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Monday, December 19, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: The Corn Grows Ripe by Dorothy Rhoads

DATE OF PUBLICATION: June 1, 1993 (first published 1956)
FORMAT: Paperback, 96 pages
GENRE:  Historical Fiction
ISBN: 978-0140363135


Tigre, a twelve-year-old Mayan boy living in a modern-day village in Yucatâan, must learn to be a man when his father is injured.


I read this book with my children, which is a Newbery Honor Book.

The story takes place in a Mayan village in the Yucatan. Dionisio is a young 12-year old boy. His nickname, Tigre, which means jaguar, suits him because he is “spirited and mischievous and curious...and lazy too.”

A tree falls on Tigre’s father, and he is lucky that he suffers only a broken leg. There is no bonesetter in the village, so Tigre must travel 17 kilometers through bush. Tigre brings the bonesetter back to his home, and the medicine man sets the broken bone and puts a splint on the leg but says it will take a long time before he recovers and it will not be until harvest time. This renders him unable to bush, burn, and plant the corn. Tigre realizes that it is up to him to perform the laborious work, but his family is skeptical that lazy Tigre is up to the task.

I love to learn about other cultures and beliefs, but this book fell a little flat for me. I thought it was a little boring and dry. I did appreciate that Tigre learns some responsibility, and I think that was this book’s saving grace for me!

MY RATING: 2 stars – Meh, it was just “ok.” My 9 year-old daughter liked it a little more than I did and gave it 3 stars. She thought the book became more interesting towards the end.

This book qualifies as:


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