The little settlement that weathered the long, hard winter of 1880-81 is now a growing town. Laura is growing up, and she goes to her first evening social. Mary is at last able to go to a college for the blind. Best of all, Almanzo Wilder asks permission to walk home from church with Laura. And Laura, now 15 years old, receives her certificate to teach school.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts.
©1941, 1969 Little House Heritage Trust (P)2005, 2016 HarperCollins Publishers
Avid listener on my daily commute!
I've read this series about once a year ever since I was old enough to read, and every
single time, my heart quickens as I approach this, the standout volume among the nine Little House books. I'm convinced that if Laura were alive today, she'd say this was the one she had the most fun writing. This is the book that details the time when all of the years of hard work, struggle and deprivation on the part of the townsfolk begin to pay off, and De Smet, South Dakota becomes not just a place to survive but a place to thrive, with real culture, cameraderie, joie de vivre and community. Cherry Jones is a solidly good, very appropriate narrator and she gives excellent voice to this happy story of a unique time and place in American history. If you can afford to buy just one volume, make it this one. Grade: A+
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
Ah, Laura's growing up! DeSmet has become the "Little Town on the Prairie", and here she finds her first job (rather, it finds her). Though the work is tiring, she happily does it: anything so that Mary can go to the college for the blind in Vinton.
The book is so filled with Laura's spirit: working, sticking up for little sister Carrie even though it gets her into trouble with the flailing and resentful Miss Wilder, sticking up for her very self when the wicked Nellie Olsen re-enters her life, fighting to keep the corn crop safe, and most wonderfully: the gaiety she finds in a life in town. There are literary societies, sociables, birthday parties. Oh, what fun!
But what is the young Mr. WIlder doing escorting her home? And oh how wonderful those two brown Morgan horses of his are!
Cherry Jones breathes wonderful life into the text: Ma's smiles, Pa's twinkling eyes, Laura's enthusiasm all come through with her wonderful narration.
One note: By now, you've discovered that these books will have you talking about the narrative in historical context. I.e. Yes, the west was settled by pushing Native Americans out and the racism therein. In this book, you'll be explaining "Darkies". Kinda touchy stuff, but you can manage, yes?
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