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Apprenticed for Life: Learning From Millie Kalish’s Hard Times on an Iowa Farm During the Depression

Recently, a good friend handed me Mildred Armstrong Kalish’s outstanding book, Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression, and succinctly said, “I think you’ll appreciate this.” And she was right. Named one of the best 10 books in 2007 by the New York Times, Little Heathens is a breath of fresh air, a message of hope and revival, and a timely reminder of how we once knew how to grow our own food, chop our own wood, and survive on next to nothing. I’ve returned to the book as a constant reference, source of inspiration, and general salve for simple, good ideas, common sense, and for a dose of Millie’s refreshingly honest and joyous take on life. Part memoir, part how-to manual, her life lessons of hard work, self-reliance, and determination to make it through one of the toughest times in American history are especially relevant today. Read more