Excerpt: ...that is Mr. Bruce's car coming. Goodbye! Be good to yourself!" With a spring from where he was standing Mickey arose in air, alighted on the top rail of the division fence, then balancing, he raced down it toward the road. Peter watched him in astonishment, then went back to his plowing with many new things on his mind. Thus it ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...that is Mr. Bruce's car coming. Goodbye! Be good to yourself!" With a spring from where he was standing Mickey arose in air, alighted on the top rail of the division fence, then balancing, he raced down it toward the road. Peter watched him in astonishment, then went back to his plowing with many new things on his mind. Thus it happened that after supper, when the children were in bed, and he and his wife went to the front veranda for their usual evening visit, and talk over the day, she had very little to tell him. As was her custom, she removed her apron, brushed her waving hair and wore a fresh dress. She rocked gently in her wicker chair, while her voice was moved to unusual solicitude as she spoke. Peter also had performed a rite he spoke of as "brushing up" for evening. He believed in the efficacy of soap and water, so his body, as well as his clothing, was clean. He sat on the top step leaning against the pillar where the moonlight emphasized his big frame, accented the strong lines of his face and crowned his thick hair, as Nancy Harding thought it should be, with glory. "Peter," she said, "did you notice anything about that boy, this afternoon, different from other boys?" "Yes," answered Peter slowly, "I did Nancy. He didn't strike me as being one boy. He has the best of three or four concealed in his lean person." "He's had a pretty tough time, I judge," said Nancy. "Yet you never saw a boy who took your heart like he did, and neither did I," answered Peter. Mickey holding his basket and clover flowers was waiting when the car drew up, and to Bruce's inquiry answered that a lady where he stopped for a drink had given him something for Lily. He left the car in the city, sought the nurse and luckily found her at leisure. She listened with the greatest interest to all he had to say. "It's a problem," she said, as he finished. "To take her to such a place for a week, and then bring her back where she is, would be harder for her than never...Read Less
New. This item is printed on demand. Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924) was an American author, amateur naturalist, wildlife photographer, and one of the earliest women to form a movie studio and production company.
Like the rest of her books, Gene Stratton-Porter's Michael O'Halloran is an excellent book for someone looking to feel hopeful about the world and about humanity. It follows the adventures of a street orphan, Mickey, as he stubbornly refuses to give in to the degradation that characterizes so many of his peers and does his best to convince everyone around him to "be square." Mickey may be small in size, but his huge heart more than makes up for it! By the end of the novel, there are very few people that are not left better because of his influence.
The most pervasive theme of this book, I think, is that of the importance of family and home and is best summed up by Leslie ("...would the money have been of more advantage to me than the benefits of his society and his personal hand in my rearing? I think not! I prefer my Daddy! ... [I think] home better than any other place on earth") and Peter's neighbors (who "awaken and begin to develop a settled conviction as to what constituted the joy of life, and that the place to enjoy it was at home"). I wholeheartedly agree with them: home IS where the heart is - or where it should be - and our society needs to start remembering that! Although some people might think of this as backward and non-feminist, I would disagree. I believe the author would, too, for she lets Mickey point out: " 'Women's work' - Well never you mind about the 'woman's work' part of it...that doesn't cut any ice with me. It's men's work to eat, and I don't know who made a law that it was any more 'woman's work' to cook for men than it is their own. If there is a law of that kind, I bet a liberty-bird the men made it." Focusing on home and family doesn't mean giving up the rest of the world and becoming a chore-driven slave. It just means realizing what a treasure we all could have in our homes and our families, if EVERYONE did their best to treat those institutions with respect and to make sure they're not destroyed by our selfishness. What a great message!
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