Little House on the Prairie


Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Published in 1935. 352 pages.

After my review of Little House in the Big Woods, I decided to skip Farmer Boy, the second book published in the series, and proceed with reading Little House on the Prairie as our nightly read aloud. The girls were very interested in what happens next with the Ingalls family and Farmer Boy is a bit of a digression from the series.

Little House on the Prairie chronicles what happen as the Ingalls family leaves their home in the Big Woods of Wisconsin and set out to build a new home on the prairie in Kansas.

Along the way they experience challenges small and great, but there is always love, solidarity, and Pa’s protection (not to mention his gun) to get them through. In this installment, Jack the family dog plays a prominent role, which the kids enjoyed.

The Native Americans (Indians) in that part of the country were an ever-present fear,  which Wilder handles with a fair amount of tact and finesse.

As this is a very well known series of books, I will keep this brief. The kids love it and are eagerly anticipating the next books which tell the saga of the Ingalls family.

It has taken a while to get through this one, as some nights -particularly during basketball season- leave us too tired to keep our eyes open. In addition, on a recent trip to the library, the girls talked their father into checking out Phillip Reeve’s Cakes in Space to read to them. We ended up alternating the two stories at night.

My kids knew I would never be interested in reading that particular story to them, but it worked out well. He not only read it but included appropriate sound effects, both human and technological.

As for Little House, if you haven’t read them do. Whether you’re 8 or 80, they are good books.

Grade: A



4 thoughts on “Little House on the Prairie

  1. Robyn says:

    Completely agree with skipping the Farmer Boy. If I remember correctly it never made it to a re-read with my son. (nor with my daughters)


  2. hearthie says:

    Farmer Boy is entirely skippable for young children, it’s more interesting as an aside for older children who want some historical contrast (different sort of growing up – his parents weren’t pioneers).

    Word of content warning: I forget which book it was, I think the next one up or the one after that, but at some point Pa does wear blackface during an entertainment for the town. A mom might want to scan ahead and be prepared.


  3. Bike bubba says:

    Being something of a gourmand, I loved Farmer Boy, especially the descriptions of breakfast with the Wilders. Yum! That, and the time the teacher borrowed Pa Wilder’s bullwhip to defend himself from a few young thugs. It’s not Laura, of course, but it does explain where this crazy ox-and-horse-driving man comes from.

    One thing that’s really interesting to me is how Wilder never really addresses the bank failures that induced both families to move west–which is weird, since one of the main theories is that Rose Wilder Lane (their daughter) edited the books. Lane was a prominent libertarian who ordinarily would have jumped at the chance to point out the government’s role there.

    I’m guessing that the publisher was not especially eager to tick off FDR. :^)


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