The Corn Grows Ripe by Dorothy Rhoads

The Corn Grows Ripe by Dorothy Rhoads (Viking)

The Corn Grows Ripe In 1957, when Old Yeller won the Newbery Medal, this small book was awarded an honor title. I had bought a copy of some used book sale and had it on my shelf, unread, for years. When I traveled to Mexico to help with the opening of a small, newly built library in a Mayan village, I grabbed this book of the shelf thinking I would leave it behind once I read it.

I was amazed to discovered that this lovely story takes place in a Mayan village in Mexico. It taught me so much of the history and way of life, the beliefs and customs of the people I was about to meet.

When his father is badly injured in an accident, a young Mayan boy called Tigre wonders who will plant and harvest the corn that they need to survive–and to please the Mayan gods. Twelve-year-old Tigre has never done a man’s work before. Now he will have to take his father’s place.

The story’s setting and premise are rare. If you like to read books to children aloud, this is a perfect choice. I did leave the book behind in the Mayan library, even though the story is in English, but I ordered myself a new copy (at because I wanted to own this little gem. Happy reading!