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Search tags: Little-House-on-the-Prairie
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text 2017-05-25 00:50
My canon: the little house years
Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
On the Banks of Plum Creek - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
By the Shores of Silver Lake - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
The Long Winter - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams

When you are a reader it's possible to mark your life in books. There are those books that are so immutably connected to a prior time and place that opening the book is like time-travel - a way to be your younger self once again.

 

I could list the books that do this for me, although I would always add to the list as the thought occurred to me: A Little Princess, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, A Wrinkle in Time, From the Mixed of Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Anna Karenina, Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, The Anna Papers, Charms for the Easy Life. Sooner or later, I will tell you about all of those books. And many, many more.

 

But today, I'm going to talk about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House books, which I read into tatters. I was a bookish girl, and I still remember the Christmas that I was 7, in the third grade. We were living in a house in Omaha, Nebraska, on Hickory Street. Is there any street name that feels more Americana than a street named after a tree? My husband grew up on Birch Street. I lived on Hickory Street for a short time, and while I lived on Hickory Street, I woke up one Christmas morning, and ran downstairs and found the complete series under the tree for me.

 

The covers were the gingham edged version, I think. Although, I suppose I could be wrong about that because I no longer have my childhood editions. I read them into shreds, and they disappeared somewhere along the way. I own the gingham edged editions because I bought them when my daughter was small, hoping that she would love them as I did. She didn't, but I've unequivocally gotten my money's worth, because I've read them all, more than once. 

 

These might have been the first books that I truly loved. I devoured the first book, laying on my back under the tree on Christmas Day, watching the Christmas lights winking above me. I dragged myself out from under the tree to have Christmas dinner with my family - they wouldn't let me read during dinner, and I still remember racing through dinner, trying to be polite and conversational because all I wanted was to get back to Laura and Pa and their cabin in the Wisconsin woods, where Laura and Mary played in the attic surrounded by pumpkins and squash and the other harvested foods that would keep them fed during the long, dark, snowy winters. I can still see Garth William's illustrations in my mind's eye.

 

I read these books ten times. Twenty times. More times than I can count. I was always partial to the first two, and I never liked On the Banks of Plum Creek, probably because that was the year that they lived in Minnesota, and that horrible Nellie Oleson makes Laura's life so terrible.

 

As an adult, I am most astonished by The Long Winter, which has the most harrowing description of a town on the edge of starvation that I've ever read, although the terrible anxiety and danger is only apparent by reading between the lines. To a child, a long winter sounds like a lark, a delightful time-out-of-mind experience of endless snow days tucked in warm, in front of a fire. Only when I realized how close to death they were did I recognize the incredible courage demonstrated by Ma & Pa and the townspeople who kept themselves, their children, and their neighbors fed through a famine.

 

The television series premiered the same year that those books showed up under my Christmas tree. I don't connect those two things in my mind, although it seems obvious to me now that my parents gave me the books because of the series. For years, I faithfully watched every episode, laughing at Laura's antics, identifying with her enthusiasm, her heedlessness, her lack of interest in girlish things. The series ran until I was a junior in high school, long after I had left Laura behind for Ray-Bans and Tolstoy.

 

When I read the books now, I am that girl, all over again.

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review 2017-01-17 20:24
Little House on the Prairie
Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams

Another one of my favorite series! This series is set in the American Western Pioneer days and observes the life of the Ingalls family. The Lexile level is 600L. I would use this in a 4th or 5th grade classroom. I would start off by discussing what the Homestead Act is and what pioneers needed to start a new life. I would have students brainstorm what they needed to settle, what problems they might have faced, and how the Indians came into play. I would then ask them to compare their houses to our houses today. We would read aloud several chapters from the books that describe their conditions and houses. (I would look these up before the lesson) We would use a KWL chart to see what we knew, what we wanted to know, and what we learned. 

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review 2016-07-22 17:39
Little House on the Prairie (Little House #2)
Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams

As with the previous book in the series, we get an interesting look at how life was in an era gone by. The characters were mostly the same from the previous book, and both them and the new supporting characters were easy to connect with. However, I found the ending events of the book confusing, and wished for a more in depth explanation as to why the Ingalls family had to leave their home on the prairie. I remember wanting that explanation as a child as well! All things considered, it was an interesting re-read for me.

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review 2016-06-14 00:00
Little House on the Prairie
Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams Some years back, I picked up a copy of Willa Cather's My Antonia at a church fair book table. I figured I might try to read it. I vaguely remember that my older sister had been forced to read it in junior high and had hated the experience. Could it be all that bad a book? Nope, it was actually quite good. Also, I realized about half way through the book that it was about my grandmother and her parents. My grandmother had been a little girl on a homestead in Dakota Territory. Her parents then fled the snow and cold of Dakota in a covered wagon and ended up in Kansas, which was where I got to know my grandmother. Suffice to say, I got interested in life on the prairies back in the day. So, I read more Willa Cather. Then I discovered Oscar Micheaux, who had been an African American homesteader in Dakota.

Almost exactly two years ago, I discovered Little House in the Big Woods on one of the Gutenberg sites and re-read it. I had first read it back in the dark ages when I was in elementary school and Eisenhower was the President. Naturally, I wanted to move on to the Prairie, but none of the other Laura Ingalls Wilder books were available on Gutenberg sites, nor on my library's Overdrive site. Just recently, I discovered our library now did carry those books, so immediately put a hold on this one, Little House on the Prairie.

