On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House, Book #4)

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Other authorsGarth Williams (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2004

Status

Available

Local notes

PB Wil

Barcode

1783

Publication

HarperCollins (2004), Edition: New title, Paperback, 352 pages

Description

Laura and her family move to Minnesota where they live in a dugout until a new house is built and face misfortunes caused by flood, blizzard, and grasshoppers.

Language

Original publication date

1937 (1e édition originale américaine, Harper & Row)
1978 (1e traduction et édition français, Bibliothèque du Chat Perché, Flammarion)

Physical description

352 p.; 5.13 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member LibraryCin
In the 4th Little House book, following Laura Ingalls-Wilder and her family, they have just arrived in Minnesota, where they trade a few of their things with a Norwegian farmer for his land and sod house, built right in to the hill. The girls go to school and church for the first time. The Ingalls
Show More
family has to deal with drought and grasshoppers on their farm, as well as winter prairie blizzards.

This is where many of the characters from the tv show are from; we meet Nellie Oleson in this book. One of my favourite chapters was their first Christmas tree at the church. These books are so very good at descriptions: the descriptions of the farm, the sky, the weather, the grasshoppers, the blizzards… These books are just really enjoyable!
Show Less
LibraryThing member amandamay83
Another one i hadn't yet read. I didn't love this one as much as the others. It's perhaps more of a let down because I just read Farmer Boy, which was such a delight. All I can think after reading this is, "Good god. Pa was a freakin' moron." I mean, really...he was a selfish twit. He was like a
Show More
squirrel, always on to the next shiny thing, never mind that he's dragging his wife and kids all over creation.

And the whole, "grasshopper weather" thing...really, Pa? You thought it was just "some Norwegian thing"? Pretty sure a grade school kid could figure that one out. Also, his going out in a blizzard...wtf was he thinking? Once again, I know kids who have better sense than that. He was a grown man. What the hell was he thinking?

I'm starting to dislike Pa as much as I hate Mary.

Anyway, glad I read it. Not bad, just not as good as the others.
Show Less
LibraryThing member librisissimo
The Ingalls family moves from Kansas to Minnesota, into a sod hut cut into the side of a hill. Pa builds a clean new house with the help of a bachelor neighbor), going into debt for the materials, but his first wheat crop is eaten out by grasshoppers, and he has to move away to work. Ma and the
Show More
girls learn how to manage on their own, but the hardships are mitigated by the beauty of the homestead and their love for each other.
Whether all of this happened to Laura's family or not, she once more "stands in" for the experiences of many of the pioneers caught short by their ignorance of the cycles of nature in a new land.

I started reading the "Little House" books because of my daughter-in-law's love for them, and because she was reading them to my grand-children. I somehow skipped that phase in my own youth, as my reading was not exactly "age appropriate" after about the 2nd grade, going pretty directly from Dr. Seuss & Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle to Robert Heinlein & Co.

I actually think I am enjoying them more now than I would have then, with some knowledge of history and raising a family, and a greater appreciation for Laura's writing style, which consists of non-nonsense narrative, sometimes blunt descriptions of harrowing events, a firm remembrance of what little girls are like, and a lyrical descriptive facility that conveys her love for the beauty of the landscape and animals that made her childhood joyful despite its tribulations.
Show Less
LibraryThing member psychedelicmicrobus
I read all the Little House books as a kid (and I've read the whole series more than a few times as a grown-up). I always enjoyed this installment, and was fascinated and disgusted by the grasshopper episodes recounted here. I always try to remember how this family took a lot of hard knocks but
Show More
never gave up. They always dusted themselves off and kept at it. That's admirable. I think these are books that can still be relatable to modern readers.
Show Less
LibraryThing member fingerpost
Laura's family moves to an underground house in Minnesota before building a fine wooden house. Mr. Ingalls gets everything to build his house on credit, because he knows his wheat crop will be so good when he harvests, but a grasshopper swarm settles in the area and eats absolutely everything that
Show More
grows. Pa has to leave to find work elsewhere while Mrs. Ingalls, Laura and her sisters manage on their own until he returns.
Best in the series yet. There was a real story (which put it ahead of the first two books) and there were no Native Americans, so there were no nasty remarks about the "awful Indians" that marred "Little House on the Prairie."
Show Less
LibraryThing member bookworm12
Each book in the series is a blend of sweet moments and heartbreak. For every Christmas morning filled with joy, there is a blizzard, leeches, wild fires, or a plague of grasshoppers. The things they survived are incredible. Yet despite the traumatic events in their lives, it’s often the
Show More
relatable moments that are the most memorable. Going to school for the first time, longing for a fur cape on the church Christmas tree, snobby Nellie who picks on Laura, a small child who takes Laura‘s doll Charlotte, etc. You feel like you are experiencing each moment along side the Ingalls family.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Marse
The characters from the TV show "Little House on the Prairie" start to show up in this book. The Ingalls have moved to Minnesota and are living in a sod house, that is, a house carved into the hillside beside Plum Creek. Pa begins to build a two-story house with prepared materials (unlike the
Show More
little house in the big wood or the little house on the prairie in which all the wood and material he used he chopped down and carved himself). The only problem is he bought it all on credit, expecting a big harvest. Then the locusts came... (Watch the movie "Days of Heaven" to see what that is like)

