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Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

>> Friday, September 13, 2013

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Series: #7 in the Little House series
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: originally 1941, this edition 1969
Pages: 307
Source: library

The Short Version:
After The Long Winter of the previous book the Ingalls family settles in to the routine of life on their homestead as the nearby town grows.

Why I Read It:
I started my re-read of this series due to a Read-along but I’m finishing it up on my own because I can’t leave my re-read unfinished.

The Book:
After surviving the Long Winter, the town of DeSmet is growing at a rapid pace. Mary leaves for the school for the blind in Iowa. Laura takes a job in town. Almanzo’s sister is the new schoolteacher but that doesn’t work out well at all. The evil Nellie Oleson reappears in Laura’s life but her circumstances have changed a bit since she was last seen.

Social events are starting to become more common in DeSmet. Some of them are fun and some are simply awkward. Nevertheless they provide a way for Almanzo Wilder to act on his interest in Laura by escorting her home.

Both the town and Laura are growing up, not without a few bumps along the way.

My Thoughts:
I am not going to worry about spoilers with this series.

As I’ve done with previous books in the series I’m just going to post a few random thoughts that ran through my head as I read this.

No Haysticks – Yay. However, after the drama of The Long Winter this one seems rather sedate.

Nellie Oleson and Eliza Jane Wilder as Mean Girls. Laura let her temper get away with her and showed her own mean girl side at times.

Laura’s feeling obligated to take the sewing job she hated and continue to work toward teaching which she does not want to do at all is really rather sad. Granted it was the norm for women in that era to do what was expected but I can’t help thinking how different things might have turned out for the whole family if Mary hadn’t lost her sight.

Oh the Blackface Minstrel show section of the literary meeting definitely is a teachable moment for today’s kids.

Again I find myself reading these with a mixture of nostalgia for how much I enjoyed them as a kid and realizing how much has changed not only since the time period portrayed in the book but also since the late 1960’s when I first read them.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5


The Surly Bookseller 9/13/2013 6:23 AM  

I am ashamed to report that I never, ever read Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, so now I'm thinking I need to do this with my granddaughter. It won't be long before she's at that One Chapter a Night Before Bed age. Delicious.

Sherry 9/14/2013 9:33 AM  

You might enjoy a book I recently read, A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert. It's a biography of Rose Wilder Lane, who was rather more involved in writing the Little House books than one might think.

Trish 9/15/2013 1:57 AM  

I'm impressed that you're still going with the series. I didn't read these as a child so really struggled to get through the first one. I wondered if the writing advanced any since Laura aged in the books? Also--Blackface Minstrel! Yikes!

SuziQoregon 10/23/2013 9:01 PM  

Surly: There is both a charm of times long ago and opportunity for discussion about how those times are very different in these books. i hope that you and your granddaughter can expereince these in the most positive way together.

Sherry: I've heard about that book! I've read Sisan Wittig Albert's China Bayles series and I'm definitely interested in her take on Laura and Rose.

Trish: What can I say? I'm compulsive. Once I started the re-read of the series I couldn't stop. Yes the writing aged somewhat as Laura did but yes - there's plenty to cringe about.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

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