The Long Winter (Little House, Book #6)

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Other authorsGarth Williams (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2004



Local notes

PB Wil


HarperCollins (2004), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages


After an October blizzard, Laura's family moves from the claim shanty into town for the winter, a winter that an Indian has predicted will be seven months of bad weather.


Original publication date


Physical description

352 p.; 5.13 inches


0060581859 / 9780060581855



User reviews

LibraryThing member beccabgood1
I love all the Little House books, but this has always been a special favorite. As with the other Little House volumes, it is a beautiful illustration of the love and support possible in family life; the beauty and humor that can bring joy every day. And yet, the characters are completely human, showing frustration and irritability with each other as well as the more uplifting emotions.

What makes Long Winter different is its suspense and drama. It showcases skills that Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't demonstrate in the rest of the series. She is able to move seamlessly from lazy end-of-summer days, to the challenge of making friends and finding a place for yourself in a new town, to a gradual recognition of trouble, to life-or-death struggle, to a heroic rescue and stalwart determination to survive. And then, life goes on, much the same as it did before. No one gets killed; no enemies fight pitched battles. This may be an old-fashioned pleasure, but it still has a lot to tell us.
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LibraryThing member neferset
Ahh, which did I love most, The Long Winter or Farmer Boy?

This is a great story of perserverance and just plain survival under some unexpectedly harsh conditions. When an extraordinarily harsh winter hits the Dakotas and the trains are unable to bring supplies, the underprovisioned homesteaders pretty much have to rely on their wits to last through the winter.

Reading about the simple gifts that Laura gave that Christmas makes you think, boy have Christmas expectations changed over the years. Living on wheat bread day after day for weeks, the clever light Ma constructed with axle grease as the fuel and the sticks of hay. My friend, Lynne and I actually visited DeSmet and saw an example of one of the sticks of hay, which was helpful because I really was having a hard time visualizing what one looked like.
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LibraryThing member Crowyhead
This one still makes me feel cold when I re-read it. Quite the story of survival!
LibraryThing member wordygirl39
This is the series' scariest account, but also one of the most interesting what with Almanzo's entrance and Laura's early jump into adulthood.
LibraryThing member Hamburgerclan
This is my favorite entry in the Little House series. The Ingalls family is settling down near the new town of DeSmet, South Dakota and their second winter there proves to be a nasty one. Mrs. Wilder does a great job of telling the tale, foreshadowing the long winter in the beginning and going on to tell how people cope as the cold weather hits and refuses to let up. One is almost tempted to think that the Ingalls family might not make it! Anyway, I'll have to find a way to keep this one on my shelf when the girls leave home!
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LibraryThing member hlselz
Very good. Reminds me of the cold winters here in North Dakota.
LibraryThing member sagrundman
A continuation of the Little House on the Prairie Series, The Long Winter focuses on the Ingall's family's survival through a blizzard and hungry filled winter in the prairie of South Dakota.
LibraryThing member jeriannthacker
Part of the Little House series, the Long Winter details the difficulties that the Ingalls family faced during a months long blizzard.
LibraryThing member candicebairn
I really didn't like this book as much as other people seem to. I never read the Little House series books as a young girl, this is the first one I've read.
LibraryThing member selfcallednowhere
Well, I survived [book: The Long Winter]. My copy still has a scrap of paper marking the place where my mom and I gave up on it when she was reading them to me, long ago. But it wasn't actually so bad this time. It was somewhat less fun than the other books just because there's not much happening, but it was still reasonably entertaining.… (more)
LibraryThing member jslhensley
This is a classic fiction book that tells of a pioneer families trials, and hardships as well as the good times that they experience as they make a new life out west.
LibraryThing member gillis.sarah
This is my least favorite Little House book. I'm not sure why, but I hated reading about the long winter. It just seemed boring to me.
LibraryThing member mrsarey
Laura and her family are stuck in the worst winter they've ever seen. It seems as if winter will never end, and food starts running short.
LibraryThing member auntieknickers
This has always been my favorite of the Little House books, and was the first one I read. Mine is the 1940 edition with pictures by Helen Sewell and Mildred Boyle. It's originally from the U.S. Army Eagle Club Library in occupied Germany.
LibraryThing member quantumbutterfly
The saga continues. Laura and her family are now settled in De Smet with no more plans to move. But their shanty is ill-prepared for the blizzard which hits in early October and the family has to move to their storefront in town. A man from one of the local Nations had come by to tell the settlers that this would be an especially bad winter--every 21 years, there is 7 months of winter. This is that 21st winter. The family spend almost all of that time indoors; the snow is piled too high to think about going outside except for the necessary chores of tending to the animals.
The family, and most of the town, come close to starving to death due to lack of food, because the trains could not get through to deliver enough supplies. It takes the bravery of Cap Garland and Almanzo Wilder (Farmer Boy himself) to get enough to keep the people of the town going enough to last until the Spring.

