THE LOST FARM by Jane Louise Curry


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Another victim of Professor Lilliput's reducer (introduced in Mindy's Mysterious Miniature, 1970), Pete MacCubbin, twelve in 1922, first encounters the traveling Miniature Museum in an abandoned barn where Samantha, a girl his age but only five inches tall, tells him how the Professor had spitefully shrunk her village to make a road show, unknowingly reducing a few of its inhabitants in the process. Before Pete can figure out how to help Samantha, his own farm is miniaturized in retailation when his shiftless father Trashbin MacCubbin steals the Professor's watch and a tiny car from his collection. How Pete and his Gram gradually realize what has happened and how they cope ingeniously with the problems of their new status while making various attempts to get to town for help is related with the realistic attention to detail that gives stories of small scale survival their fascination. Trashbin dies almost unnoticed that first winter and Pete and Gram plan to seek help again in spring, but time passes (too busily to be much regretted), Gram dies, and -- counter to our expectations -- it is 50 years before Pete is discovered by the recently deminiaturized Samantha (soon to be Mrs. MacCubbin) and restored to human size himself. The lovingly realized rural setting and down-to-earth dialogue help to avoid any trace of preciousness, and -- except for the improbability of the farm's disappearance remaining undiscovered for so long -- Curry anticipates every hitch and question with animating precision.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1974
Page count: 137pp
Publisher: Atheneum