This “coming-of-age” novel is set in the Nebraska frontier. It tells the stories of several immigrant families as they start new lives in America. The primary focus is on Antonia, the free-spirited eldest daughter of the Shimerda family from Bohemia. The story is told through the eyes of Jim Burden, an orphan who befriends Antonia and chronicles her life.
Willa Cather, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was one of the most distinguished American writers of the early 20th century. This “classic” story, as well as the character of Antonia, is often recognized as a unique portrait of America at the turn of that century. It portrays both a community struggling with unforgiving terrain and a woman who, amid great hardship, stands as timeless inspiration.
Please note that the narrator includes his recollections about an affair with a female character as well as his feelings toward Antonia and other women. 244 pp.
Author: Willa Cather
Age: 16, 17, 18
Grade: 11, 12
Topic: Reading, Literature