Grades 4 - 6
Grade level Equivalent: 3.1
Lexile® Measure: 620L
Guided Reading: P
- First Jobs and Chores
- Farm and Ranch Life
- African American
- Grandparents and Grandchildren
About This Book
Ten-year-old Justin doesn’t want to make his bed, fold his clothes, clean his room, or wash the dishes to help out around the house — it’s "women’s work!" His sisters and his mother are all frustrated with him until their cowboy Grandpa visits and offers to take Justin back to the family ranch and off their hands. Justin is thrilled and eager to see the big rodeo and festival, and delighted that Grandpa is going to teach him how to do real "men’s work" like mending fences and handling horses.
At his ranch, after Grandpa makes breakfast, he asks Justin if he would like to wash or dry the dishes. Justin replies that he doesn’t want to do either, then watches guiltily as Grandpa carefully and efficiently does them by himself. By gentle example, Grandpa is slowly able to show Justin that the division of labor is not quite what he had thought. Grandpa makes his bed to have a warm welcome after a hard day on the ranch, and he folds his clothes so he will look sharp at the rodeo. Little by little, Justin learns the pleasure of taking care of himself, and even learns to bake Grandpa’s special Best Biscuits in the World as well as a delicious pork dinner for his mother and sisters.
This Coretta Scott King Award winning story is a true original. With her fresh, likeable characters, Mildred Pitts Walker offers readers a wonderful look at an unknown group in history, that of black cowboys, as well as a motivating tale for anybody who thinks that taking care of themselves is somebody else’s job.