The Yearling

ISBN: 0743225252
ISBN 13: 9780743225250
By: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Edward Shenton Ivan Doig

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Animals Childrens Classic Classics Favorites Fiction Historical Fiction Pulitzer To Read Young Adult

About this book

RELIVE THE WONDER OF A CHILDHOOD FAVORITE THAT HAS BEEN CAPTURING THE HEARTS OF READERS FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY. An instant bestseller when it was released in 1938, this Pulitzer Prize winner has been read and loved by school-age children across the nation for more than fifty years. In this classic story of the Baxter family and their wild, hard, and satisfying life in remote central Florida, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings has written one of the great novels of our times. A rich and varied tale -- tender in its understanding of boyhood, crowded with the excitement of the backwoods hunt, with vivid descriptions of the primitive, beautiful hammock country, written with humor and earthy philosophy -- The Yearling is a novel for readers of all ages. Its glowing picture of a life refreshingly removed from modern patterns of living is universal in its revelation of simple courageous people and the beliefs they must live by. This edition, complete with a new introduction by author Ivan Doig, will be cherished for years to come and will make a welcome addition to any booklover's shelf.

Reader's Thoughts

Rob Warner

A Civil War-era coming of age novel that's a spiritual cousin to Where the Red Fern Grows, but with a broader story and a deeper dive into life's challenges. Reading this book reminds you how deeply people understood the consequences of choice, as sloth translated brutally into starvation. Indeed, the need to work for one's supper every day, planning for both the moment and the future, contrasts starkly with our present-day welfare state that, for some, rewards indolence.One other thing that jumps out from this tale is that the family, though living without TV, smartphones, cars, running water, or any of the other niceties we demand as a baseline for happiness, are just as happy as we are. They find plenty of joys, despite their hardships, and in the process sober us and our propensity to storm about under-whipped lattes and 404s. The tasks they faced daily would cave many of us, yet they take them in stride and relish in their accomplishments.The protagonist, Jody, lets us into his thoughts and the conundrums he must un-puzzle as he becomes a man. The dialect, though distracting at times, helps form the context of the life he leads.

Mi_twilite why are you lokkin 4 my last name??? u R A Stalker

This is a fabulous book. I read this in 6th grade and it made me want to cry a little at the end. The author used words the way people would have said them, and her characters had heavy southern accents with words that may take a little time to figure out. This story carries you into a solid plot, mostly about the main character Jody's life. He is a poor boy living in florida, which surprised me because of the country slang. You may or may not have trouble finding things to relate to. Keep in mind that this is an older book if you have the courage to read this, because the writing is far from flawless. Regardless, this is a good book whether you like this tale or not. (Any baby deer that i see i want to call Flag now.)But seriously, this book is sadder than that commercial for an animal shelter with the teary music and dying animals.


I read this book at around 10 years old and it was scarring. Maybe I would see some underlying beautiful philosophy now but at that point I was mostly just traumatized. Spoiler alert: A kid raises a baby deer who ends up being unruly so they kill it. I do not advise children to read this

