Title: The Cabin Faced WestThe-Cabin-Faced-West
Author: Jean Fritz
Pages: 124
Recommended Ages: 8-12
Star Rating: ★★★★★

I just love the front cover of this book. It pops with color. And best of all, I can feel the cool breeze which is whisking the leaves and tugging at Ann’s braids…

The Story.

Everything west. Western rules, western manners, western goals, western food… Even the cabin faces west! Ann is unsure how long she will be able to keep her older brothers’ rule about not criticizing the west. For David and Daniel, two strapping boys, everything is wonderful out here. But Ann misses her friends and cousins from Gettysburg. She bears her work bravely, but sometimes she just wants to go home!

Slowly, surely, she becomes more invested in their farm. Slowly, surely, she comes to love their neighbors. Slowly, surely, she thinks that perhaps moving out west wasn’t such a bad idea after all. But as trial and storm burst over the Hamilton homestead, will Ann’s determination hold out? Or will she be crushed as well?

Discussion.

Ann and her two brothers have fun, teasing relationships. On one occasion, when Ann is already feeling hurt, David nettles her. She responds angrily. After this, David tries especially hard to be nice and Ann forgives him. I appreciated how Ms. Fritz portrayed the family relationships realistically, but without much turmoil.

Once, on a sad day, Ann decides to use two expensive plates which she knows are to be used only on special occasions. Her mother finds out and instead of responding in anger, handles the situation tenderly.

On a few occasions, Ann thinks that her role as a young girl on the frontier is unimportant. However, by the end of the story she understands that whatever her work is she should be faithful with it.

Ann says that the road in front of their cabin has a sort of magic. She does not mean real magic, just that the road makes her imagination soar.

Conclusion. A wonderful story of family and frontier-life; definitely a worthwhile read.

Review © 2012 Laura Verret

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