Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7)

The long winter is finally over, and with spring comes a new job for Laura, town parties, and more time to spend with Almanzo Wilder. Laura also tries to help Pa and Ma save money for Mary to go to college.


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    Diane

    Dec 21, 2014

    rated it
    really liked it

     · 
    review of another edition

    About two years ago I started rereading the Little House books. It started as a whim after visiting Minnesota and driving by one of the places where Laura Ingalls used to live. I had read these books with my mother when I was a child, and I grew up with the popular TV show based on the series, so there was a hefty dose of nostalgia whenever I reread one of the books.

    Now that nostalgia has become even more powerful, because book seven, Little Town on the Prairie, was the first one that I read alo

    Now that nostalgia has become even more powerful, because book seven, Little Town on the Prairie, was the first one that I read aloud to my mother. My mom suffers from brain cancer and has trouble communicating, but she was so delighted to hear these stories again! She smiled and laughed, and enjoyed looking at the illustrations of life on the prairie.

    Little Town takes place in De Smet, South Dakota, when Laura was 15. She wants to study hard so she can earn a teacher’s certificate and help pay for her blind sister, Mary, to go to college. Laura gets her first taste of adulthood when she gets a job working as a seamstress in town, and she also gets attention from a young man named Almanzo Wilder. The stories are mostly sweet and charming, with the exception of mean Nellie Oleson and a bad teacher. Luckily Pa and Ma always have some wisdom and comfort to give.

    Overall this was a joy to read, and I was happy to again share this story with my mother.

    Favorite Quote
    “This earthly life is a battle,” said Ma. “If it isn’t one thing to contend with it’s another. It has always been so, and it always will be. The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are, and the more thankful for your pleasures.”
    …more

    Miranda Reads

    How would you like to work in town, Laura?


    When Mary lost her sight, she lost all hope of continuing her education. A kindly reverend tells the Ingalls family of a college for the blind. It goes without question that Mary will attend the seven years of school.

    Now, the Ingalls family desperately needs money to cover school costs for Mary. Laura takes up work in town – sewing buttons of all things. While she hates it, she wants Mary to go to college far mor. The Ingalls family’s crops are set upo

    How would you like to work in town, Laura?


    When Mary lost her sight, she lost all hope of continuing her education. A kindly reverend tells the Ingalls family of a college for the blind. It goes without question that Mary will attend the seven years of school.

    Now, the Ingalls family desperately needs money to cover school costs for Mary. Laura takes up work in town – sewing buttons of all things. While she hates it, she wants Mary to go to college far mor. The Ingalls family’s crops are set upon by great swarms of pests.

    And, to top it all, Eliza Jane (Laura’s future sister-in-law) teaches their one-room school – and she’s terrible at it. No discipline, belittling students and extreme favoritism. Even Laura cannot stand her. When Eliza Jane unjustly punishes Carrie, Laura escalates until she is thrown out of school.

    Laura gets the last laugh. She pens this poem and publishes it in her autobiographical novel – for thousands of children to read and remember:

    Going to school is lots of fun,
    From laughing we have gained a ton,
    We laugh until we have a pain,
    At Lazy, Lousy, Lizy Jane.

    She is my petty-revenge goals.
    …more

    Elizabeth

    I kind of don’t know how to deal with the casual racism in these books. The minstrel show in the chapter “The Madcap Days” appals me as an adult. As a child, living in Jamaica, sharing homes with Jamaican families and running in a pack with Jamaican kids, I actually didn’t know what the “darkies” of this chapter were supposed to be. Clearly they were men making music and singing, their faces disguised with black polish. I neither knew nor would have understood what they were supposed to be. They

    I kind of don’t know how to deal with the casual racism in these books. The minstrel show in the chapter “The Madcap Days” appals me as an adult. As a child, living in Jamaica, sharing homes with Jamaican families and running in a pack with Jamaican kids, I actually didn’t know what the “darkies” of this chapter were supposed to be. Clearly they were men making music and singing, their faces disguised with black polish. I neither knew nor would have understood what they were supposed to be. They might as well have been Morris dancers or chimney sweeps. I don’t think this excuses what’s going on here, but I do think it shows that A) what you read doesn’t necessarily damage you for life, and B) children are very good at blocking out the things they don’t get. I wish it wasn’t like this: but the book was published in 1941 and is set in 1882, so we’re stuck with it.

    And for a long time, as a child, this book was my favorite of the series. In many ways it’s straight-up YA, though it was published so long ago. I’m astonished, now, at how much of the book is focused on Laura being dissatisfied with her looks and struggling to be stylish. Some of the little conversations about style are wonderful – Ma is constantly, gently disapproving of Laura’s newfangled notions, and Laura does a fair bit of eye-rolling over Ma’s old-fashionedness. The crowd of high school kids sledding together, jockeying for social position, experimenting with electricity, eying up each other’s clothes, the first hints at romance, Laura’s burn-out with school, are absolutely timeless. The battles with Eliza Jane Wilder and Nellie Oleson are so frustrating and yet so satisfying, and Laura is no angel. (I love that when she writes the mean verse about Eliza Jane she excuses herself: “She meant only to please Ida, and perhaps, just a little, to show off what she could do.” I know this feeling so well. Also – wow, her verse GOES VIRAL! The innocence with which the teasing starts and the anonymous rapidity with which it tears through the town is all Laura’s fault and she knows it and feels terrible about it. It is fascinating to see how bullying has not really changed much.)

    Timeless, too, are moments such as Laura’s struggle to do the fall housecleaning and discovering how some projects always take six times as long as you think they will: “It was amazing, too, how dirty they all got, while cleaning a house that had seemed quite clean. The harder they worked, the dirtier everything became.”

    Quotations I like:

    “There is no comfort anywhere for anyone who dreads to go home.”

    “This earthly life is a battle,” said Ma. “If it isn’t one thing to contend with, it’s another. It always has been so, and it always will be. The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are, and the more thankful for your pleasures.”

    “I don’t see how anybody can be prepared for anything,” said Laura. “When you expect something, and then something else always happens.” [Ma responds:] “Even the weather has more sense in it than you seem to give it credit for. Blizzards come only in a blizzard country. You may be well prepared to teach school and still not be a schoolteacher, but if you are not prepared, it’s certain that you won’t be.”

    SO TRUE.

    This is also where I first read the Declaration of Independence. She quotes an awful lot of it.


    …more