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Little House #3

Little House on the Prairie

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Meet Laura Ingalls, the little girl who would grow up to write the Little House books.

Pa Ingalls decides to sell the little log house, and the family sets out for Indian country! They travel from Wisconsin to Kansas, and there, finally, Pa builds their little house on the prairie. Sometimes farm life is difficult, even dangerous, but Laura and her family are kept busy and are happy with the promise of their new life on the prairie.

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE is the second book in the Laura Years series.
--back cover

335 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1935

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About the author

Laura Ingalls Wilder

358 books4,563 followers
Ingalls wrote a series of historical fiction books for children based on her childhood growing up in a pioneer family. She also wrote a regular newspaper column and kept a diary as an adult moving from South Dakota to Missouri, the latter of which has been published as a book.

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139,390 (49%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,295 reviews
Profile Image for E.
380 reviews79 followers
February 10, 2017
Okay, it's a great American classic, I realize that. I read it for the first time in third grade because the pioneer-go-forth-and-push-westward philosophy is a central feature in the proud American mindset and heritage. But it's for that very reason that the value of the book needs to be questioned.

While much of the story focuses on a family's self-reliance on the Kansas prairie, the book preceding it - Little House in the Big Woods - does the same with the exception that the Ingalls family was integrated into a functioning Wisconsin community of relatives and neighbors. That book, however, is NOT the famous one after which a television series was made.

WHY the Ingalls family felt the need to abandon their community and settle in what was in fact disputed Indian Territory other than out of a lust for adventure is insufficiently explained. Unlike immigrants of the time, American pioneers like the Ingallses were not driven to the new land by persecution or famine at home. They drove themselves there and expected the local Indians to like it or stay out of the way. The Indians are portrayed as mysterious savages who are ultimately given what actually belonged to the hard-working white family. (I'm not at all surprised it was written in the 1930's.)

My third grade class was outraged at the injustice of the U.S. government telling the Ingallses to abandon their self-made cabin for the Indians, yet no one was outraged in the beginning when they arrived and no one was asked to question this. Stories like the Ingallses's are history that cannot be changed or forgotten, but like all history should be constantly questioned.

I would read this to children and elementary/middle school classes, but not without a corresponding story from the perspective of the Plains Indians, and not without asking children important follow-up questions to spark dialogue. Did the Ingallses have to leave Wisconsin? Would you have? Why do you think they decided to? Were the Ingallses malicious, naive, or justified in their pursuit? Can the rural dislike of government involvement be traced back to stories like theirs? Why was this story so popular in the 1930's, 40's, and 50's? Why is it still popular today?

Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
December 9, 2020
“There's no great loss without some small gain.”
If only we lived and loved in Laura's time...

I get hugely nostalgic for every time I read the Little House books. One of my favorite aspects about this series is that Wilder writes these novels in such a way that I feel like I lived through them.
In the West the land was level, and there were no trees. The grass grew thick and high. There the wild animals wandered and fed as though they were in a pasture that stretched much farther than a man could see, and there were no settlers.
Laura and her family left behind their little cabin in Wisconsin and set off for new lands and new adventures.

The Ingalls struggle to carve out a life for themselves while still celebrating the small accomplishments and triumphs of prairie life. They settle in Indian Country and we get a not-quite-politically-correct six-year-old's point of view.

Some of Laura's realizations and desires seem so out-of-wack for a children's book. For example, she becomes obsessed with seeing a little papoose (an Indian baby) and when she finally sees one - she quickly realizes that seeing one was not enough.
“Pa, get me that little Indian baby … Oh, I want it! I want it! … Please, Pa, please!”
This is a smallish part of the book but it definitely gave me a start. One hand there is the blatant racism purported by her parents and herself...but on the other hand, Wilder didn't sugar coat the views and opinions she grew up with.

Despite the racism of the times, Laura's elegant, yet simple words bring such a profound sense of wonder and adventure to life in a one room cabin.

Rereading it now, I still get the same joy as I did from the first time. There's just something so timeless and beautiful about Laura's books.

Audiobook Comments
Read by Cherry Jones and accompanied by Paul Woodiel on the fiddle. Such an amazing audio to listen to - highly recommended.