Christian Engler

In past reviews, people have speculated that if The Yearling were to have been published in today's times, would it still have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. For me, I would have to say that that would be a resounding yes. I say so because the novel captures, with vivid simplicity, a bygone American era via the stark usage of the literaty resources available to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings at the time, quite simply, the values, environment and language which surrounded her. Being the excellent and astute writer that she was, she transposed those raw yet natural elements to her characters, specificially the gruff yet loving Baxter clan.In a time where people are adrift due to the constant onslaught of materialism, celebrity, technology, vanity, money, you name it, the Baxter clan are a refreshing anomaly, for all of the above was not really available to them, and if it was, it was to a very limited degree. But because of that humbling deprivation, they as a family and individualistically speaking, were interiorily richer in so many different capacities. Their lessons came from the law of the land, the primal yet earthy philosophy of kill or be killed. But it was also a deep almost religious respect of the land and its animals that could definitely shape the thinking and the ever evolving twists and turns that are in abundance in The Yearling. Ezra Baxter-Jody's father-to some extent, could be considered as the Atticus Finch of the Florida backwoods, for he respects the codes that govern the wilderness and for the wild animals who occupy it. And thus, he kills only when necessary; he imbues that code of ethics in Jody who is of a tremendously malleable age, especially by the Forrester family and their sometimes less-than-stellar behavior.The novel is about being a boy, about growing up and about sacrifice, and when Jody, a lone child, adopts a fawn whom he names Flag, the emptiness of being a lone child abates; the fawn, a cherished pet, is a co-experiencer with Jody of the highs and lows of living in the scrub country, and he is there for Jody's various milestones, his inching along toward the tower of manhood. But sometimes just doing the day-to-day obligations of life is simply not enough. Sometimes one has to go beyond what is expected, and the latter half of the book illustrates that sacrifice entails pain, large or small, for real love sometimes does hurt. The Yearling is pungent, pure, simple, true and very very giving, absolutely worthy of the 1939 Pulitzer Prize.




Sometimes you read a book and it is just words on a page, sometimes it becomes a story. And sometimes, when you're very lucky the book becomes so real you feel transported right into the pages. That was my experience here.I loved Jody and Penny's relationship, how overwhelming Penny's love is for his son, how much he wants for Jody to learn and grow. And how he watches Jody enjoying life.The Forresters were entertaining and heartbreaking at the same time. There is much to learn from the characters in this book if your heart is open.I treasured every moment I got to spend with Penny, Ora and Jody, seeing the world through their eyes.Very good book and now Andrew Peterson, a song writer, has a song about it. It is called "The Ballad of Jody Baxter". All young boys should read this book. It is on the same level as "Where the Red Fern Grows".


Meh, This wasn't a terrible read, but it didn't have anything in it that made it stand out from other similar tales of children's coming of age stories with animals, such as "Old Yeller" or "Where the Red Fern Grows". The only real novelty is that the protagonist befriends a deer instead of one of the more standard domesticated animals. Unfortunately, there's very little that the modern reader can identify with. I really felt that the author got so caught up in the place and time where the novel took place, that they neglected to add in the universal truths that make good coming of age stories have verisimilitude and staying power. The "learning the lesson" portion of the tale was shallow and I didn't really feel for the character. Perhaps this is the fault of all the characters in the book being fairly poorly developed, some of them to the point of being vague caricatures.This book isn't completely worthless, mind you, but it doesn't really excel in any point.

John Yelverton

I read this book because I was required to, and any joy I may have gotten out of it was destroyed before I even started.

Richard Kramer

I've had a ratty old edition in my basement for decades. Finally I said, well, now's the time, and sat down to read it. I've always loved the MGM version with Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman. Rawlings' book is flintier, tougher, somehow even more moving. I had to shake the images of the actors out of my head and go with her conjurings of Penny, Ora, and Jody Baxter. I'm glad I did. Rawlings was a pet of Maxwell Perkins and their published correspondence makes a great companion piece to this. This book is for children but isn't at all, too. It is about arriving at the moment in life when for the first time you are forced to kill the thing that you think will be the only thing in your life just like it, the only thing you will ever love. And the sadness, always, is when you learn you were wrong.


This is the story of Jody, a boy in the Florida outback who wants a pet and finally gets a fawn when his father is bit by a rattler and has to shoot the doe mother so he can use her organs to suck the venom out of his leg. There are so many beautifully written passages, but my favorite parts tell of Jody's friendship with a handicapped child on a nearby farm and of Jody's innocent, crushing love for the fawn he names Flag. This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1939. I followed up my reading by watching the 1946 film adaptation starring Gregory Peck as Jody's father and Jane Wyman as his mother. The movie can't beat the book, but it was a fun post script to my reading.

