Classic Literature. Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML: The eighth book in Laura Ingalls Wilder's treasured Little House series, and the recipient of a Newbery Honor. Fifteen-year-old Laura lives apart from her family for the first time, teaching school in a claim shanty twelve miles from home. She is very homesick, but she knows that her earnings can help pay for her sister Mary's tuition at the college for the blind. Only one thing gets her through the lonely weeksâ??every weekend, Almanzo Wilder arrives at the school to take Laura home for a visit. Friendship soon turns to love for Laura and Almanzo. The nine Little House books are inspired by Laura's own childhood and have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier history and as heartwarming, unforgettable stories.
Original publication date
These books are the best. I remember reading these chapter books as a young child. I like how it talks about frontier days and Lauras struggles and new obstecals that she faces in her adult life.
One activity that you could do with children in your class would be invite someone older from your community and have them discuss what it was like back in the frontier days and what struggles and obstecals that they had to face. Have children dress up like women and men in the Pioneer Days, and maybe have food that was something they might of had in the pioneer days.
Probably the most interesting part of the story was when Laura was negotiating her wedding vows with Almanzo. She doesn't want the ceremony to include the word "obey" in it. Almanzo is fine with that but when Laura learns the reverend also feels strongly about not including the vow of "obey" she is shocked. Yet she is not a feminist. She doesn't want the privileged of voting. Interesting.
Note to the PC Mafia: You could find something to complain of here, but, at the time, it was considered good clean fun rather than racist cultural appropriation
Second note to the Revisionist Historians: For the second time, Ingalls chronicles the actions by the US government and army to prevent or punish settlers encroaching on the land belonging to the Native Americans aka Indians.
Laura is going on 16 years when the book starts and ages 2 years; time is c. 1882-1884.
â€śI have always lived in little houses. I like them,â€ť Laura answered.
Laura moves from home and begins her teaching career- at 15 years of age! And she gets engaged to Almanzo Wilder!
This book is a cute one, as the courtship of Laura and Almanzo gradually plays out along many a buggy ride! It's been a long ride since the first book, and it's been interesting watching little Half Pint grow. I don't know what the last book will bring, but I think the end of this one is the way it should have ended:
"It's a wonderful night," Almanzo said.
"It is a beautiful world," Laura answered, and in memory she heard the voice of Pa's fiddle and the echo of a song,
"Golden years are passing by,
These happy, golden years."
Honestly, how could the series have ended any better? I'll guess I'll see...
â€śThe last time always seems sad, but it isnâ€™t really. The end of one thing is only the beginning of another.â€ť
This is the start of this installment of Lauraâ€™s childhood/growing up in the late 1800s. The rest of the book follows her to more teaching jobs and with her and Almanzoâ€™s courtship.
I really enjoyed this one, as well. It feels like not as much happened in this one as in some of the others, but we followed the seasons through a few more years as Laura (and Mary) grow up and are branching out on their own. From the title of this one, I always thought they would be much older (â€śGolden Yearsâ€ť) in this book, but I suppose the meaning of the phrase might be different now. I found it interesting that she could go back and forth between teaching and being a student (with her regular class!). Obviously she didnâ€™t need to finish school to become a teacher. I really do love the descriptions of the prairie and of the weather.
Quotes: "Everything is simple when you are alone, or at home, but as soon as you meet other people you are in difficulties. "
"I hope that each of you can get more schooling, but if you cannot, you can study at home as Lincoln did. An education is worth striving for, and if you can not have much help in getting one you can each help yourself to an education if you try. "
For a romance, it is surprisingly dominated by many many chapters of excellent descriptions of horses. Pulling sleighs, pulling buggies, horses just being tamed, horses starting to be obedient - when Ma says 'Laura, do you like him, or his horses?' I really did laugh out loud. But they are such lovely horses, spirited and swift and glossy.
There are so many good aspects of Laura's character in this book - Laura learning how to be a school teacher and dealing with trying to have control over boys older than she is; Laura staying at the Brewster's, and trying to be a good cheerful helpful non-complaining person, while Mrs Brewster is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and wandering the house at night with a knife; Laura spending all her wages on an organ for Mary, and then trying to be supportive and happy when Mary decides to go and stay with a friend for the summer instead. She's not just a saint though, Laura deliberately spooking the horses so Nellie gets scared when Nellie has her eye on Almanzo is quite cheeky!
The last bit is a sudden tone change, it is a bit like 'oh, there should always be a horrible prairie disaster, we had better mention one', so it stops being weddings and singing clubs and compliant school children, and becomes 'and then a cyclone killed children and destroyed entire houses'. But, err, not Laura's for once!