It's interesting to me that this book and the one that precedes it are a sort of how-to version of life back in the day: how to kill a hog; how to make soap; how to make a log cabin; how to dig a well; and so forth. The stories are rather sanitized and idealized. My spouse finds them sick-making to read these days because things are so saccharine. I didn't mind that much. I loved the lyrical descriptions of the prairie. Not only did I visit my grandmother in Kansas a number of times, but I actually lived there for two years as an adult and wrote my most famous published work while I was there. (don't ask: if you're on GoodReads, it won't be your cup of tea, unless you're a very peculiar kind of physical chemist.) So, I do love me some prairie now and again and like revisiting it occasionally, if only in literature.

Anyway, I liked this book rather well. I was appalled by the racist handling of the interactions with Indians (a.k.a. Native Americans), but the book was a product of it's time. One needs to point this out if one is reading to their children or grandchildren these days, and discuss how we need to recalibrate our thinking about other people.
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text 2016-03-05 15:15
Book Tag- The Fifty Bookish Questions

I came across this tag on My Little Book Blog

I have linked each book I mentioned to their GoodReads page so you can check them out yourself!

 

1.) What was the last book you read?

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

 

2.) Was it a good one?

It wasn't for me

 

3.) What made it good?

Well, I liked the idea of  the underground compound setting in the aftermath of a nuclear war. 

 

4.) Would you recommend it to other people?

It's not my go to recommendation

 

5.) How often do you read? 

Mostly everyday!

 

6.) Do you like to read?

I LOVE reading

 

7.) What was the last bad book you read?

The last absolutely horrible book I read was Storm by Donna Jo Napoli

 

8.) What made you dislike it?

I had really high hopes for it. Its a Noah's Ark retelling and I just could not get into the writing or any of the characters.

 

9.) Do you wish to be a writer?

Its something I have thought about, but then I think I have too many books to read to write my own. But sometimes i'll get a creative moment. 

 

10.) Has any book ever influenced you greatly?

Many, but only one comes to mind. By the Time You Read This I'll Be Dead by Julie Ann Peters Its about a girl who wants to commit suicide because of the way she is bullied. I read this when I was in high school and I think that's why it had an impact on me.

 

11.) Do you read fan fiction?

No

 

12.) Do you write fan fiction?

Negative

 

13.) What's your favorite book?

It changes. So far this year it's Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson The first in a trilogy. It made me want to travel. And its historical fiction!

 

14.) What's your least favorite book?

I know I have some but nothing comes to mind

 

15.) Do you prefer physical books or to read on a device (like kindle)?

Definitely physical books

 

16.) When did you learn to read?

Whatever age you normally learn to read at.

 

17.) What was your favorite book you had to read in school?

By far, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

 

18.) What is your favorite book series?

Always and forever, The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

19.) Who is your favorite author?

I cant pick

 

20.) What is your favorite genre?

I would have to say YA (and the branches that spring from that) and historical fiction. 

 

21.) Who is your favorite character in a book series?

At the moment, Lee Westfall from Walk on Earth a Stranger

 

22.) Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?

Every one.

 

23.) Wish book do you wish had a sequel?

I Think im going with Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

 

24.) Which book do you wish didnt have a sequel?

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

 

25.) How long does it take you to read a book?

Anywhere from two days to literally forever

 

26.) Do you like when books become movies?

yes, if I actually read it

 

27.) Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?

I dont think any that I have seen

 

28.) Which movie has done a book justice?

cant say

 

29.) Do you read newspaper

I think I have only read one newspaper. I bought it from a flea market and its from 1942

 

30.) Do you read magazines?

I like them, but not usually

 

31.) Do you prefer newspaper or magazines?

Magazines

 

32.) Do you read while in bed?

Thats where most of my reading is done

 

33.) Do you read while on the toilet? 

Im not going to say I never have.

 

34.) Do you read while in the car?

Yes but not often

 

35.) Do you read while in the bath

Id love to, but I dont have that kind of set up

 

36.) Are you a fast reader?

yes

 

37.) Are you a slow reader?

no

 

38.) What is your favorite place to read?

Anywhere that it is sunny, warm, and has natural lighting.

 

39.) Is it hard for you to concentrate while you read?

not usually

 

40.) Do you need a room to be silent while you read?

Id prefer it, but not necessary. 

 

41.) Who gave you your love for reading?

Im not sure, I think my grandmother.

 

42.) What book is next on your list to read?

Sounds funny but, I bought it while in a Disney World gift shop. Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson

 

43.) When did you start to read chapter books?

Whatever age you normally do

 

44.) Who is your favorite children's book author?

Barbra Park for sure

 

45.) Which author would you most want to interview?

Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

46.) Which author do you think you'd be friends with?

no idea

 

47.) What books have you reread the most?

I don't reread

 

48.) Which books do you consider "classics"?

I tend to refer to my childhood favorites as classics

 

49.) Which books do you think should be taught in every school?

Nothing in particular, but ones that make you reflect on your life or the world.

 

50.) Which books should be banned from all schools?

Nothing I can think of

 

And that's it! If you read through all of my answers I tag and thank you! 

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