Little House on the Prairie, published in 1935, is the third book in the Little House series but only the second that features the Ingalls family; it continues directly the story of the inaugural novel, Little House in the Big Woods.
The book tells about the months the Ingalls family spent on the prairie of Kansas, around the town of Independence, Kansas. At the beginning of this story, Pa Ingalls decides to sell the house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, and move the family, via covered wagon to the Indian Territory near Independence, Kansas, as there were widely circulating stories that the land (technically still under Osage ownership) would be opened to settlement by homesteaders imminently. So Laura, along with Pa and Ma, Mary, and baby Carrie, move to Kansas. Along the way, Pa trades his two horses for two Western mustangs, which Laura and Mary name Pet and Patty.
When the family reaches Indian Territory, they meet Mr. Edwards, who is extremely polite to Ma, but tells Laura and Mary that he is “a wildcat from Tennessee.” Mr. Edwards is an excellent neighbor, and helps the Ingalls in every way he can, beginning with helping Pa erect their house. Pa builds a roof and a floor for their house and digs a well, and the family is finally settled.
At their new home, unlike their time in the Big Woods, the family meets difficulty and danger. The Ingalls family becomes terribly ill from a disease called at that time “fever ‘n’ ague” (fever with severe chills and shaking) which was later identified as malaria. Laura comments on the varied ways they believe to have acquired it, with “Ma” believing it came from eating bad watermelon. Mrs. Scott, another neighbor, takes care of the family while they are sick. Around this time, Mr. Edwards brings Laura and Mary their Christmas presents from Independence, and in the spring, the Ingalls plant the beginnings of a small farm.
Irony also becomes a part of this book. Ma’s prejudice about American Indians, and Laura’s childish observations of them, are contrasted with Pa’s more egalitarian view of them, and these views collectively are shown side by side with the objective portrayal of the Osage tribe that lives on and owns that land.
At the end of this book, the family is told that the land must be vacated by settlers as it is not legally open to settlement yet, and in 1870 Pa elects to leave the land and move before the Army forcibly requires him to abandon the land.
From the Back Cover
When Laura Ingalls and her family set out for Kansas, they travel for many days in their covered wagon until they find the perfect place to call home. Pioneer life is sometimes hard, but Laura and her family are busy and happy building their new little house.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s timeless classic, this gorgeous new hardcover edition features Garth Williams’s charming illustrations in vibrant full color. For anyone who has ever read and loved Little House on the Prairie, and for those who have yet to discover Laura’s world, this is a volume to cherish.
About the Author
Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957) was born in a log cabin in the Wisconsin woods. With her family, she pioneered throughout America’s heartland during the 1870s and 1880s, finally settling in Dakota Territory. She married Almanzo Wilder in 1885; their only daughter, Rose, was born the following year. The Wilders moved to Rocky Ridge Farm at Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894, where they established a permanent home. After years of farming, Laura wrote the first of her beloved Little House books in 1932. The nine Little House books are international classics. Her writings live on into the twenty-first century as America’s quintessential pioneer story.
Top customer reviews
When I was a child, I had the entire series of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Books. My babysitter at the time, gave me her set. I was careful to loan out the books one at a time to friends I knew would cherish them as much as I did.
I started giving these books to my grandchild, and at first we read them together, then she started reading them on her own. Now, we watch the old television series together, and it brings back memories of our days reading together. We both love the television series as much as we do the books, they portray the life as it was. Maybe not as primitive, but certainly as children , they accept the hard work and the limited income the Wilder’s have. This family is a superb e ample if a hapoy family, their ups and downs, and they have many, and the manger in which the family faces each obstacle. An excellent example of a true family life.
purchased this on Kindle and was very pleased. The illustrations are the same as the print version. You can navigate through chapters easily. All in all a book perfectly formatted for Kindle.
What Reads Want to Know:
A classic story from Laura Ingalls Wilder about the early life of her husband Almanzo Wilder living near Malone New York. The story centers around Almanzo and his brother Royal and his sisters Eliza Jane and Alice. (Laura his eldest sibling was 22 and living elsewhere and his youngest sibling Pearly Day was not yet born). Almanzo’s love of horses is a center theme of the book which takes you through the seasons in a farmer boy’s year. What amazes me is the lack of waste back then. Nothing was wasted. Oat straws were used to make summer hats, apple cores were saved to make vinegar, ashes were saved to make lye soap, and the fat from the pig slaughter is used to make tallow for candles and other uses.
Unlike the Ingalls family, Almanzo’s were for their part quite well off. They had large barns, a nice house with a parlor, upstairs bedrooms, and an icehouse. The farm sat on a large track of fertile farmland. Father bred driving horses as well as farming and Mother wove cloth for the clothing they wore. If you read just one chapter…. read “Keeping House”. Such a funny story unto itself it will make you want to read the whole story. In conclusion, a delightful book from my childhood that can now be shared via Kindle.