The older girls, Mary and Laura, begin going to town for school and dealing with the spoiled, bratty Nellie Oleson, whose father owns the store. We begin to see Laura's personality bloom into someone who is not just a sweet, obedient child. She has a temper, can become annoyed, envious, even disobedient.

The forces of nature play a huge part in this book and gives the modern reader an idea of just how precarious life was back then.
Show Less
LibraryThing member krosero
This one for me will always be The One With the Grasshoppers.

Said grasshoppers destroy the Ingalls’ wheat crop and smother their farm like a Biblical visitation. Worse, they stay. And lay millions of eggs.

Then one day they start marching on the ground, robotically, toward the west, finally
Show More
taking their bows without so much as a by your leave.

Another bit that stamps itself in memory is the prairie fire that brings the “wheels of fire”, or burning tumbleweeds, that also beset the Ingalls home.

“On the Banks of Plum Creek” recounts hardships like the fires in “Little House On the Prairie” and the blizzards in “The Long Winter”, but it’s funnier than those books. This is never more so than when Pa comes out of his den within shouting distance of the house; also when the girls bring in too much firewood; and when Laura, having attended church, stops feeling wickedness for Nellie Oleson and feels merely a “little bit of mean gladness”.

The book also has the child-eye perspective that is so prominent in “Little House On Big Woods”. But in that book Laura saw things that, though they were brand new to her, she could at least name, like a lake, or a town. In this book she’s constantly seeing things she has no name for, as when she first sees a belfry (“a tiny room with no walls and nothing in it”), or a rug carpet (the “whole floor was covered with some kind of heavy cloth that felt rough under Laura’s bare feet”).

And a blackboard, chalk and eraser: "On the wall behind Teacher’s desk there was a smooth space of boards painted black. Under it was a little trough. Some kind of short, white sticks lay in the trough, and a block of wood with a woolly bit of sheepskin pulled tightly around it and nailed down. Laura wondered what those things were."

All of this would have been ruined if the adult author, leaving the child’s perspective, had named these things before Laura could work them out herself.

The book is constantly playing like this with perspective. We are never told what something is until we’re shown what it looked like to Laura – whether it’s the leeches that she finds on her legs after taking a swim, or the burning, spinning tumbleweeds, or that visiting swarm of locusts: "The cloud was hailing grasshoppers. The cloud was grasshoppers. Their bodies hid the sun and made darkness. Their thin, large wings gleamed and glittered. The rasping whirring of their wings filled the whole air and they hit the ground and the house with the noise of a hailstorm."

I read the last 170 pages of this book in one day, and I’m a slow reader.

One of the most enjoyable, and startling, reads I can remember.

This book has a few unique stamps on it, and I could have dubbed it The One With Walnut Grove; or The One With the Hobbit Hole; or The One Where Pa Hibernates Like a Bear.

But nothing beats those grasshoppers.
Show Less
LibraryThing member krosero
This one for me will always be The One With the Grasshoppers.

Said grasshoppers destroy the Ingalls’ wheat crop and smother their farm like a Biblical visitation. Worse, they stay. And lay millions of eggs.

Then one day they start marching on the ground, robotically, toward the west, finally
Show More
taking their bows without so much as a by your leave.