Pooja Wanpal

When I was seven or eight years old, my father would read this book to me at night. A couple of chapters - just the happy ones. We never progressed beyond the idyll of the first few chapters, perhaps because my father knew that reality was going to wake us up some day, and there was no need to hasten it by reading about death and duty. It was admittedly a translation in my mother-tongue, but the story held me spellbound.I was twelve when I first read this book in English. Prone to judging things in black and white, I was angry with this book for breaking my heart, for shattering the cocoon of Jody's blissful existence, the halcyon childhood of his that had made its home permanently in my mind. I read the book every few years few years, and since then, it has been a tradition of mine, to fall back on this book when I feel the need to go back to the days of sunshine and corn pones and babbling brooks.

Scott Hubbard

** spoiler alert ** Rawlings sets us up for loss from the end of the first chapter: "A mark was on [Jody] from the day's delight, so that all his life, when April was a thin green and the flavor of rain was on his tongue, an old wound would throb and a nostalgia would fill him for something he could not quite remember." And as shet sets us up, she inspires the same feeling of vague loss that each of us carries. There is an old wound that is the shared experience of all mankind, a wound that binds us all together even as it plunges us into the same loneliness Jody would feel every time he would hear the whip-poor-will sing.In his reflection after reading the book, Andrew Peterson writes, "The book didn't wound me. The wound was already there. The book gave the wound a name, which is strong medicine." Rawlings names the wound, indeed. This is the story of the wounding of the human soul. Not Jody's only, but everybody's. Yet there is hope in the naming of the wound. Rawling's may leave us without a shred of hope for the death of the yearling (i.e. Jody)--"It was not his own voice that called. It was a boy's voice. Somewhere beyond the sink-hole, past the magnolia, under the live oaks, a boy and a yearling ran side by side, and were gone forever"--but there is, as Peterson intimates, implicit hope in the simple naming of it. What hope do we have of healing without knowledge of the injury? The wounding of the human soul captured by Rawlings is caught up in the larger wound of the world. Creation groans in the novel, and it's more than the changing of seasons. Creation groans with the sorrow of pain and death, the unnatural intruders that seem the fitting means and end for so great a loss but that ring with the cry of outlaws. It takes powerful writing to bring forth the blatant unnaturalness of pain and death, the terrible and rebellious presence of a nature that is "red in tooth and claw." Rawlings did half the job of a prophet. She indeed named the wound, but she did not name the Healer. After I finished the book, I was left in grateful wonder over two stark statements in the New Testament: "God raised [Jesus] up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it" (Ac. 2:24); "[Jesus] abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tm. 1:10). It was not possible for Jesus Christ to be held by death; indeed, He Himself abolished it. It reminds me of the title of Owen's book, "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ." Here is our Savior. Here is our Healer of the wound.

