Thimble Summer

by Elizabeth Enright

Paperback, 1987



Local notes

PB Enr




Yearling (1987), 144 pages


Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. HTML: A silver thimble and a new friend make a girl's summer magical in Elizabeth Enright's Thimble Summer. A few hours after nine-year-old Garnet Linden finds a silver thimble in the dried-up riverbed, the rains come and end the long drought on the farm. The rains bring safety for the crops and the livestock, and money for Garnet's father. Garnet can't help feeling that the thimble is a magic talisman, for the summer proves to be interesting and exciting in so many different ways. There is the arrival of Eric, an orphan who becomes a member of the Linden family; the building of a new barn; and the county fair at which Garnet's carefully tended pig, Timmy, wins a blue ribbon. Every day brings adventure of some kind to Garnet and her best friend, Citronella. As far as Garnet is concerned, the thimble is responsible for each good thing that happens during this magic summerâ??her thimble summer.… (more)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

144 p.; 5.22 inches

Media reviews

Thimble Summer, by Elizabeth Enright, is a quiet and very old-fashioned children's story. It was a pleasant read, full of the sensory pleasures of summer on a farm in southern Wisconsin - but the characters never seemed real nor particularly interesting to me. Even the main character, nine year old
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Garnet, remained distant right up to the end of the book.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member delphica
(#27 in the 2005 book challenge)
I love Elizabeth Enright, she's the one who wrote Gone-Away Lake (one of my favorite book titles ever, fyi) and The Saturdays. Somehow I never read Thimble Summer before, which is probably her best known book. It's very sweet -- little girl living on a farm during
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the depression, farm type adventures, a hog, everyone is happy. I think this is what people mean when they complain that all the books that get the hype nowadays are chock full of issues and problems. However, I would point out that very few people can write like Enright, so it's not often an author comes along who can carry a whole book about cute things that happen on a farm entirely on the strength of the writing.

It also reminded me of something that I think about a lot, which is farms. I'm intrigued, in a pleasant way, how preoccupied people are with farms, even though most Americans don't live on farms. It's like the first book everyone has is a book about farm animals. You'd think this was crucial knowledge, how to identify farm animals, and what animal goes Moo.

Grade: A
Recommended: Well, it is what it is, a book about a farm. Also, a Newbery winner.
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LibraryThing member avcr
When 9 year old Garnet Linden finds a real silver thimble when she and her brother Jay go swimming in a nearby river to escape what she feels is the hottest day of the year, magical events take place: the drought was broken thereby saving the farms crops, the Government granted Mr. Linden money to
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re-build his falling down barn, Eric, the Linden’s new found family member, saw the light of the kiln that brought him to them, Garnet and Citronella stayed too long in the library reading (a girl after my own heart) and were locked in, but were rescued by Garnet’s Dad and Mr. Freebody. In this day and age I kept waiting for something awful to happen, what with all that hitchhiking, but this enchanted story reminded me of the days of canning with my Grandmother and a slower more delicious pace that I long for frequently; glimmering, oxygenated, and effervescent, a piece of history one must never forget.
If You Liked This, Try: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen, Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski, Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright, The Wheel on the School by Meindert Dejong, Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey.
Awards: Newbery Medal, 1939
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LibraryThing member debnance
I feel pretty sure I read Thimble Summer when I was a little girl. I have a memory of disappointment; I was always hoping the thimble the main character, Garnet, finds would turn out to be magic. It wasn't. This book was one of my early attempts with and disappointments with realistic fiction
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(though I have learned to love it in recent years.)The story is of a girl who discovers a thimble, a thimble that leads to a whole summer of good things. An orphan boy comes to live with Garnet's family, to help out during a time of drought on their farm. Garnet raises a pig that goes on to win the blue ribbon at the fair. It's good times for all.
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
This 1939 Newbery Award winner has aged quite well. Written as a contemporary tale of life on a Wisconsin small-town farm for a girl and her family, it now reads as a period piece about a bygone era. Garnet Linden has a variety of small adventures involving her slightly older brother, Jay, her best
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friend, Citronella, and few other family members and family friends. There is no one central plot, but rather an episodic narrative of life on the farm for an adventurous girl.
The only episode that that makes the book stand out as having been written in 1938 is when Garnet hitch hikes to a town 18 miles away. Although she does so without her parents permission, she suffers no ill repercussions from doing so, either from the people who kindly give her rides, nor from her parents. A book written today, even if telling a tale of the 1930s, would never portray hitch hiking as something acceptable for a 12 year old girl to do!
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LibraryThing member LibrarysCat
This children's award winning book is special more for the beautiful writing than the story perhaps. Even so, I loved both. The reader is immersed in the life of 9 year old Garnet, as well as her family and friends. The adventures of the young girl and her friend Citronella remind me of a simple
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time when children could be children. I hope that today's young children will also enjoy the book, but many have never seen a hog face to face or run away to the small town eighteen miles away.
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LibraryThing member LauraWade
Thimble Summer is written by Elizabeth Enright. This book is a story about a young girls adventures during one really hot summer and how her findings have been making magical events take place.

I think this book is really cute. I love the adventures she has with her friends through the story. It
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reminded me of summer and being a kid and what fun you can have.

I would like to read this book to my students and have them write me a paper about summer or maybe a story about their summer adventures.
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
I really enjoyed this book - I'm such a pushover for books about girls in the past - although this was contemporary fiction at the time it was written (the 1930's). Garnet is a likable girl and I love the adventures she gets up to. Some of the things the kids in this book do would be appalling
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today - like hitchhiking to a nearby town without telling anyone where she was going. The scenes from the county fair were some of my favorite. Charming tale of a farming family in Wisconsin.
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LibraryThing member bexaplex
Sweet story about a girl on a Depression-era midwestern farm and her summer of adventures. Thimble Summer has aged well because of its lack of emphasis on traditional gender roles, and because we have enshrined most of the activities referenced in the book in the cannon of children's literature:
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prize pigs, state fairs, carnivals, a lock-in, sibling friction.
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LibraryThing member jjvors
A Newberry Award winner from 1939 that well captures rural America of the '30s--both the hard times and the good times.

The story covers the summer of a 9 year old girl, Garnet, who finds a silver thimble during a drought and then whose luck changes, with the drought breaking that night. Garnet has
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a series of amusing adventures while performing normal farm work: threshing, baking lime for construction, traveling to the country fair.

I was struck by the great innocence of the time: Garnet hitchhikes 18 miles to a town and back with no danger and no worry.

The books is well worth reading for kids of any age.
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LibraryThing member ParadisePorch
Winner of the 1939 Newbery Medal for Children’s Literature, this is a delightful & heart-warming story of nine-year-old Garnet Linden and one perfect summer on her family’s Wisconsin farm. It’s set in what was in some ways a much simpler time, in a self-sufficient rural environment (her
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father fired his own lime to make his own blocks for the foundation of his new barn).

In one of many adventures that summer, Garnet makes a trip on the bus by herself to the next town (imagine that happening today!)

I found the comparisons between town & farm life amusing because they remain similar to such observations today.

Elizabeth Enright is also the author of my childhood favourites – the Melendy Family quartet, which begins with The Saturdays.

Every child should be able to enjoy a Thimble Summer. Sadly, few ever do – or even did – and so this story provides a wonderful escape.

Read this if: you love tales of the unspoiled rural America of 80 years ago; or you believe in happy childhood summers. 5 stars
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
Wonderful sweet story about a girl on a Wisconsin farm. I would highly recommend for grade school age readers.
LibraryThing member jlsherman
Sweet book.

Other editions




½ (135 ratings; 3.8)
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