Another bit that stamps itself in memory is the prairie fire that brings the “wheels of fire”, or burning tumbleweeds, that also beset the Ingalls home.

“On the Banks of Plum Creek” recounts hardships like the fires in “Little House On the Prairie” and the blizzards in “The Long Winter”, but it’s funnier than those books. This is never more so than when Pa comes out of his den within shouting distance of the house; also when the girls bring in too much firewood; and when Laura, having attended church, stops feeling wickedness for Nellie Oleson and feels merely a “little bit of mean gladness”.

The book also has the child-eye perspective that is so prominent in “Little House On Big Woods”. But in that book Laura saw things that, though they were brand new to her, she could at least name, like a lake, or a town. In this book she’s constantly seeing things she has no name for, as when she first sees a belfry (“a tiny room with no walls and nothing in it”), or a rug carpet (the “whole floor was covered with some kind of heavy cloth that felt rough under Laura’s bare feet”).

And a blackboard, chalk and eraser: "On the wall behind Teacher’s desk there was a smooth space of boards painted black. Under it was a little trough. Some kind of short, white sticks lay in the trough, and a block of wood with a woolly bit of sheepskin pulled tightly around it and nailed down. Laura wondered what those things were."

All of this would have been ruined if the adult author, leaving the child’s perspective, had named these things before Laura could work them out herself.

The book is constantly playing like this with perspective. We are never told what something is until we’re shown what it looked like to Laura – whether it’s the leeches that she finds on her legs after taking a swim, or the burning, spinning tumbleweeds, or that visiting swarm of locusts: "The cloud was hailing grasshoppers. The cloud was grasshoppers. Their bodies hid the sun and made darkness. Their thin, large wings gleamed and glittered. The rasping whirring of their wings filled the whole air and they hit the ground and the house with the noise of a hailstorm."

I read the last 170 pages of this book in one day, and I’m a slow reader.

One of the most enjoyable, and startling, reads I can remember.

This book has a few unique stamps on it, and I could have dubbed it The One With Walnut Grove; or The One With the Hobbit Hole; or The One Where Pa Hibernates Like a Bear.

But nothing beats those grasshoppers.
Show Less
LibraryThing member MerryMary
A rather abrupt jump in the chronology of the series. Laura left out some difficult and sad parts of her life. When this story begins, sister Mary has already lost her sight. Wilder also completely left out an unsuccessful move to Iowa and the death of her baby brother.
LibraryThing member Hamburgerclan
I'm not 100% sure, but I think the last Little House book that I've read is the first I've read. I remember one of my grade school readers had an excerpt from this volume. Anyway, I digress. Through circumstances not entirely in my control, I've ended up reading the Little House series out of order
Show More
and though this book is in the middle of the series, I've read it last of all. I was expecting a slightly modified version of Little Town on the Prarie, namely a series of vignettes from the ongoing life of Ms. Wilder. Instead I was a bit surprised to read a tale of the Ingalls family getting knocked down by this problem and that, then getting back on their feet to try again. It made me wish I had made the effort to read the series in order, so I could experience the overall sweep of the series. (And perhaps Ms. Wilder's growth as a writer?) Oh, well. What more can I say than, "check it out?" (Well, I suppose I could add that Michael Landon took a LOT of liberties with the source material when he did the television show....)
--J.
Show Less
LibraryThing member mrsarey
Laura and her family have moved now from Kansas to Minnesota. They live first in a sod house, built underneath the prairie. Then Pa builds a brand new house, on the hopes of the wheat crop. Unfortunately, grasshoppers kill that hope.
LibraryThing member ovistine
Third in the Little House series, again read by Cherry Jones. Quite good! This one deals with the Ingalls family's settlement in... was it Minnesota? At any rate, they start to grow wheat but are attacked by grasshoppers. Not a very happy book for the Ingalls family!
LibraryThing member gillis.sarah
This is in my top three Little House books. This one takes place when Laura is still young and spunky, which is so fun to read about.
LibraryThing member rainbowdarling
On the Banks of Plum Creek is possibly one of the more interesting tales of the family's journeys. The live in a dugout, deal with blizzards and wild animals, but also have neighbors and a town close enough to visit when the weather isn't too bad. The cast of characters changes slightly because of
Show More
the nearby town and suddenly life seems to be more than just about the Ingalls family. I liked the storytelling, too. Laura doesn't claim that she was a model child, or even that her sister Mary, though better behaved, was a model child. The two squabble, they struggle with tempers, jealousy, greed, temptation... normal human afflictions. I felt like I was a part of the lives of the people in the story, so alive they came off of the page.
Show Less
LibraryThing member hlselz
The best so far of the Little House series.
LibraryThing member denisecase
This is the story of the life of Laura Ingalls wilder. She lived in minnesota in the 1800's. She recounts her childhood memories on the farm and in school. You get introduced to her family and friends and the era comes to life through her writings.