Hendry Kurniawan

Bangsa Amerika dikenal sangat bangga dengan leluhur mereka (setidaknya begitulah kesan yang saya dapat setelah menonton beberapa film dokumenter sejarah). Ya, jika Anda bertanya pada mereka tentang hal ini, sedikit banyak Anda akan memperoleh jawaban bahwa leluhur mereka yang berasal dari Eropa telah membentuk karakter masayarakat modern Amerika sekarang yang bersifat kerja keras, pantang menyerah, pemberani, berbeda, rajin, dan sedikit pemberontak. Bagi saya pribadi, bangsa Amerika memang patut berbangga dengan karakter dan latar belakang sejarah mereka. Bayangkan, setelah sekian lama merasa terbuang di negeri-negeri feodal Eropa, segelintir orang berani mengarungi luasnya samudera dan datang ke daratan antah berantah yang sama sekali asing bagi masyarakat Eropa yang beradab. Tanah Amerika yang masih penuh dengan belantara, hewan liar, dan sekelompok penduduk pribumi Indian tidak lantas membuat mereka gentar untuk membangun sebuah peradaban dari awal, dari titik nol. Hasilnya tidak sia-sia, lihatlah negara adidaya yang sudah sangat kita kenal sekarang, Amerika Serikat (meski belakangan, negara ini terseok-seok menghadapi badai krisis ekonomi). Kehidupan penduduk awal dan pra-adidaya Amerika telah sering diangkat menjadi tema musik, drama, film, termasuk novel. Salah satu novel yang menggugah pengetahuan akan kehidupan tersebut adalah The Yearling.The Yearling merupakan salah satu karya paling terkenal dari Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings yang terbit pada tahun 1938 dan dianugerahi Pulitzer Prize 1939. Rawlings memang dikenal sebagai penulis yang banyak mengangkat tema kehidupan desa dalam kerya-karyanya. Jujur saja, sebelum saya memulai membaca isi novel The Yearling dan melihat sinopsis di belakang bukunya, saya langsung menebak bahwa Rawlings pastilah penduduk asli (native) pedesaan Amerika, tetapi saya salah besar. Rawlings sendiri merupakan wanita yang lahir dan dibesarkan di kota. Hanya melalui pengalaman dan pendekatannya dengan penduduk desa selama tinggal di kebun jeruk keluarganya, ia dapat menggambarkan kebiasaan masyarakat desa Amerika dengan luar biasa detail, untuk ukuran orang kota, dan terlebih lagi untuk ukuran seorang wanita.The Yearling bercerita tentang seorang bocah laki-laki (dalam bayangan saya tidak lebih dari 13 tahun) bernama Jody yang merupakan anak satu-satunya dan sangat disayangi oleh sepasang petani berpendidikan rendah bernama Ezra Forrester dan Ory (biasa dipanggil Pa dan Ma Forrester). Keluarga ini tinggal di daerah pedesaan Florida pada akhir tahun 1800-an. Sebelumnya, keluarga Forrester tinggal di kota, namun Ezra memutuskan untuk pindah dari kota dan memilih untuk membeli tanah luas tetapi gersang (tidak terlalu subur) demi mencari ketenangan hidup. Maka mulailah mereka hidup di lahan luas mereka itu dan mencukupi kebutuhan hidup dengan bertani dan beternak. Mereka bekerja keras setiap hari mengurus pertanian dan peternakan, hidup sangat sederhana, menghemat segala sesuatu, dan berprinsip untuk tidak membuang apapun selama masih bisa dimanfaatkan. Hewan liar dan cuaca tidak ramah ibarat bagian tak terpisahkan dalam hidup mereka.Ada satu rahasia kunci keluarga Forrester. Sebenarnya, Jody bukanlah anak pertama dari pasangan ini, sebab jauh sebelum Jody lahir, Ezra dan Ory sering mengalami kenyataan pahit anak mereka meninggal sebelum tumbuh besar. Pengalaman ini ternyata berpengaruh pada cara Ezra dan Ory membesarkan Jody. Salah satu hal yang paling menarik di sini adalahdi sepanjang cerita, pembaca akan diperlihatkan bagaimana cara Ezra dan Ory menyayangi anak semata wayangnya dengan cara yang sangat berbeda. Terkadang, pembaca mungkin akan tertawa dengan lucunya perlakuan Ezra atau Ory terhadap Jody, tapi di lain kesempatan pembaca mungkin akan merasa marah, kesal, atau bahkan menangis.Sebagai anak tunggal yang tinggal di pedesaan, Jody merasa sangat kesepian. Tidak ada saudara kandung, ibunya tidak memperbolehkannya memelihara binatang, dan hanya memiliki satu teman sebaya yang cacat, sungguh mengenaskan, dan akhirnya meninggal dunia. Dalam kondisi ini, satu-satunya teman (selain teman cacatnya itu) yang paling dekat dengannya adalah ayahnya sendiri, Ezra. Jody selalu ingin mengikuti ke mana saja ayahnya pergi dan apa saja yang ayahnya lakukan, singkatnya Ezra menjadi sosok panutan bagi Jody. Mereka kerap melalui hari bersama, bahu-membahu menyelesaikan pekerjaan bertani, maupun berburu. Kesepian Jody berakhir ketika ia akhirnya memiliki hewan peliharaan berupa anak rusa jantan yang ia beri nama Flag. Jody dan Flag sama-sama tumbuh menjadi sepasang sahabat yang tak terpisahkan hingga suatu saat Jody dihadapkan pada sebuah peristiwa (yang melibatkan Flag) yang membuatnya untuk hidup dan bersikap dewasa.Rawlings bagi saya adalah salah satu penulis yang memiliki kemampuan menyajikan pengideraan yang sangat lengkap dan detail dalam tulisannya. Pembaca seakan terbawa secara geografis maupun emosi ke dalam lokasi (setting) dan diri tokoh dalam cerita. Rawlings dapat dengan sempurna mendeskripsikan pemandangan alam, penampilan orang, cara kerja suatu benda, perilaku bianatang, dan lain-lainnya seakan kita melihatnya sendiri. Begitu juga dengan aroma makanan, kotoran hewan, harumnya bunga yang mengundang indera penciuman pembaca, rasa makanan yang mungkin akan membuat pembaca menyecap lidah, bunyi-bunyian yang sangat terasa dekat dengan telinga, serta lembutnya mantel sutera seperti benar-benar disentuh oleh pembaca. Jadi, ketika membaca novel ini kelima indera pembaca saya jamin akan sibuk menyerap informasi dan gambaran yang dipaparkan Rawlings. Satu hal lagi yang saya salutkan dari Rawlings adalah sudut pandangnya ternyata luas sekali. Ia menceritakan kehidupan bocah desa laki-laki (saya ulangi laki-laki, bukan perempuan seperti jenis kelamin yang dimilikinya) dan hubungannya dengan kedua orangtua dan orang-orang di sekitarnya. Pasti tidak mudah membuat atau bahkan sekadar membayangkan kebiasaan lawan jenis kita secara menyeluruh dan detail bukan? Tetapi yang menakjubkan, Rawling berhasil melakukan hal tersebut.Membaca The Yearling bagi saya merupakan pengalam yang tak bisa dilupakan. Ketika sampai pada kalimat terakhir novel ini dan menutupnya, saya merasa seperti baru saja diajak keliling dalam sebuah tur, ya tur kehidupan seorang bocah yang pada akhirnya memetik banyak pelajaran dari kehidupan desanya. Ada yang punya komentar?


