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Calico Bush (novel) facts for kids

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Calico Bish
Cover of Calico Bush by Rachel Field with original illustration.jpg
Calico Bush original cover by Allen Lewis
Author Rachel Field
Illustrator Allen Lewis
Genre Children's Historical Fiction
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Publication date
Pages 225
ISBN 9780689822858

Calico Bush is a children's historical novel by Newbery-award-winning author Rachel Field. Considered by some to be her best novel, it was first published in 1931 and received a Newbery Honor award.


Calico Bush is set on the Maine coast in the pioneer era, and tells the story of Marguerite, a young French orphan who becomes an indentured servant on a farm.


Field spent the 1920s summering on Sutton Island, part of Cranberry Isles, Maine. According to Margaret Lane, "The inspiration for Calico Bush probably came from the story of Marguerite La Croix, who with her husband, John Stanley, moved from Marblehead after 1767, with their many children and became the first permanent residents of Little Cranberry Island. Just north of the 'Head' their hearthstones still lie undisturbed in the field, and they themselves are buried on Maypole Point." Field did not try to tell the woman's story exactly, but used her as inspiration for her book.

The name Calico Bush is used for a Mountain Laurel native to the eastern United States, including Maine. It is also the title of a ballad referred to in the book.

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