As always, Wilder delivers such a vivid tale that the cold, late fall days felt even colder than they were, and I wished for anything to eat which was not dry bread or potatoes.
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LibraryThing member StephJoan
I loved this book again. We (My three girls and I) just finished listening to this on tape in the car. It has infiltrated me. When we had a cold spell the other week I thought of it in terms of the cold Laura experienced. When I eat food I think how much Laura would have enjoyed it if she had gotten to eat it during that long hard winter. Laura gave us a real gift with her books. I love that we get to experience her life through her writing.… (more)
LibraryThing member rainbowdarling
Once the Ingalls family is settled in the new town of De Smet, they settle in for The Long Winter. The town is ill prepared for the winter that is to come, with temperatures lower than the thermometer can register and blizzards blowing more often than not. Supplies run low and people start to stretch what little they have as far as it will go. This is one of the more serious of the stories, and it highlights what kind of chances the settlers were taking by moving out to areas where the weather was unpredictable and likely unfamiliar to many of them, without the advantage of having time to have settled in and stored up in preparation for something like this happening. The events are well-told and it is interesting to read about the ingenuity that many of the townsfolk utilized to help get their families through the hard wintertime.… (more)
LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
This was such a hard book to read - the blizzards just went on and on. The parts that I found most touching were the scenes with Pa Ingalls and the Wilder boys. When he goes for wheat and the boys talk about the families starving in town - that was just such an emotional scene for me. And I had such admiration for Almanzo and Cap - who risked life and limb to save the town. We take our safe lives for granted in these more modern times.… (more)
LibraryThing member silversurfer
The Ingalls family and the rest of the town face 7 months of blizzards, food shortages and cabin fever. Once again, a really descriptive Laura makes you feel the cold and hunger pains in this tale. I loved it. She portrayed the family's strength and love that made the survive the Long Winter.
LibraryThing member Kiwiria
It's been insanely cold for an insanely long period of time (after Danish standards anyway), so I figured it was quite appropriate to reread this now. I read it in one sitting and enjoyed it as much as always. Definitely made me realize how lucky I am to live in a day and age where electricity, heat and transportation are things we can take for granted.

My mum used to say that this was the most boring book of the lot. Perhaps for that reason alone I never felt so. I realize it's quite repetitious, but you get to follow an entire town during a difficult time, and get lots of survival tips... should you ever be in a situation where they're actually needed ;) If I remember correctly it's the only book not told solely from one person's POV which I think was a good choice as there would otherwise have been far too much telling and not enough showing.
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LibraryThing member amerynth
Like all of the books in the series, "The Long Winter" tells the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder's days living in the American West. This volume is one of my favorites -- it tells the tale of the family's second winter living near De Smet, South Dakota and a winter that raged with blizzard after blizzard.

While the family moved to town, the family rarely saw other people because so much snow was dumped on the area from October to April. Families ran out of food and fuel, including the Ingalls, and had to get creative to survive.

The book is filled with heartwarming stories as the family works together and has some fun days along the way -- celebrating Christmas and trying keep themselves warm and happy.
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LibraryThing member marietybur
Early printing of 1940 orig. book, very good cond., orig. illustrators Helen Sewell and Mildred Boyle. Timeless story of the human spirit's power to survive told thru the eyes of a special young girl.
LibraryThing member wenestvedt
After the Ingalls family moves to the Dakota Territory, they spend a miserable winter in town when the whole area seemed to freeze solid for months. I can't wait until my kids are old enough to complain about the weather: I plan to lie boldly that when I grew up in Minnesota it was like this all the time.
LibraryThing member ProfWeber
One of my personal favorites from the tender age of 9... This is the story of hardship and living through challenge and strife. Laura's family has lived on their claim for about 6 months, but an early storm and prediction from an Indian encourage the Ingalls family to move to town (DeSmet, SD) for the winter in the late 1800's. Town had all of the advantages of school, stores, and being along the railroad for supplies. Little did anyone know that this winter would be worse than any they had witnessed.

Genre: Historical Fiction

I have read this book multiple times.

Response: Personal favorite. Appropriate for grades 3-6. Girls would probably like the book more than boys.
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LibraryThing member goodwink
This book is a beautiful illustration of the love and support that is possible in family life. the characters seem very realistic and children can relate to the struggles that they go with.

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