It took me awhile to get (or should I say "git") used to the backwoods language used in the book. It was interesting to read about that way of life. I prepared myself for tears and I wasn't disappointed.


What language. It was dense and thick and like poetry. The story, The Yearling, is of a young boy named Jody and his life in the hardscrabble backwoods of northern Florida in the late 1800's. Jody and his parents live a solitary life and one where frivolous things don't belong. Yet all Jody wants is something that belongs just to him; a pet. When his father is struck by a rattlesnake in the deep woods, a doe is shot and killed for her healing organs, leaving behind a tiny fawn. This fawn now becomes Jody's pet. Oh I loved this story. It was the recipient of the 1939 Pulitzer Prize and was written for children or young adults. I would be hard pressed to put this into the hands of a child today, though middle school patient kids who love long and carefully crafted deep stories might be candidates. The pacing is slower than most of today's novels and the author infuses so many details about hunting and farming that one would think she lived the same lifestyle herself (she did not!)The dialect was also thick and I found myself having to read some phrases over and over to 'figger' them out in my mind!! I loved the phrase, "don't go gittin' faintified on me!" The descriptions of the woods were full of words like loblolly pine, saw grass, red bay, sweet gum, and palmetto. I still don't know what a ti-ti or a blackjack pine looks like but they sure are fun to say. I looked up words like milch, sorties, feist, crony, brogans, boles, and cooter and they meant nothing like what they mean now! I remember - I was supposed to be speaking "southern"!Lots of homeschool kids read this book and there are lots of study guides on the internet, yet I also saw reviews by many teenagers who just didn't like this book because they were forced to read it. Once again it supports my thoughts (what I tried to tell so many parents at Barnes and Noble) just because your child CAN read at that level doesn't mean that they SHOULD. Having some life experience behind us gives us a frame of reference, more meaning. This book requires some patience to uncover the gem that it is.This book had me reading and enjoying it for a day or too after book group and I keep looking for a chance to say, "He's sure got a low eye for a high fence."

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