Saturday, September 11, 2010

On the Banks of Plum Creek

 On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder (pub. 1937)

Laura's human nature really comes out in this book. I call this the "testing boundaries" book. All of us go through a period like this at some point in our young lives, where we want to test our limitations, how far is "too far" and how much is "too much."

The story starts out with the Ingalls family finalizing a transaction with a Norwegian family for their dugout on the banks of Plum Creek. I love Ma's comment here, "Well, we haven't lived in a dugout before." They'd pretty much everything else :)

To Laura's grief, Pa has to trade the couple Pet and Patty in order to buy the dugout. He buys cattle instead to work the new place, but Laura doesn't think they're half as nice.

A different set of difficulties await the Ingalls family here. No Indians on Plum Creek, but there is the creek itself (a dangerous foe, as Laura learns the hard way) and grasshoppers by the millions. Also, Laura goes to school for the first time and meets her the girl who will come back again and again to bother her for the rest of her growing up: Nellie Oleson. Even though I'm not sanctioning Laura's action, I did feel a little "Good for you, Laura!" when FINALLY gets Nellie back for her meanness towards the end of the book. *giggle* I consider myself a country girl through and through, bloodsuckers are no big deal :)

A sweet part of this book to counter her "life-long enemy" is Laura's new "life-long friend." The rag doll, Charlotte, makes her debut here. I'm a big Charlotte fan, even though she doesn't do much. Maybe it's because I have a stuffed animal of my own that still sleeps on my bed (I did retire the thirty-two others to *under* the bed about a year ago). Anyway, I love Charlotte :)

Pa has an adventure, nearly freezes to death on his way home during a blizzard. He survived by burrowing in the snow for three days, and eating all the Christmas candy that he had in his pockets :) I thought that was funny.  Just goes to prove that one can live on candy :P If only Mama would believe that....

For the ratings:

Jo's Rating:
Character of Characters: *** (a lot of disobedience in this book, even though it gets corrected, it's still there)
Strength of Plot: *****

Overall Rating: ****

Bree, you mentioned that this is one of your favorite of the Little House books. What do you like about it? What things stand out to you?

Up Next: By the Shores of Silver Lake


  1. I really love their little mud cottage in the beginning, and also, it is so funny (though a little odd) when the cows go through the roof. :)


  2. That is a funny scene, although it scared me the first time Mama read it. A cow through the roof!?!?! Hehe :) I got over it.