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Profile Image for Michael.
Author 2 books1,343 followers
September 28, 2017
I recently read this to my young son, and he couldn't get enough. He's a kid who loves nothing more than to spend all day in the woods building forts, so perhaps it's not surprising that he took to this book. It's a marvelous adventure story that left me in awe of the sheer indefatigable competence of this family. The relationship of the family to the natural world--the great prairie that they move to--is fascinating, as is their relationship to the Indians. Then again, "fascinating" did, on a rare occasion, turn into something overtly racist in the case of the Indians. I struggled with what to do about those passages. They were mostly the characters speaking, so one approach would have been to read it and then pause to critique, but I wasn't sure my son was quite old enough to appreciate that. So I took the easy way out. I skipped over those passages. I'm still uncertain whether this was the right thing to do. Perhaps in the future we'll revisit this and can have a fuller discussion.
Profile Image for Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile.
2,031 reviews587 followers
January 18, 2021
These books have been a blast to read. How I wish I could be as innovative and self-sufficient as they were back then! To be able to just build your own solid house is incredible, not to even mention all of life’s other requirements!
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,126 reviews104 followers
January 10, 2021
This is not really a review of the general contents and themes of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie, but more my personal take and attitude towards the fact that this book has been (and like so many others) repeatedly challenged and even at times banned/censored (mostly due to the way Native Americans are depicted and the attitudes shown towards them).

And yes, there are indeed some rather major issues with Little House on the Prairie, and especially the attitudes presented towards Native Americans are certainly problematic to say the least. However, the actual considerations towards Native Americans were in the 19th century often very much akin to those shown in the novel, to those shown in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s text and the claim that the "only good Indian is a dead Indian" was unfortunately common amongst many settlers (like the Scotts, who I think, uttered these words). And well, those who would challenge the Little House on the Prairie novels and attempt to have them banned are thus (in my opinion) not only being censorious, but even worse, they are in fact attempting to erase the unfortunate truth that Native Americans were often historically seen in this way. And indeed and in my opinion, Little House on the Prairie would therefore be a good starting point for discussions, although I do realise the novel could I guess also be used and likely has been used by those against Native Americans to bolster and justify their own prejudices (however, this can be and has been the case with many, if not most controversial books, and will likely remain thus).

And frankly, while I have more than a bit of trouble with the way Native Americans are depicted and the attitudes shown towards them in Little House on the Prairie (I especially find the often totally glowing descriptions of Ma, of Caroline Ingalls more than a bit hard to stomach, as she is really quite the stereotyper, much more so than Charles Ingalls, although also not yet on the same level as the Scotts), I do very much appreciate the fact that Laura Ingalls Wilder has not tried pretend that viewpoints towards Native Americans were different and more positive (since if she had, for example, written stories about the Ingalls family becoming close to and good friends with their Native American neighbours, although this might feel more acceptable to our modern sensibilities, it also would be, for the most part, woefully and perhaps even dangerously anachronistic).

And finally, one must also realise that while Little House on the Prairie is considered historical fiction, it was written at a time when negative impressions of or at the very least patronising and Euro-centric attitudes towards Native Americans were still very much not only acceptable, but common. The novel describes the past, but is also of its time (1930s America) and should be read, appreciated and approached as such.

And I also wonder, whether those individuals who believe that Little House on the Prairie should be banned and/or censored consider themselves to be educated, to be socially active, to be fighting against bigotry and the like (and the answer would probably be a resounding "yes" for most). However, if one strives to ban or censor books, one is behahving (and no matter for what reason one attempts to ban or censor a book) the same or at least in a similar manner as that against which one is fighting. Education, understanding, solidarity will never be reached, nor will the battle against bigotry ever be won by using similarly problematic (and draconian) means, but through thoughtful discussion and debate (in my opinion, banning books, no matter for what purpose, is and always will be an act of bigotry, an act of dictatorial over-reaching, an act that destroys freedom and only creates more strife).
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
November 29, 2020
Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #3), Laura Ingalls Wilder

The adventures continue for Laura Ingalls and her family as they leave their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin and set out for Kansas.

They travel for many days in their covered wagon until they find the best spot to build their little house on the prairie.

Soon they are planting and plowing, hunting wild ducks and turkeys, and gathering grass for their cows. Sometimes pioneer life is hard, but Laura and her folks are always busy and happy in their new little house.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1994میلادی

عنوان: خ‍ان‍ه‌ ک‍وچ‍ک‌؛ نویسنده: ل‍وراای‍ن‍گ‍ال‍ز وای‍ل‍در‏‫؛ مت‍رج‍م: ش‍ه‍رام‌ پ‍اش‍اوزی‍ری‌؛ ت‍ه‍ران‌ نشر ونداد، 1363، چاپ دوم پ‍ی‍ک‌ ف‍ره‍ن‍گ‌‏‫، 1367؛ در 271ص؛ چاپ سوم، تهران، اشکان، 1370، موضوع یادمانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده امریکا - سده 20م‬

