100 Best Books for Children ~ Cary

Number 84 on the The Hundred Best Books for Children found in The Book-Lover by Baldwin is The Clovernook Children by Alice Cary.

Alice Cary along with her younger sister Phoebe were American poets born in the early 1800s. They grew up on a farm in Ohio called Clovernook and were largely self-educated. Alice was the more prolific of the two, having her works published in popular periodicals, and gained the attention and praise of notable authors of her time.

In The Clovernook Children, Alice tells the stories of her childhood at Clovernook:

I WOULD say to the children who may read these stories, that Clovernook is the name of the neighborhood where I was born, and where my childhood was passed, and where the children, about whom I have written, lived years ago. They are not children any longer. Some are dead, as you will learn in reading the stories; some are married and gone to other parts of the world; and a few only have taken the places which their fathers and mothers filled at the time I write of, and have pretty farms and gardens, and will, probably, live and die in the Clovernook where they were born.

Clovernook Papers was published prior to The Clovernook Children. The books were considered original in their simplicity.

They were full of the freshness and fragrance of her native fields; full of simple, original, graphic pictures of the country life, and the men and women whom she knew best; full of the exquisite touches of a spontaneous, child-like genius, and they were gathered up as eagerly by the public as the children gather wild flowers. Their very simplicity and freshness won all hearts.

A Memorial of Alice and Phoebe Cary

The Clovernook Children were similar stories popular with younger readers.

There are not many books of this nature written these days, and very few written for the younger reader. At best, a writer is an observer. A talented writer can sew those observations into a story form that benefits the reader like no lecture or sermon could. The Clovernook Children is such a book.

Near sunset Mr. Murdock, who had made the grave, stopped at our house to leave the spade he had been using; and, drawing up a bucket of water, he held it poised on the curb as he asked if we had been to the burying. He then told us everybody thought the preacher had been most eloquent; but, for his part, he thought Aunt Caty had preached the best sermon of all.

I didn’t understand then what he meant. Aunt Caty was only an old woman that nobody had heard of, and never preached in her life, I was sure; but years afterward the meaning of the old man’s words was plain, and I felt that, though we could not all speak eloquently, we were, all of us, gifted to do some good. It may be only little things that some of us can do, but their influence may reach further than we can see, as the pebble dropped in the middle of a wide stream sends circles to the shore.

Little drops of rain brighten the meadows, and little acts of kindness brighten the world.

Free eBooks

  • This book makes a wonderful read aloud. You may need to break up chapters.
  • Ask for narrations (oral or written depending on the age of your child) for each section read.
  • Older children can try their hand at writing a memoir.
  • What type of characters are described? Have students write a character sketch.
  • Create an author page for Alice Cary.

Additional Resources

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}
Use this free set to create an author notebook for our 100 Best Books for Children series.

The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction
The Hundred Best Books for Children

Don’t Miss a Thing!

Subscribe to receive updates and additions.

Learn to Write. Write.:

Write Something Every Day

Tools for the Homeschool Handy-Mom

At DIY Homeschooler we provide encouragement and resources to those homeschool handy-moms paving their own way — solutions to help you “do-it-yourself” when it comes to tutoring your children. Learn more.

The Latest

Affiliate Disclosure

Throughout this site you will find affiliate links to items that we trust and enthusiastically recommend. If you decide to use these links to make a purchase, we do receive a small compensation that helps support this site. Thank you! Read our full affiliate disclosure to learn more.

Keep Reading

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com