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What is it like to grow up on a farm in the Midwest, on a ranch in the West, in the hills of the South, in the backwoods of New England, or on the wild Alaskan coast? In these seventeen short stories, some of our best writers take us into the lives of young people growing up in rural America to find out.Sixteen poignant short stories portray the special experience of growing up in rural America. In this unique collection, sixteen writers, both established and new, take us to the backwoods, farmlands, mountains, and coastal regions of the USand into the lives of young people who are growing up there. Neither sentimental nor nostalgic, their richly plotted and poignant stories dispel the myth of the country idyll to reveal the tough realities of a rural childhood, as well as its rewards. In Rebecca Rule's Walking the Trapline, a routine trek with her father and brother into the frigid New England woods becomes a test of survival for a young girl. Sugar Among the Chickens by Lewis Nordan, a comic tale, features a bored farm boy in Mississippi intent on catching a big rooster with a baited fishing line. When a flock of geese escapes the hunters' guns in North Carolinian writer Tony Earley's Aliceville, a boy's disappointment is replaced by wonder as he realizes that their breathtaking passage overhead made our world less small. The authors included are Pinckney Benedict, Nancy Brown, Nora Dauenhauer, Tony Earley, Eric Gansworth, Jim Heynen, Lewis Nordan, Tomas Rivera, Rebecca Rule, Wallace Stegner, Kathleen Tyau, Alma Villanueva, Jon Volkmer, Alice Walker, Vicky Wicks, and Hisaye Yamamoto. Whether rural native or lifelong urban dweller, every reader will come away from this collection with a deeper appreciation of the influence of place upon individual growth and of the special qualities of a country upbringing.