عنوان: خ‍ان‍ه‌ ک‍وچ‍ک‌؛ نویسنده: ل‍وراای‍ن‍گ‍ال‍ز وای‍ل‍در‏‫؛ مت‍رج‍م: مهرداد مهدویان‌؛ ت‍ه‍ران، ق‍دی‍ان‍ی‌، ک‍ت‍اب‍ه‍ای‌ ب‍ن‍ف‍ش‍ه؛ 1385، در 264ص، مصور، شابک 9789644176319؛ چاپ دوم 1386؛ چاپ سوم 1389، چاپ چهارم 1391، در 264ص؛ شابک 9789645366245؛ چاپ پنجم 1391؛چاپ ششم 1393؛ چاپ هفتم 1396؛ چاپ دیگر 1398؛ در 333ص؛ شابک 9786000802868؛

عنوان: ک‍ل‍ب‍ه‌ ی‌ ک‍وچ‍ک‌ در ج‍ن‍گ‍ل‌ ب‍زرگ؛ از ل‍وراای‍ن‍گ‍ال‍ز وای‍ل‍در‏‫؛ مت‍رج‍م:‌ ک‍اظم‌ ف‍ائ‍ق‍ی‌.‬؛ تبریز، یاران، 1370؛ در 96ص؛

کتاب سوم، با عنوان «خانه ای کوچک در چمنزار»، وقتی پدر تصمیم میگیرد کلبه خانواده را در جنگل بفروشد، خانواده به «کانزاس» نقل مکان میکند، جاییکه پدر خانه ای کوچک در چمنزار برایشان ساخته است.؛ زندگی در چمنزار با جنگل متفاوت است، ولی «لورا» و خانواده اش خود را با زندگی جدیدشان سرگرم و شاد میکنند.؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 08/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Mike Angelillo.
124 reviews2 followers
November 4, 2007
I bought the CD of this story for my 4 year old daughter and have spent many days listening to it in the car with her.

This book should clearly be renamed "Pa's follies" as the entire story is about him bumbling from one misadventure to the next....

1. Pa leads the family across a frozen lake Peppin. The very next morning the family hears the ice on the lake start to crack and break up. By the luck of one day the Ingalls family is spared a frozen death.

2. Pa nearly drowns the entire family crossing a creek into the Indian country.

3. Pa nearly shoots good dog Jack thinking he is wolf after Jack manages to survive Pa's ineptness at crossing the creek.

4. Pa drops a log on Ma while building their house nearly breaking her leg.

6. While scouting out the new homesite, Pa bumbles into a pack of 50 wolves without his gun.

7. The chimney pa builds soon catches on fire.

8. Mr. Scott nearly dies while helping to build the Ingalls well when Pa doesn't check for gas.

9. It turns out the new home is built near a malarial swamp which soon leads to the whole family getting fever and ague.

10. The Indians, who Pa maintains are peaceful, keep harassing Ma and the girls when he is away and stealing their food.

11. The Indians, who Pa maintains are peaceful, come withing a hair of deciding to slaughter all of the white settlers.

12. After all of the family's blood, sweat and tears the government forces them to leave Indian country making the entire adventure a complete waste of time.

His name should be Charles In-galling Incompetence

Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
July 16, 2020
In this third installment to the Little House series the Ingalls family packs up and heads west toward Kansas. This journey brings adventure but also multiple dangers along the way.

This book was definitely my least favorite yet. I personally didn't like the events that were happening with the Native Americans and also some of the dangers the family faced. I understand the time period, but this was just not as enjoyable as the first book. I even found it weird at times. However, it was written well, and we enjoyed Cherry Jones narrating along with the physical book again, which I highly recommend if you're reading this with children.

In the end my son wanted to go with four stars, my daughter zero stars, and I was right around three stars with this one. We'll settle in with three this time around. We ended up skipping the second book Farmer Boy and will likely go back and read that one next.

Profile Image for Diane.
1,080 reviews2,656 followers
September 14, 2013
I have mixed feelings about this book. My mother read the Laura Ingalls books with me when I was a little girl, and I'm rereading them for the first time in 30 years.

"Little House on the Prairie" is the story of the Ingalls family -- Pa and Ma, Laura, her sister Mary and her baby sister Carrie -- taking a covered wagon all the way from Wisconsin to Kansas at about 1870. The author is vague on the timing, such as exactly what year it was or how old she was, but it seems to be written from the perspective of a 6-year-old. I read in a biography that she played a little loose with the timeline.

Once they reach Kansas, which was still Indian Territory back then, the family finds a nice bit of prairie and builds a log cabin and starts growing crops. But after a year there, Pa gets upset at news that Washington has decided to move the white settlers out of Indian Territory, and the family abruptly packs up the wagon and leaves the cabin behind, heading back to Wisconsin.

