Little House #7: Little Town on the Prairie

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Paperback, 1969



Call number




Scholastic (1969), Edition: Reprint, 303 pages


Pa's homestead thrives, Laura gets her first job in town, blackbirds eat the corn and oats crops, Mary goes to college, and Laura gets into trouble at school, but becomes a certified school teacher.

User reviews

LibraryThing member TeresaInTexas
Of all the "Little House" books, this one is the happiest to me. Laura finally gets some decent friends to hang out with (Mary Power and Minnie) and even gets a social life during these early teenage years. I always read the chapter on The Fourth of July on that holiday--it really captures the
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small town atmosphere of celebrating in a community.
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LibraryThing member MerryMary
Possibly my favorite of the series. Life for the Ingalls' improves after the hardships of the Long Winter. Laura grows up, adjusts to living in town, starts looking to the future. She develops the characters of her friends a bit more, although her main focus is, as always, her family.
LibraryThing member LibraryCin
The Ingalls family have just come off that “long winter” with blizzard after blizzard after blizzard. Pa is working construction in town, in addition to growing corn and oats and raising a few animals on the homestead. In order to help with money to be able to send Mary to college, Laura takes
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a sewing job in town. Once that ends, school is starting. At 14-almost-15, Laura needs to be serious at school, so she can get her teacher’s certificate when she turns 16 so she can help with money in order to keep Mary at college.

A surprise person from Laura’s life a few years earlier reappears in her life at school this year. She knows who Almanzo Wilder is, as she sees him around town and he once gave her a ride to school when she is running late. As the Ingalls’ move into town for the second winter in a row, the people in town are creating more social activities to do. And the town keeps growing.

This is such an enjoyable series. The illustrations are very nice. There is one uncomfortable bit of town entertainment near the end, unfortunately, but at the time that it would have happened it wasn’t frowned upon, though it most certainly is now (to say the least). Laura’s recitation of American history is, while impressive, European white history. So, due to the time period it is set, there are some no-so-good things about the book, but overall, I still find these books a lot of fun.
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LibraryThing member Queensowntalia
Simple, embraceable writing about life in the 1800's. Here, follow the continuing saga of Laura, Ma, Pa and the rest of the gang.. this time with Laura's first real taste of romance.
This entire series is WONDERFUL, I adored it growing up, and I intend to share it with any kids I have someday down
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the line.
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LibraryThing member scuddahoo
This is my favorite of the "Little House" series. The story of getting a kitten to fight off the mice was a funny story! Especially, Pa's dream that a barber was cutting his hair, when it was a mouse! Yikes!
I also like Laura's defense of her sister, Carrie, against teacher Eliza Jane Wilder, her
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future sister-in-law.
One of my favorite portions of the book, besides the Garth Williams illustrated cover, is the copy of Laura's first teacher's certificate. Neat!
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LibraryThing member selfcallednowhere
Well, finally making it through the last 2 books in the series. This was about as entertaining as the others, but I had to knock a star off for the minstrel show scene, which was problematic, to say the least (even more so than the descriptions of Indians in earlier books). I know you have to read
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in the context of the time and all that, but it was still painful to read, and I don't look forward to having to explain it to my eventual children when they read these books. Other than that, a good read.
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LibraryThing member mrsarey
Laura is growing up and wants to help send Mary to college. She spends time making friends, studying and getting to know a young man named Almanzo.
LibraryThing member gillis.sarah
Again, not one of my favorites, but still good.
LibraryThing member jackiediorio
"Little Town on the Prairie" covers the life of the famous Laura Ingalls Wilder as she gets her teaching certificate and begins dating Almanzo Wilder. A well known classic, this book is much beloved by many out there; but it shouldn't be. While the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder can be entralling for
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young girls, the use of pa in Blackface in this book is completely unacceptable. Children today should not be exposed to such material unless heavily under the guide of an adult who can coax them through the controversies inherent in the text. This book has a place in an academic library as it is a very important part of American literary history, but it doesn't have a place in the children's sections of libraries. Librarians should consider moving this book to the top shelf, so that students can't find this tome accidentally. If possible, it could be desirable to weed this tome altogether, but considering how many adults love the series that might be impossible. A display or seminar on the problems with the series could be a good way to make this series a teaching moment for today's children, but there many be some resistance from parents with fond memories.
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LibraryThing member wordygirl39
Life becomes a bit better for the Ingalls and Laura.
LibraryThing member June6Bug
Classic, must-read series for kids of all ages.
LibraryThing member dgadkins88
The Ingalls family packs up their covered wagon and sets off for the big skies of the Kansas Territory, where wide open land stretches as far as the eye can see. Just when they begin to feel settled, they are caught in the middle of a dangerous conflict.
LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
In this book, the reader has to face the fact that Laura is really pretty grown up. She is contemplating her future as a school teacher and Almanzo Wilder is beginning to court her. Mary has passed out of the main thrust of the story since she has gone away to school. Reading about how the town
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entertained itself with spelling bees and school exhibitions and such was interesting. In the age of t.v. we forget how important social gatherings were.
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LibraryThing member Kiwiria
This is one of my favourite LIW books. I'm fascinated by the descriptions of life in town. Two things that struck me in particular were a) how modestly they lived and b) how quickly they had to grow up. Just think of Laura, going off to teach at age 15. I was no where near mature enough for that at
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that age. And they all seemed so selfless too - always passing on things to each other, because they didn't need them themselves, and thought the other person would like them more.
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LibraryThing member Naisy
I grew up reading Little House on the Prairie books and watching the weekly TV show every Sunday night. I introduced this series to my daughter and she took off with it. We had to hunt down all the books in every used book store we could find. We read this one together and I enjoyed reading it just
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as much this time around, many, many years later. When you read this book you feel like you know exactly what it would have been like to live in that time.
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LibraryThing member Hamburgerclan
The "Little House" series offers excellent glimpses into the life of midwestern pioneers of the late 19th Century. Of course some glimpses are more interesting than others. "Little Town" talks less about pioneers eking out a living from the wilderness and more about the social life of a young
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teenage girl. A tad boring for my tastes--though maybe I'm just longing for a tale involving exploding spaceships. Anyway, the book IS well written, and a must read if you are reading the whole series. So check it out.
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LibraryThing member rainbowdarling
At the start of Little Town on the Prairie, there seems to be a shift from the other Little House books. Where previously in the stories, Laura has been a little girl, suddenly she is taking on real work, has an interest in what her clothes and figure look like and is taking notice of the things
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going on in town for purely social reasons rather than what seems fun to a little girl. A lot of this story focuses around the family's intent to get Mary to a college for the blind and then about Laura's school times and the social 'whirl' of town. The stories are sweet and quaint in a way that is classic and comforting. The things that were important to girls then is so different than now, and the stories told in this book highlight that while still making it interesting for the reader who may not understand the conventions of the time.
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LibraryThing member PollyMoore3
As appealing and delightful as all the series. I love the account of making Mary's dress. Yet read the description of De Smet: "The town was like a sore on the beautiful, wild prairie......" And "Ma hated Indians". There is a darker side to these books.
LibraryThing member amerynth
Having read nearly all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books about her life growing up in the West, I found this one a little disappointing. Most of the books I really enjoyed but this particular volume wasn't as interesting to me as the rest. Perhaps it's because there is less about Laura's family, with
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Mary off to college, and more about her interaction with other townsfolk. This doesn't make it a bad book -- on the contrary, I'm glad I read it -- it just makes it one of my least favorites of the series thus far.
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
The town of De Smet is growing, as is Laura. Now 15, she is about to finish school, hopefully to get her teacher's certificate. Mary is sent to college, and little Carrie is a weak child, but growing too. A decent entry in the series, severely marred by one chapter, "The Madcap Days," which adds
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absolutely nothing to the story other than a heavy dose of racism. If that one chapter were simply ripped out, it would be a much better book. Since these stories are at least semi-autobiographical, I assume the dreadful minstrel show depicted in that chapter did actually happen, but that doesn't make it any less appalling to a reader today.
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
A lot of this book focused on Laura’s time in school. Thanks to Nellie, who moved to town, the teacher hates Laura. Luckily she has sweet friends who stand by her. Laura also gets her first job, sewing shirts in town. She and her parents are saving money to send Mary to college and she is
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thrilled to be able to do her part.

