Author: Steven Kellogg
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
American History, Agriculture
It is hard to imagine a reader who won’t be captivated by Johnny Appleseed, the lover of animals, people, and especially, apple trees. The story is handily divided into nine short chapters, beginning with Johnny as a young boy who likes to play alone in the woods. He reads aloud to the wild animals, and talks to the beautiful stars shining in the sky. His friend, Mr. Crawford the orchard man, teaches him all about apples. When Johnny is a young man of 18, he leaves home to plant his own orchard. As the pioneers pass through on their way west, Johnny gives them food and shelter, and of course, a small bag of apple seeds.
Worried that the pioneers will forget to plant and care for their apple trees, Johnny gives his home to a poor woman with small children, and sets out to populate the world with his beloved trees. On the way he heals an injured wolf that becomes his constant companion as Johnny makes his dream a reality. Especially loved by animals, children, and Indians, Johnny does good deeds wherever he goes.
In a letter at the end of her story, Moore tells her young readers a little about the real Johnny Appleseed, a man named John Chapman who was born in Massachusetts in 1775. A larger-than-life symbol of sacrifice and generosity, Johnny Appleseed is also a memorable character who teaches children the importance of caring, and inspires them to stop at nothing to make their dreams come true.
Praise for Johnny Appleseed
"Combining legend with fact...makes this life of Johnny Appleseed the most accessible and entertaining one available." — School Library Journal