McBroom’s Ear, by Sid Fleischman

It got so hot that “flies dropped out of the air with sunstroke”, and “at noon the wax beans began melting on the vines”.

This book is so funny that if you don’t have any young’uns to read it to, you’ll go out and borrow some.

Farmer Josh McBroom and his 11 children, Willjillhesterchesterpeterpollytimtommarylarryandlittleclarinda, live on an amazing one-acre farm. It is so “amazing rich” that one day his oldest boy dropped a five-cent piece on the ground and before he could find it, that nickel had grown to a quarter. And Josh McBroom would as soon live in a tree as tamper with the truth.

While the young’uns helped their father dig a well, they were making plans for what produce they would grow and enter in the County Fair, (only a week away) and McBroom kept a weather eye out on the weather. Grasshoppers would be there when summer got just the right temperature and not before. It got so hot that “flies dropped out of the air with sunstroke”, and “at noon the wax beans began melting on the vines”. But it wasn’t grasshopper weather yet. When mama had to boil water to cool off a block of ice and sunflowers trotted off to find shade – that was grasshopper weather.

This was the year the McBrooms remembered as The Great Grasshopper War when the “hoppers were so thick you could swing a bucket once and fill it twice”. The McBroom family adventures in growing produce for the County Fair and then getting it there through walls of grasshoppers, is a rollicking, hilarious read for both adults AND children. This book was a gift to my children, Henry (Reedy), and Michelle, when they were “young’uns”, and provided entertainment for the whole family.

This children’s book is so funny, that if you don’t have any young’uns, you’ll want to go out and borrow some just for an excuse to get the book. And I’d sooner live in a tree than tamper with the truth.

A Weekly Reader Children’s Book Club Edition, by Sid Fleischman, copyright 1969, with illustrations by Kurt Werth

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