Friday, September 10, 2010

Little House on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (pub. 1935)

This book is set out on the prairies of Minnesota and Dakota Territory. Laura is six or seven years old.

Bit of Trivia: Laura Ingalls was three years old in "real life" during Little House in the Big Woods, but the publisher said *logically* she shouldn't remember that much if she was that young. So, to make it more *logical* Laura was made to be five. In "real life", the Ingalls left the Big Woods when Laura was four, lived on the prairies for a year (Carrie was born then), came BACK to the Big Woods for four years, then went out AGAIN, this time for good. The stories from Little House on the Prairie are from that second time. That's why all the ages line up historically until the end of the series.

Just thought you might be interested to know that. I was :)

Anyway, onto the book:

This one has action in it. Danger. Excitement. Much more than in the first book :) There is quite a bit about Indian encounters in this book, and I found the conflicting views on those noble tribes that exsisted in the Ingalls family quite interesting.
First, Pa. Pa has a rather passive view on Indians. That can be seen by the fact that he has no scruples about "squatting" on Indian land. In the end, the Ingalls are forced to give up their home because it's on Indian property. Pa doesn't think Indians are bad or inferior, but he does have a healthy concern about them.
Ma is different. She doesn't like Indians at all, never has, never will. She silences Laura on the subject, and will not talk about them. She does show bravery, even a little kindness towards them though, when Indians showed up at the Ingalls' front door.
Mary doesn't like Indians either. She's very much like her Ma in this respect. She thinks Laura's interest in them borders on sin.
Laura loves the Indians. They're fascinating to her. I loved her childish simplicity as she asked Pa and Ma difficult questions such as "Where did the voice of Alfarata go?" or "Why do the Indians have to leave?" They scare her a little, especially when a few braves tried to steal Pa's furs. Laura even wanted to have a little Indian baby to keep one time.....
Carrie? Ask her. :)

I also thought that the "fever 'n' ague" chapter was interesting, but I'll let you read that again yourself.

Oh, this book contains the rather famous "Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus" story, a story which forever endeared the tobacco spitting, joke pulling, jig dancing Mr. Edwards to my heart. While Santa Claus is completely unknown in the March home, I found this sweet Christmas story a perfect addition to this book.

Jo's Rating:
Character of Characters: ****
Strength of Plot: *****
Overall Rating: *****

Up next: On the Banks of Plum Creek


  1. Good review, Jo! I think I stand with Pa--I don't have any problems with the Indians, but if I were to encounter them, I think I would have a more than healthy fear of them!

    I can't wait for On the Banks of Plum Creek! :)

    Elizabeth Rose

  2. Oh, I love this book! *giggles in excitement*. That was a great review. :) Can't wait for 'Plum Creek' (as we call it at my house.)


  3. Elizabeth - I agree! Although, I'd just put on my best Indian face if they came up and say, "Don't bother me, I'm 1/16 Cherokee!!!" Not that that would do anything..... :P