by Peg Meier
Beloved pets. Holiday rituals. Schoolyard antics. Teenage perspectives on a world at war. Childhood is a mixed bag of challenges and joys wherever one grows up. In Minnesota, youthful memories may be arranged seasonally: making snow angels in January, swatting mosquitoes in July.
In this, her “Growing Up in Minnesota” collection, Peg Meier — longtime and award-winning reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune — explores both bitter and the sweet themes of childhood. She has unearthed a wealth of material (diary entries, reminiscences, newspaper columns, photographs) from people who took the time to write whether as children in the moment, or as adults looking back. Humorous touches and reality checks are offered in equal doses, and the result is a fascinating array of experiences spanning the last 100-plus years.