It’s important to note that Ma’s hatred of the Indians and a black face musical show are unfortunate parts of the book. I know that those things were accepted in that time. I’ve use them to open conversations about prejudice with my kiddo. No matter when it’s written, it’s still not ok.
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LibraryThing member BookConcierge
Digital audiobook performed by Cherry Jones

Book seven in the popular classic Little House series, has Laura growing into a young lady. She feels that the new teacher, Miss Wilder, is unfairly picking on her and her sister. Nellie Oleson seems to be thwarting Laura at every turn. Mary has left
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to go to a college for the blind, and Laura takes on a part time job to help pay the expenses. The town is growing and with growth come new opportunities for socializing. Laura passes her examination to be certified as a teacher, and love begins to blossom.

I love this series for the way the pioneer spirit is portrayed and the strong family relationships.

THIS book, however, has a scene that is very uncomfortable for modern readers. The towns folks put on a minstrel show, including performers in blackface. I know this is historically accurate to the period, but I just cringed reading about it.

Cherry Jones does a fine job narrating the audiobook. I particularly like it when she sings the hymns or folk songs.
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LibraryThing member SeriousGrace
At this point in the "Little House" series Ma, Pa and the four daughters, Mary, Laura, Carrie and Grace, have moved to town so that Pa can finish the homestead. This is their second year in De Smet and the little homestead is growing. Pa's farming abilities are increasing with the addition of
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chickens, corn, and a bigger garden. The town is growing as well. A church has been built and the community is getting together for Friday Literary nights at the school where games like spelling bees, charades and debates are held. At this time Mary is sent away to a college for the blind and Laura is nearly sixteen years old. She is on her way to becoming a school teacher. Her focus is on studying hard so that she will be ready for the career when she turns sixteen. Another step towards adulthood is the growing, albeit confused, attraction to Almanzo Wilder. His courtship is odd to her because she thinks of him as "old" and more of a friend of her father's than hers.
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LibraryThing member Stahl-Ricco
Not much excitement in this one. Laura works, the town grows, and Almanzo Wilder comes around a bit more. The story does give the reader a good taste of life back then, along with the racism, and that held some interest. But not enough for me to rate it higher. Maybe I'm just getting played out
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with the Ingalls family. Not sure. But I will begin book 8 soon with my daughter, and I do appreciate the bond we are sharing over Laura's story. And the book did end on a high note! AND, they didn't move!!!
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LibraryThing member librisissimo
Substance: After the long winter, through the summer, into the next winter. The Oleson family returns, as nasty as ever. Laura is coming on 15 when the book starts.


Newbery Medal (Honor Book — 1942)


Original publication date

1941 (1e édition originale américaine, Harper & Row)
1979 (1e traduction et édition français, Bibliothèque du Chat Perché, Flammarion)


0590488112 / 9780590488112
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