I'll start with what I liked about the book, which is the story of the wagon trip and the actual homesteading. I have admiration for all the brave pioneers and immigrants and travelers of the world who set out with very few belongings and started a new life somewhere else, surviving on their wits and the kindness of strangers.

"'We're going to do well here, Caroline,' Pa said. 'This is great country. This is a country I'll be contented to stay in the rest of my life.'

'Even when it's settled up?' Ma asked.

'Even when it's settled up. No matter how thick and close the neighbors get, this country'll never feel crowded. Look at that sky!'"

There were some lovely heartwarming moments, such as the Christmas dinner that was saved with the help of a neighbor who met Santa and carried the children's gifts to them. Or their loyal dog Jack, who survived a near-fatal river crossing. The book is filled with charming illustrations, and I had a vivid memory of some of the pictures.

It was fascinating to see the series of steps that Pa and Ma took to frame a house, dig a well, build a barn, make a fireplace, save seeds to grow crops, etc. Each event was a big deal and was an adventure. For example, Pa and a neighbor nearly died while digging the well because some underground gas almost poisoned them. And the whole family got sick with malaria one summer, but luckily a doctor in the territory saved them in time. Then there was the day of a massive prairie fire and only quick thinking by Pa & Ma saved the house. Or the time there was a panther on the prairie who was tracking the family, but luckily an Indian killed it before it attacked anyone.

Which brings me to what I didn't like about the book, which was racism against the Indians. I honestly do not remember all the racist comments from my childhood reading. The line, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian," is mentioned several times. Or how Ma was constantly fretting about them, saying, "Land knows, they'd never do anything with this country themselves. All they do is roam around over it like wild animals. Treaties or no treaties, the land belongs to folks that'll farm it. That's only common sense and justice." Did my mother skip those parts when she read these books with me? Or did it just not register? I understand it was the prevailing attitude of the whites at the time, but it was jarring to read it in a children's book, even one that was first published in 1935. I think this is important because if I were going to read this book with my niece, for example, I would edit out the racist parts, which is probably what my mom did. I don't see the need to plant the seeds of an old prejudice in a young child.

I struggled with whether to give this book a 3 or a 4, but I rounded up out of affection for the series as a whole. The first book in the series, "Little House in the Big Woods," has been my favorite so far. But I will continue to read these books and enjoy the stories of the early settlers.

I'll close with this nice thought from Laura toward the end of the book when the family is leaving the homestead behind: "Laura felt all excited inside. You never know what will happen next, nor where you'll be tomorrow, when you are traveling in a covered wagon."
Profile Image for da AL.
366 reviews365 followers
January 29, 2021
A honey-covered lullaby of a book! Yum! Slurp! Racism never went down so good! Beautifully written, and read aloud by a champ -- but Whoa, Bessie! -- even the characters express a smidgen of ambivalence about wresting land from the natives. "Won't the Indians be mad, Pa?" And what's with the child wanting her father to steal a Native American baby for her?
Profile Image for Jessaka.
889 reviews121 followers
August 29, 2019
Fried Apples and a Lesson in Racism

I loved this series when I read them around ten years ago. My favorite was The Long Winter.

A few years ago I went to visit her home in Missouri with my sister and niece. She had two houses, but I must say I loved the Sears and Roebuck one best. The other one had a wonderful antique mint green stove in it that I would have loved to have owned, except I think that it would not be easy to bake in, and maybe it used wood for fuel. My ex mother-in-law had a wood burning one once when she was renting a house in the country. It heated the entire house. She didn’t bake much, so she didn’t have to worry about getting the fire just right.

I read this book again because I had heard that it contained racist remarks. I must not have noticed it before. So, Laura Ingalls and her family take off in a covered wagon for parts unknown. Laura asked for a papoose, like another child would ask for a puppy. Her mother exclaims, “I don’t like Indians. No, you cannot have a papoose.” Why would Laura even think of owning a papoose? I suppose it was just a childish whim. And then her father talks about how the government is going to push back or kill the Indians, so they don’t have to worry.

So now, what was once an adorable story about pioneers that all children love; to an adult, can become a political issue, as it was in the book, Killers of the Flower Moon that came out after I read this book. This conversation was mentioned in it in detail.

