Editor: Melinda Keefe

Publisher: Voyageur Press

ISBN: 978-0-7603-4245-9

If you have not been raised on a farm, you are probably pretty clueless and ignorant when it comes to chores, work ethic, animals, farming and anything else that is done “somewhere in the middle of the two coasts of America.” In Barnard Confidential ~ An A to Z Reader of Life Lessons, Tall Tales and Country Wisdom, Editor Melinda Keefe compiles both brief and longer tidbits from the late nineteenth century to current day literature.

This two hundred and thirty nine page hardbound book has a red barn door on its front cover with a horse, cow, goat and pig arranged by height and peeking out its side door. The back cover has only a goat looking through the door opening and a large paragraph about the contents of the book. The book is organized by topic or theme with black and white photographs and drawings depicted throughout its pages. Any typographical errors were taken from direct quotes from authors noted. The book would be enjoyed by any age of ten and above with some younger children understanding some of the stories.

Instead of this book being a typical dictionary or thesaurus in regard to American farm or rural country life, it is more of a collection of topics arranged alphabetically that are humorous, enlightening, informational and sometimes actually educational in regard to a way of life most of us know little about coming from big cities.

There are short stories from L. Frank Baum from 1900
taken from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and E.B. White’s One Man’s Meat from 1938 to current day authors such as Ronald Jager, Jerry Stelmok, and Jerry Apps. Most of the short, comical snippets were from The ABC’s of Farming by Terry Chamberlain in 1999.

If one wants to know the “farm interpretation” for Jack, Jenny, Biffy or Nessy, he or she can turn the pages and learn they are not always used as names of people on the grange. Some of the more detailed stories involve inventions, collecting tractors and quilting. Anything done on a farm such as flatulence, selective breeding and underwear is free reign to critique and evaluate in this clever, quick read.

If you need a good book to give city dwellers that plan to visit or move to the rural country or farm, be sure to choose this book to give the bumpkins a heads up in advance on funicles, granaries, hopper bottoms, root-picking and silage.

Follow Here To Purchase Barnyard Confidential: An A to Z Reader of Life Lessons, Tall Tales, and Country Wisdom