Thursday, September 3, 2020

Little House on the Prairie - Review

Little House on the Prairie

By: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Expected Publication: 1994 by HarperTrophy (first published 1935)

335 pages

Genre: Children's Fiction, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Source: Own (Baby Shower Gift before Little Girl was born)

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Goodreads description--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.

My first time reading The Little House on the Prairie was me reading it aloud to my 4-year-old daughter. At one of my baby showers, we were given a large set of classic books and this was one of them. I never read it as a child or in school. I was a little afraid the content might exceed my 4-year-old daughter's level, and I am certain she didn't fully comprehend some parts of the story, but she asked me questions so I know she understood some. There were a few tense moments and I worried about her getting scared, but the chapter breaks always ended in resolution.

I can easily see how this book is a classic. I have been reading more books in a similar period for my own enjoyment so The Little House on the Prairie enriched the description of what I have been reading.

From a personal takeaway, I have a greater appreciation for the many comforts and the abundance of choices of comforts that we experience today. It makes me realize that not only am I a bit soft (a bit! Ha!), but my children are even more so. I don't know Laura's exact age. I don't think the book stated. She's younger than Mary who was stated to be 8, I believe. So I would imagine she's about 6. She's remarkably least compared to kids her age today.

I thought the story was well told by such a young narrator. The description was vast and detailed. The moments of tension were well done and I felt anxious for the characters at several different points. My heart particularly appreciated the Christmas part, and I only wish my 4-year-old was as affected by it as I was--although I do have to say that she has a giving heart.

As an adult, I have to say that I got to the end of the book and thought that's it? We went through all of that for nothing. I suppose I was mirroring Caroline's feelings there. Maybe Charles has the right of it after all, but I was left feeling a little bit like it had all been a waste. Then again, I often have to fight my natural tendency to veer toward the negative.

All in all, The Little House on the Prairie was a pleasant book. I enjoyed most the reading experience of sharing it with my daughter. I appreciated the additional description of the period, living situations, and experiences of the characters. It was a wonderful, enriching book that is a reminder of all of the comforts we have today. Yet the ending left me a little wanting. Hopeful and sad all at the same time. The Little House on the Prairie gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read The Little House on the Prairie? What did you think? Let me know!

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