The fact of racism in this book doesn’t ruin it for me, and I am American Indian, but I had a German father. I had a friend who was Indian, but she didn’t like pioneer stories, which was understandable. Me, I love them. I have another friend who loves them too, and she is married to a Native American and may be part Indian. So I asked members of our book group if they liked pioneer stories, some of us are Indian or part Indian. One wanted nothing to do with them because the white man had murdered the Indians. Three of us liked them because they were survival books and fun reading; They were history. We felt that other countries had to deal with these things as well. Then some of us who were Indian had family who came to America in the early days. Now as to the racist comment, I like what one of the group members said, “They were being honest with their feelings, and they were afraid of the Indians,” and I might add, “They should have been. Not all Indians were friendly.” And Indians had sometimes warred with each other, taking food from another tribe when there was a drought, kidnapping children, etc.

This doesn’t make it right what the Europeans did by coming to here, just as it isn’t right for any nation to colonize or destroy other nations. I just hope that kids who read these books will get a lesson from their parents on racism, as it would be a good way to teach them.

Here is an interesting recipe that could have been used by the Ingalls on the trail:

Fried Apples
Fry 4 slices of bacon. Remove bacon. Slice apples and add to hot bacon grease. Brown on each side. Serve.
Now whenever I fry apples, I used real butter, but if I used bacon grease, I would eat the bacon along with the apples.

Profile Image for Laurel Wicke.
341 reviews37 followers
June 23, 2008
I am a fan of the Laura Ingall's Wilder books, and I am enjoying them even more as an adult, sharing them with my daughter. This one moved a bit more slowly than Little House in the Big Woods, but I was still fascinated. I can hardly imagine a life so primitive. Some say Pa was crazy for moving his family away from the Big Woods where they had a solid footing, but the settler's spirit is responsible for the growth and development of our country and is still the heart of the American way. Who doesn't look to better the situation of their family even when it means stepping into the unknown? Mrs. Wilder's detailed descriptions of the hard work and difficulties fill me with awe and respect. It was such a different world in so many ways, but still I can relate to the deep family love and commitment that shines through on every page.

A word about some reviews knocking her for her politically incorrect treatment of Native Americans: We can and should be disturbed by history. It can at times seem unfair, ugly, and even wrong; however, ignoring it or rewriting it to suit our current cultural standard is ignorant. The truth is, during this period of history there are no easy answers regarding settlers and Indians. There was fear, distrust, and wrong-doings on both sides. Her description is historically accurate. It is how she really saw it. I do not think we would do our children any service by sugar-coating history as some reviewers seem to argue. It is by struggling with the injustices of the past that we invaluably inform our judgements and actions regarding the complex questions of today. Please let us not rob our children of the hard truth. Let us give them knowledge and experience and arm them to do better and be better today.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
July 18, 2016
So entertaining and so racist.

Is this the book where we start to learn how flawed Ma and Pa really are? Pa is certainly a happy-go-lucky guy with no foresight - taking his wife and daughters away from their family into the middle of nowhere (which by the way belongs to Indians), almost getting them drowned, burned and sick of malaria. And Ma, only concerned with propriety and never saying "no" to Pa's foolish ideas.

I'd be really worried to be married to someone like Pa, even though he plays his fiddle well and is handy with an axe.
Profile Image for Karen.J..
214 reviews178 followers
February 4, 2023
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Another very well written and delightful story by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Profile Image for Debbie W..
726 reviews492 followers
August 20, 2021
The Laura Ingalls Wilder series is a classic, but this particular book must be chosen with care if reading aloud to young children. It contains a few pages that are quite derogatory to Native Americans. Even though this may have been acceptable at the time of writing, the reader must be ready to explain this to youngsters, or don't read it aloud to them.

Overall, this was my least favorite book in this series! I almost wished Ma took a cast iron frying pan to Charles's head for all the danger he put his family through! The "Trail of Tears" scene was very heartbreaking! But Ma's racist rants against the Native Americans was the straw that broke the camel's back for me!
Profile Image for Duane.
828 reviews404 followers
November 23, 2016
Little House on the Prairie is the second novel in the series, the first being Little House in the Big Woods. But they are stand alone stories so they don't have to be read together. Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Little House books are semi-autobiographical and are told from young Laura's point of view. Yes, they are children's books, and they are written in a very simplistic style, maybe overly so for the adult reader, but perfectly suited for children. I don't think there is any doubt that the popular television series has really helped the book's perception. It has it's faults, like the insensitive treatment of the American Indian, for example. But it's earned it's spot in the annals of classic children's literature. For me, similar, but not quite on the same level with Little Women and Anne of Green Gables.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,884 reviews31.2k followers
June 1, 2018
I enjoyed the little house on the Prairie TV show growing up. This is my first time reading them. I enjoy seeing through the eyes of settlers and what life was like for them.

I had a very hard time with the attitudes of the day towards the Indians on the plains. I am not upset with the book. I think Laura honestly portrays the attitudes of the day and she lays out the racism for all to see. I don't like it, but that is how it was.

