Four children homestead in South Dakota
1930 Newbery Honor Book
Gold Medal, Young Adult Books, Historical Fiction—Mom's Choice Awards, 2009
The Jumping-Off Place has a "chance to take in Juvenile fiction the same sort of place held in adult biography by Hamlin Garland's Middle Border books."—Saturday Review of Literature (1929)
Four young homesteaders strive to succeed on a quarter section in Tripp County, South Dakota, at the beginning of the 1900s. Faced with the prospect of the upcoming harsh winter, the youngsters work hard to "prove up" the land and buildings. All the while, Becky, Dick, Phil, and Joan contend with drought, discomfort, and sabotaging squatters. As winter looms, the battle for their land heats up. Short of money and fearful for their lives, the children learn that the prairie is not as lonely as it looks and that they are stronger than they thought. With the help of new-found friends and their own derring-do, the youngsters seek to hold the enemy at bay and withstand whatever the elements throw at them.
A series of excellent reviews of this book can be found at LibraryThing.com.
"Overall, this is a wonderful book with believable characters, a good story, and graceful prose to carry it along. I highly recommend it, and I look forward to sharing it with my children someday."—www.LibraryThing.com
"A charming, heart-warming story that realistically shows the children struggle to not squabble as they realize their increased dependence on each other without their uncle and in their harsh new land. Originally published in 1929 and truly worthy of the Newbery Honor award."—www.LibraryThing.com
"A timeless classic that fortunately has been brought back to print. This is a book for the ages. A tale of hardships, pure joy from the results of hard work itself, humour, determination, growing up."—www.LibraryThing.com
"The Jumping-Off Place is filled with vocabulary, language and unusual phrases that add color to an already delightful story."—The Bismarck Tribune
Learn more about the Newbery Awards
Read a book blog review of The Jumping-Off Place.
Read a review from the Bismarck Tribune.
Download this file to learn more about the author Marian Hurd McNeely.