At first glance this may seem to be just another portrait of a son of immigrant parents growing up in what was still frontier America. That that boy was to become the many-sided Carl Sandburg, poet, story teller, biographer, seemed secondary. But as one gets into the rhythm of the story one feels that here is America, in the pattern of a small town of the mid west, of the people that made its blood and sinew- if not its social register; of the instilling into youth of the mores, the standards, the ideals, the dreams, the harsh realities, that made up the life of those who were poor, but did not know it fully. While it is a completely recalled record of the day by day living in the Sandburg household, in the town of Galesburg, it is more, for implicit here are the elements, the factors, the thinking that marked the growing pains of the country at large- economically, socially, politically. There is extraordinary fidelity, nostalgic for those whose years and experience hold parallels, and universal enough to ring true for youth remembered at many levels. Here is a book for the Sandburg fans; here is Americana at its best. It isn't a literary biography, for it stops at the turn of the century. But here are the roots that made Carl Sandburg what he is today.