World War II is reaching into the small, remote Vermont village of Gilead, and Eben Granger, oldest of the Granger offspring, is off to join the fight. With careful, specific instructions, Eben entrusts the care of the family farm, their mother and 15-year-old sister, Cissie, to Gid’s care. Though he hates to see his brother go, 17-year-old Gideon is more than ready to dig in and see what he can do with their small dairy, and with improving the maple sugar crop of their stretch of sugar bush. A keen proponent of new trends in farming, already Gid is learning that great ideas are not enough, that patience, hard work and a willingness to work together with others are also key elements for success. And though he chafes under his mother’s adamant rule of paying only with cash, after a totally unexpected way opens up for money to repair the all-important pickup truck, Gid begins to see the advantages of the debt-free principle. He sees how limited resources can foster creative thinking, an openness to work with others and a readiness to make the most of every opportunity. More occasions for similar experiences occur through Gilead’s 4-H club—one thing quickly leading to another. Soon, a spirit of cooperation is spreading throughout the small community—but, as always, true teamwork does not come without a struggle. It is in this struggle, with its failures and successes that Gideon comes of age, as a young, progressive farmer, but also as a thoughtful and more generous young man.
Original Book: 179 pages