The thing I find so damning about the story is that these people called this Indian country. They willingly moved into this territory knowing it wasn't their land. They were so arrogant they thought they had a right to take that land and farm it. They thought they knew better than the people who this was their home for thousands of years. Then when trouble stirs up and Indians come in the house neighbors say things like 'the only good Indian is a dead Indian.' It is mind blowing.

I do like how Charles was portrayed. He gave the Indians respect. He couldn't speak with them, but he welcomed them in his house and honored them in his way even as he was poaching their land. I get why Laura was so curious. I understand why Caroline was so scared of these Indians coming into her house, but she moved to their land and then balks at them. I really don't like the character of Caroline right now.

I never knew this book was so much about Indians, but that is really what it's about. I don't remember that on the TV show. I also don't really understand the attitudes of the settlers wanting to go somewhere all by themselves and build from scratch. That is interesting.

No peoples are perfect, but this book is really about the sins and arrogance of the European race in my opinion. It is also a classic in American literature. It did it's job by showing a part of history from the perspective of settlers and it lets the reader make up their own mind.

The Indians could have slaughtered all the settlers and they had a big pow wow about it and they chose not to do that. They showed restraint and they gave up their land that was theirs by rights. They really did get the short end of the stick. I don't know many people who would leave without a fight. The leaders knew the soldiers would come and kill the people I'm sure. Just think if settlers came into present day Kentucky and we asking the current residents to leave. I don't think they would leave peacefully even if it meant their death. It really is so interesting.

Our country is a country of givers, we give to the rest of the world and we are also a country of takers. We are both contradictory things at once and it causes tension in us which is something we see on the national level now. Part of our nation takes what it wants, consequences be damned. These are the seeds of our nation.

I am very glad I read this book. It really did a lot to make me think.
Profile Image for Chantal.
899 reviews122 followers
January 25, 2023
When I was a child, we used to watch the tv series an episode at the time. Every day after school we got to see 1 episode. I never read the books only book 1 a few months back, but I have to say I liked book 2 more. The book is a realistic view of the time being. I could not put it down when I started it. This time I had the idea it could also be for grown ups. Up to book 3.

This book is in the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up challenge I am doing.
March 26, 2023
In comparison to the first book in the series, I found this one to be a lot more interesting, and a lot more seemed to happen. The book begins with the family leaving all that the view, packing up and moving in order to build themselves a home. It was wonderful how Ingalls wilder described how they went about doing this from scratch.

I had to smile when I read about Pa building himself a rocking chair because he considered that to be a restful weekend. My idea of a restful weekend is staying in pjs whilst laying about on the bed or sofa with snacks and books close by. I sound very lazy in comparison to Pa.

The prejudice is obviously very apparent from the outset in these books, and I understand it was the attitudes of the time, but if I were reading these to children, I think some explaining would need to be done throughout. These books are valuable history lessons, and full of descriptions of food, especially salted pork, which I absolutely love.

I'm looking forward to continuing with this wonderful series!
Profile Image for Beth.
100 reviews123 followers
August 8, 2007
I can vividly remember the first time I read this book. I was sleeping over at my best friend Mary's house when I was about seven or eight years old. She lived next door to me. Her family always slept with their attic fan on, and with a radio in each bedroom tuned in to a country station. This was strange to me, as nights at my house were totally quiet. Plus, I was a little freaked out at spending the night away from home, because I hadn't really done that very much at that point in my life. So, the noise and the mild homesickness added up to a sleepless night for little Bethie. So, after Mary went to sleep, I picked up "Little House on the Prairie" off her bookshelf. I'm not sure how she came to own that book, as she wasn't much of a reader. Anyway, by the time she got up the next morning, I was finishing up the last pages, and I was hooked on Laura Ingalls Wilder. That wouldn't be the last time I stayed up all night reading a great book.
Profile Image for Janssen.
1,575 reviews3,683 followers
March 21, 2016
This book just made me feel like the laziest person in the universe. When I have a day where I'm hurt and can't do any "real" work, I don't build a rocking chair.
Profile Image for Jane.
Author 10 books821 followers
December 31, 2013
Where I got the book: my daughter's bookshelf.

Finally did it, folks. Read that American childhood classic everyone else but me seems to have read. Of course I didn't grow up in America so I have an excuse!

