Little House on the Prairie is the second (written third) book in the Little House series. It was first published in 1935. Laura is 6-7 years old.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Children’s
“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.”
“A long time ago, when all the grandfathers and grandmothers of today were little boys and little girls or very small babies, or perhaps not even born, Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie left their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. They drove away and left it lonely and empty in the clearing among the big trees, and they never saw that little house again.”
“Do you know, Caroline,” Pa stopped singing to say, “I’ve been thinking what fun the rabbits will have, eating that garden we planted.”
Recommended Age Range: 10+
What I Liked:
This book has more conflict than Big Woods. There’s the tension between the Indian tribes and the settlers (with the settlers eventually having to move out). There’s the danger of living and working on a prairie. It also has the information aspect that Big Woods had; Wilder describes Pa’s building of the house and the stables, the digging of the well, and Ma’s cooking and baking. It also introduces a character who will return in a later book. I love reading about how the Ingalls’ work to live off the land and it’s heartbreaking to see their hard work go to waste in the end.
Random bit of info: There’s only a replica of the house now in Kansas, but the well by the replica is the original that was dug by Charles Ingalls.
What I Didn’t Like:
It’s a bit slow in places and it just doesn’t have the interest value or entertainment value that later books have.
Another great book to read aloud to children, but once again, adults will enjoy it as well. It’s not very fast-paced, but there are good parts to it. If you want to read the whole series, read this one (obviously); if not, it’s skippable.
Coming Up Next: Farmer Boy