I have a lot of memories of these books. They were
Show More
the first chapter books I read as a girl. I have also read them to my children. It is fun to hear her recount her life. We also enjoy the t.v. show. It is however very different from the books. As always the books are better.

I would read this book to the class and also find some handouts about life in the 1800's. We could talk about horse and buggy's, how life would have been without refriderator and haveing to grow your own food.
Show Less
LibraryThing member momma2
So far this is our favorite Little House story. The kids were surprised at how much action and adventure there can be settling down on a farm. Fires, floods, grasshoppers and blizzards kept even Blake excited to hear what would happen next. And Laura is at just the right age for them to identify
Show More
with. We have jumped right into the next one and hope it will be just as exciting.
Show Less
LibraryThing member FMRox
Read these as a child and loved them all. I had the 9 boxed set volume.
LibraryThing member eesti23
This is the fourth book in the Little House on the Prairie series. The Ingalls family has now moved to Minnesota where they start out by living in a sod house. With the promise of the wheat crop, Charles gets the wood to build the family a nice, new clean house. However, grasshoppers arrive and
Show More
ruin all of the crops and leave the family with choices to make. This is the book that the well known character, Nellie Olsen, appears. Many know here from the TV series.
Show Less
LibraryThing member amerynth
The fourth installment of Laura Ingalls Wilder's memoirs starts off a little more slowly than the other books, as the family moves to Minnesota and establishes another homestead. For the first portion of the book, the Ingalls family lives in a dugout house and the tales are more mundane. However,
Show More
soon Charles builds a house for his family and familiar names and faces start cropping up for fans of the television series. I enjoyed the tales at the end of the book far more than the beginning.
Show Less
LibraryThing member goodwink
The Ingalls family moves to Minnesota where they start out by living in a sod house. With the promise of the wheat crop, Charles gets the wood to build the family a nice, new clean house. However, grasshoppers arrive and ruin all of the crops and leave the family with choices to make.
LibraryThing member punxsygal
Another good tale in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. For some reason, I did not remember this one. After 94 inches of snow last winter, I had a good appreciation of the blizzard scenes.
LibraryThing member MeghanOsborne
Summary:
"On the Banks of Plum Creek" is the story of the Ingalls family and their lives during their stay in Minnesota. Many disasters and trials befall the Ingalls family, such as the grasshopper plague and a long blizzard. However, the strong love and close ties amongst these family members
Show More
enable them to overcome these historically accurate occurrences.

My Personal Reaction:
I have loved this book since my childhood! The series is so well-written it feels as if you are really in the story. Though many of the accounts of accurate historical occurrences are embellished upon by the author, there is a lot of truth in her books that are reflective of the times.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Have students create a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast wagon travel with our current car or airplane travel.
2. In this story, Ma tells the girls a "rebus story." Have students create their own rebus stories using an event from "On the Banks of Plum Creek," and compare and contrast it with today's graphic novels.
Show Less
LibraryThing member fuzzi
After leaving their "Little House on the Prairie", the Ingalls family travels to and settles in Minnesota. Pa has high hopes for doing well raising wheat but is thwarted by grasshoppers which eat everything in sight. Laura, now 8 years old, and her older sister Mary are finally living close enough
Show More
to a town where they can walk to school, and Carrie is no longer just the baby.

All the Little House books are good, but this one just doesn't speak to me as some of the others do. There is less of daily interactions and description of life, and much of the time spent near Plum Creek is skipped over.

Still a good read, and a necessary part of the series.
Show Less

Similar in this library

Pages

352

Rating

(1383 ratings; 4.1)
Page: 1.0801 seconds