Reviews for Growing Up Country


Childhood memories from the 1950s! – This memoir was everything I expected! It was an entertaining flashback of memories from “the good old days” with a genuine feel. The details were well-written and vivid, allowing me to get lost in Carol Bodensteiner’s charming childhood stories, without the bulk of facts seen in other memoirs. The writing style was easily readable and very enjoyable, I even recommended it to a thirteen year old as a good candidate for a book report. I liked that it wasn’t written just for adults, but also gave children a look at how life was in a different time; even though most life lessons have remained the same. I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I did grow up in the country, so I appreciated the author’s childhood thoughts and ideas, especially those that reminded me of my own grade-school memories. I haven’t read many books about happy childhoods lately and it is refreshing to read about one that was so full of love and laughter. Overall, I am very happy I was able to read this book and get a look at a true American family. I only wish that the book hadn’t ended so soon.  – Allison Collins, the Paperback Pursuer

I also remember“In every chapter, I would see the farm I grew up on and remember so many of the experiences you described. I always said I was going to write about growing up on the farm, but your descriptions are so close to my memories, I’m afraid I’d be accused of plagiarism!”

Celebrates an important time“I loved the book because it celebrates a unique and important time in the history of rural American and the transition to modern production agriculture. “Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl” is up on my bookshelf where I keep all the books I enjoy re-reading, and that’s the highest compliment I can give it.” – Mark Pearson, host of Public Television’s “Market to Market” and co-host of the “Big Show” on WHO radio in Des Moines

You’ll Identify – “If you have ever milked cows, made hay, dressed chickens, wondered about Santa Claus, or had your dad shush you at the noon dinner table while the weather and markets were on, you’ll identify with these situations. Carol isn’t afraid to get personal in the telling.” – Lee Kline, farm broadcaster, WHO Radio

Your book is an Inspiration“I grew up on a family dairy farm. My parents sold the cows when I was 13. I remember saying I’ll never milk a cow again. My dream was to be a CPA. Then I met and fell in love with my husband and lo and behold we took over his family’s dairy farm. To this day I still milk cows at 4:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. every day. We have raised four sons and two daughters. We’ve had a good life with the cows. Thank you for the memories!”—Lola, A fellow farm girl who grew up country.

What a Joy to Read!“I was born on a small farm and I could relate to all the incidents in your book. We had a monster rooster and a sweet cow. I only had one disagreement with your whole book. I can’t understand how you dealt with the chickens. I was able to clean hog houses, as a child and as an adult, but you could always knock me over with a chicken – dead or alive.” —Bev, an Iowa farm girl

The Memories Flowed“Our book club picked Growing Up Country and made our meeting to discuss the book a 50’s-60’s ‘potluck’ supper held at an independent living facility where one of our member’s parents live. Not all of the residents were able to read so we read several chapters out loud. Then – the memories started to flow. The biggest single invention in their lifetime was Indoor Plumbing! Thank you for your wonderful book. It gave us an opportunity to have a real conversation with the generation that raised us.” —Rita, Princeton, Iowa

A Page Turner“Carol’s book evolves into a page turner, not because of high drama but rather because we come to care for this little girl who’s living a good, simple life that has evaporated—just like yesterday’s family farm where she grew up.” — Mary Kay Shanley, author of “She Taught Me to Eat Artichokes”

Thanks for the memories!”It really brought back the memories of farm life. I could identify with nearly every one, though our barn burned after I left home. I’m happy those kind of farm days (especially the cows) are behind me.” —Bea, from Minnesota

A Gift to the Ages“Carol’s memoir is a gift to the ages, providing a well-documented historical look at rural life of her generation, its values and traditions plus her concern about the future for the life she enjoyed with her family.” – Don Muhm, award-winning, former longtime farm editor of the Des Moines Register

Such a Life!“Carols memory of how a family worked as an economic unit on the farm is a life that many will remember but few in the future will have the opportunity to experience. Oh that more families could experience such a life! — Denise O’Brien, farmer from Atlantic Iowa. Founder and director of Women, Food and Agriculture Network