• Florida's Adventure Coast

The Yearling

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Growing up in Florida, The Yearling was required reading.Written in 1938, the Pulitzer-prize winning book centers around Jody Baxter, a 12 year-old boy growing up in Central Florida. The story vividly portrays the trials and tribulations of back-woods Florida life in the late 1800s. Rawling’s endearing tale masterfully describes the beauty and wildlife of the Florida wilderness.

As an only child of Ma and Pa Baxter, Jody longed for a pet. One day, while in the wilderness with his father, a doe was shot and Jody adopted the fawn as his new friend and companion, which he named Flag. The two become inseparable, and as they grow into adolescence, they face life lessons and challenges. This touching story will transport you into our Florida past.

The Yearling was also adapted into a 1946 movie, starring Gregory Peck as Jody’s father, and Jane Wyman, as Jody’s mother. A good flick for old times sake. There are some delightful landscape shots and scenes of old Florida throughout the movie.

I picked this book, not only because it is a Florida classic but author Rawlings also managed a 72-acre orange grove in Cross Creek. Her literature is filled with her experience and its residents in rural Cross Creek. She also authored a cookbook, Cross Creek Cookery, complete with citrus recipes, several of which are featured on this website.

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