared. But a few pages in and I was hooked. As a child, Carol--also known as "Squirt" by her endearing father--is a valued member of the family and farm. As she grows, so do her responsibilities. But Carol doesn't eschew hard work, she relishes it, proud to please her parents and feel useful. I could not do the work of an adult at that age. But the work I did, the work all three of us kids did, had meaning. Everything we took on lessened the load Dad and Mom carried. Everything they asked us to do increased our sense of value to ourselves and to our family and the farm. And because Dad and Mom valued what I did, that was the best gift of all. (Page 77) So, what was I thinking as I read Growing Up Country? For one thing, I was thinking that life on an Iowa dairy farm is so not for wusses! Hard work from sun up 'til sundown was the norm. There were no sick days and it took a pretty strong constitution to tackle some not-so-pretty tasks. But there is also lots of delightful play time for children. I was also thinking that I wish I could have had this book when my kids were growing up. It would have made a perfect next-century follow-up to the Little House on the Prairie series. Growing Up Country, written with humor and affection, is the quintessence of the heartland and a vital account of American history.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This was the first time I've read a book and observed a rating on Goodreads by its author. A bit cheeky to see 5 stars from Carol Bodensteiner. I read these kinds of books because I now live in Iowa. As always, they give a glimpse into a particular setting and time...in this case, farm life in the 50's. But I wouldn't categorize it as a "page turner," a back cover quote the author had the gall to post, here on Goodreads. I found it moderately interesting, mainly because I live in Iowa. {5/26/2010 up This was the first time I've read a book and observed a rating on Goodreads by its author. A bit cheeky to see 5 stars from Carol Bodensteiner.I read these kinds of books because I now live in Iowa. As always, they give a glimpse into a particular setting and time...in this case, farm life in the 50's.But I wouldn't categorize it as a "page turner," a back cover quote the author had the gall to post, here on Goodreads.I found it moderately interesting, mainly because I live in Iowa.{5/26/2010 update} I believe I was too harsh in my above assessment. As I learned after reading Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson, if an author wishes to make any comment, they must offer a rating to have their comments posted. Unfortunately for the author of Growing Up Country, it was the first instance in which I'd seen this practiced, and in my surprise I overreacted. There is far too much of the popular sport of cyber slamming practiced, so I am raising the bar for myself, and also a star for Ms. Bodensteiner's book.

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