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Across the Fruited Plain   By: (1891-1980)

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Across the Fruited Plain by Florence Crannell Means takes readers on a captivating journey through the struggles and triumphs of early American pioneers. Set in the late 19th century, this historical fiction novel is a testament to the resilience and courage of those who dared to venture west in search of a better life.

The story follows the Lawrence family, who, like many others during this time, are drawn by the promises of fertile land and new opportunities. As they leave the comforts of their established life in the East, they embark on a treacherous and arduous trek across the vast and unforgiving American landscape.

Means' vivid and evocative writing skillfully captures the hardships and dangers faced by the pioneers. The author expertly paints a picture of the barren prairies, relentless weather, and the constant threat of native tribes. It is these vivid descriptions that transport readers back in time, allowing them to experience the journey alongside the characters.

The Lawrence family's experiences are both heartrending and inspiring. Each new obstacle they encounter tests their resolve and pushes them to their limits. The book beautifully portrays the strength of the human spirit and the determination required to persevere even in the face of adversity.

However, what truly sets this novel apart is its exploration of the internal struggles faced by the characters. Means delves deep into their psyches, revealing the doubts, fears, and conflicts they grapple with. This dimension gives the story a greater emotional depth, making it more relatable and compelling for readers.

The themes of sacrifice, resilience, and the pursuit of dreams resonate strongly throughout the narrative. As the Lawrence family reaches their destination, readers are left with a sense of fulfillment and hope. The conclusion of the story is both satisfying and thought-provoking, encouraging readers to reflect on their own dreams and the lengths they are willing to go to achieve them.

In terms of criticisms, some readers may find the pacing of the novel to be slow at times. However, this deliberate pace allows for a more immersive experience, allowing readers to fully digest the challenges faced by the pioneers.

Overall, Across the Fruited Plain is a captivating and poignant tale of human determination and the indomitable spirit of those who shaped America's westward expansion. Florence Crannell Means' skillful storytelling and rich historical details make this book a must-read for fans of historical fiction and those seeking a deeper understanding of the trials and triumphs of the pioneers.

First Page:

E text prepared by Meredith Minter Dixon




With Illustrations by Janet Smalley

[Cover Illustration: Cars] [Cover Illustration: Hoeing] [Cover Illustration: Picking] [Cover Illustration: Weeding]

New York : Friendship Press, c1940

Plans and procedures for using Across The Fruited Plain will be found in "A Junior Teacher's Guide on the Migrants," by E. Mae Young. Photographs of migrant homes and migrant Centers will be found in the picture story book Jack Of The Bean Fields , by Nina Millen.

This book is dedicated to a whole troop of children "across the fruited plain": Tomoko, Willie May, Fei Kin, Nawamana, Candelaria and Isabell, and to the newest child of all our little Mary Margaret.

[Illustration: Cissy and Tommy at the Center]


Foreword 1: The House Of Beecham 2: The Cranberry Bog 3: Shucking Oysters 4: Peekaneeka? 5: Cissy From The Onion Marshes 6: At The Edge Of A Mexican Village 7: The Boy Who Didn't Know God 8: The Hopyards 9: Seth Thomas Strikes Twelve


Dear Mary and Bonnie and Jack and the rest of my readers:

Maybe you've heard about the migrants lately, or have seen pictures of them in the magazines. But have you thought that many of them are families much like yours and mine, traveling uncomfortably in rattly old jalopies while they go from one crop to another, and living crowded in rickety shacks when they stop for work?

There have always been wandering farm laborers because so many crops need but a few workers part of the year and a great many at harvest... Continue reading book >>

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