And I liked it. Almost ran upstairs for the next one. Sure, the Indians are portrayed as savages who steal and threaten, and the Ingalls family (who had set up housekeeping illegally in the Indians' territory) make absolutely no attempt to understand or really communicate with them. But that's a pretty typical portrayal of the mindset of white settlers, who believed in their Manifest Destiny to overrun the land, that the only good Indian was a dead Indian, that they were biologically superior and that they would "improve" the land they lived on. All books written in the 19th and early 20th centuries reflect those unpalatable attitudes; our 21st century attitude is to feel outraged because we consider ourselves superior to our ancestors, but I don't suppose many of us would seriously consider inviting the tribes back into our suburbs. Perhaps our great-grandchildren will.

And if the Ingalls family were anything to go by, those settlers were as ballsy as they were naive. They appear to have survived that year on the prairie mostly by dumb luck. If nothing else, this little book gives you an idea of the difficulties and dangers of homesteading and portrays just how frightening the plains must have appeared to the hapless women and children who got dragged into their menfolk's big adventure. I bet Ma Ingalls breathed a huge sigh of relief as they left the Little House behind.
Profile Image for ruzmarì.
153 reviews62 followers
May 19, 2007
I scrolled quickly down the page and noticed that nobody has much to say about this novel. What _is_ there to say about Laura Ingalls Wilder's fiction/memoir accounts of growing up in the period of American expansion and homesteading? A lot - at least 7 volumes' worth, in Ingalls Wilder's own series. It's easy to categorize Ingalls Wilder's series as "children's" literature, but her books are also documents of an indomitable feminine spirit, a woman's relation of the American experience in a time when "high" literature focuses only on the cities of the East, dismissing the westward push as fledgling cities of the plain.

But there is nothing plain about the Little House books. Through Laura's eyes, we see the 19th century experience firsthand. The advent of the railroad, and early communications technology. The raw human communities that form around open space and the need for solidarity in times of hardship. We see petty jealousies and lifetime friendships, suffering and triumph, death and birth. We see the process of taming the wild land to make a working farm, and the struggle to build a functional home for a growing family, out there in the middle of nothing but prairie. Governmental decisions and big-scale events are mediated through the child's point of view - this is not "hard history," but rather history made intimate, a "this is how we lived it" reel, history that grows more perceptive and subtler as the narrator grows up.
Profile Image for Sarah.
352 reviews96 followers
December 8, 2022
Book number three is the first in the series to give me serious nostalgia, possibly only because of its title. I watched Little House religiously in syndication, and I remember thinking Michael Landon was like a more communicative version of my own kind dad - I loved how he threw back his head when he laughed.

Of course, fast forward a few years, and my thoughts transferred from Pa to Sully, on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, who was a total feminist in addition to being a drop-dead gorgeous mountain man. I watched that show religiously as it aired, asking Jesus to forgive me for all the naughty bedtime thoughts I was having about this man (how could I help myself, really?):

Okay, I’ve officially digressed…

In Little House, the family endures many harrowing subplots while settling in Kansas: fording a creek (that suddenly rises) and almost dying, catching malaria and almost dying, setting the chimney on fire and almost dying, being in the middle of a prairie fire and almost dying, being the focus of Native American war cries and almost dying.

Really, the Native American relations focus of this book is pretty tricky. And while Laura Ingalls Wilder doesn’t outright defend the rights of Indigenous people, which is a missed opportunity, she does raise the issue through little Laura in an intense scene with her father:

Pa said, “When White settlers come into a country, the Indians have to move on. The government's going to move these Indians farther west any time now. That's why we're here, Laura. White people are going to settle all this country, and we get the best land because we got here first and get to take our pick. Now do you understand?”

“Yes, Pa,” Laura said, “But Pa, I thought this was Indian territory. Won’t it make the Indians mad to have to…”

“No more questions, Laura,” Pa said firmly, “Go to sleep.”

Since this is a pioneer-type situation, book three is about 60% homesteading work descriptions, 20% near-death experiences, and 20% family bonding exercises.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Book/Song Pairing: Old Dan Tucker (Bruce Springsteen)
Profile Image for Karen Witzler.
477 reviews157 followers
June 19, 2021
My reread as an adult. Absolutely terrifying scenes washed through the eyes of a child in a settler family, having been recalled by herself as an old woman.

Also, abolutely beautiful scenes of the prairielands of the US (Kansas? Missouri?) as the ethnic cleansers first encountered them. Charles Ingalls could build a log cabin out of any group of trees he could find (let the deforestation of the creeklands commence), build a chimney, dig a well, and blithely expose his children to all manner of dangers in the hopes of becoming a rich and prosperous farmer. The one thing you can say for Charles and Caroline is that they had no wish to resort to capturing or killing other people - but over the course of the book the children nearly die of : drowning while crossing a river, wolf attacks (the wolves' natural prey of bison having been wiped out by the vanguard of ethnic cleansers), malnutrition (fortunately Ingalls met a man with a cow), malaria (watermelons? and they are saved by an African-American doctor) prairie fire, backlash massacre (which Caroline rightly fears) from the population they are telling to "move on". Never mind, that plowing up all of that lush prairie grass will lead to massive erosion of topsoil and the Dust Bowl event 60 years later. Are we all always so short-sighted in our own participation in dreadful historical progressions?

I loved these books as a child - but this volume in particular needs to be examined under the broader scope of history.

There is open and frank racism with some nuance. An Osage man becomes the one named "Indian" who has undoubtedly saved their lives. Laura records her child-feelings accurately. For me, there is an undercurrent of melancholy and time which often is a portent of great art, augmented by my adult knowledge that it will all be a spectacular and misguided failure. (At the same time, the Wilder family in New York, who owned the sort of prosperous farm Ingalls dreamt of, is experiencing economic devastation that will drive them West - where Laura and Almanzo will later meet -- not in this book - but now within my adult comprehension.)

None of these things detracted from my pleasure in the rereading.

I am not normally given to sentimentality, but 50 years later, the meeting of Mr. Edwards with Santa Claus still makes me weep.
And - Jack was a good dog.
Profile Image for Christy.
654 reviews
February 10, 2020
Loved this one. It brought back so many memories of watching the show with my mom when I was a very young child. Some of the scenes made me see it all over again in my mind. Like the time awesome Mr. Edwards shows up for Christmas and the girls get their very own tin cup, candy cane, and a shiny new penny from Santa.
Profile Image for Michele.
392 reviews22 followers
July 31, 2012
I read this book when I was six years old, and then over and over again until I was about ten. I loved it. It inspired my imagination like nothing else until Harry Potter more than thirty years later. For years, I wanted to BE Laura Ingalls Wilder. I loved when the grass grew long and I could pretend it was the prairie. When I was stuck in the outfield during elementary school softball I was imagining I was playing with Mary and Carrie. I read all the books and wrote my own biography of Laura when I was nine. I was thrilled to discover an actual biography (Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder)!

What did I love about the Little House books? I loved Laura. I loved that she felt real emotion. She was bored, frustrated, and jealous. I loved the adventure: the idea of moving slowly across the wilderness with all of my family's belongings in one small wagon was deeply appealing. I was fascinated by the wolves, Indians, and the details of the cabin building. I loved the idea of living in the past. It was years before I thought about how difficult life would be without the conveniences of modern plumbing. I must also mention that I was entranced by idea of wearing a calico-print dress and making my own dolls as well!

As I grew older, I grew to love more historical fiction. I loved exploring the past. I fell in love with Caddie Woodlawn, A Little Princess, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and, later, A Lantern in Her Hand. I was able to experience the hardships of girls all over the world in different time periods. Little House on the Prairie introduced me to that world.

I have read a variety of criticisms of The Little House Collection. People are bothered by the treatment of Native Americans or the embedded sexism of the family. My response to this complaint is, yes, Ma was a racist, and girls were treated worse than they are today. But Laura doesn't like it! And she wins, in the end. The Ingalls family could not stay in Indian Territory and Laura is the one who becomes an internationally known author, while the rest of the ladylike girls disappear into obscurity.

I am now a school librarian, and still recommend these books to my students. The writing is clear and straight forward without being too short or short on detail. There is no doubt that the book must be read in context, but in today's school environment, historical fiction is often the way children begin to learn about history.
Profile Image for Kerri.
980 reviews351 followers
June 16, 2019
When I was about eight or nine I started reading this series, borrowing from my local library. I didn't finish the entire series, but I read quite a few. I liked the way it transported to such an unfamiliar place and time. I was quite drawn to the idea of being self-sufficient, of building a house from scratch, of growing your own food. I found many of the remarks about the 'indians' (Native Americans) rather jarring, though I understood that these were the views of the time.

On this reread all of that still applies. I think now I perhaps have a better grasp on the dangers they faced, the wolves, a panther, Malaria etc. I still find the racial attitudes uncomfortable of course, though I would never want them to be removed from the book. It is important to be reminded that this was the way many people saw things.

I'm torn as to whether I actually like Laura! Perhaps that's a little harsh, but I'm not sure how much of the appeal is her, and how much is the fascinating environment they are in. I think I grew more fond of her as the books went on.

I have been reminded that while these books never made it into my collection of absolute favourites, I did really enjoy them, and wouldn't mind reading the series in its entirety at some point. I can't remember if I stopped because I grew bored, if I discovered another set of books I loved more, or if maybe I read everything my library had on offer. Whatever the reason, I think I'll be revisiting them soon.
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