These Happy Golden Years

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Other authorsGarth Williams (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1971


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Call number

J Wi


HarperCollins (2008), 304 pages


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.… (more)

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User reviews

LibraryThing member Kiwiria
I love all of Laura's books, but if I had to choose a favourite, it would probably be this one. It picks up exactly where "Little Town..." leaves off and describes Laura's life now that she's suddenly a grown-up school teacher. I couldn't imagine teaching school at an age where I still ought to GO
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to school! It's fascinating. And the courtship between her and Almanzo is just adorable. I always finish this book with a content sigh :)
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LibraryThing member sriemann
See review for Little House #1
LibraryThing member wordygirl39
I've always loved this book. It's the end of the series as Laura imagined it, culminating with her marriage to Almanzo. All the hard things that happened after are left out and the readers feel a definite circular tie up--the story opened with Charles and Caroline beginning their life together and
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ends twenty years later with Laura and Almanzo beginning theirs together. Sweet.
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LibraryThing member Queensowntalia
This wonderful series continues with a look at Laura's teaching experiences and continuing blossoming romance with Almanzo. Favorites of mine when I was younger, the entire series is a treasure.
LibraryThing member mrsarey
Laura works as a teacher and becomes engaged to Almanzo.
LibraryThing member selfcallednowhere
Well, the unfinished business of my childhood is finally complete after finishing up this series. I thought it might be less interesting now that Laura was so much older, but it really wasn't. Her courtship with Almanzo is very sweet, and I was impressed by wanting to take the "obey" out of the
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marriage vows even way back then! It was a little hard for me to read about how sad Laura is leaving home when I'm about to do the same thing myself. And I'm sad to not have anymore of these to read! But I'm buying some stuff from the various spinoff series.
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LibraryThing member gillis.sarah
I like the relationship between Laura and Almanzo. It's very sweet and old-fashioned.
LibraryThing member rainbowdarling
These Happy Golden Years is an interesting change from even just the previous book in the series, though certainly very different from the first six. Laura is more adult in the stories and even takes on real work of her own - as a teacher. Her trials with trying to control a class of students, some
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of whom were older than her, and venturing into her first romance. It's interesting to read about how the courtship between Laura and Almanzo came about and how, despite Laura's attempts to keep Almanzo away. Most interesting is Laura's own form of 'feminism', which greatly varies from that of even twenty years later. Laura is against using the word 'obey' in her wedding vows, but not particularly in favor of votes for women. The stories are sweet and subtly romantic, lacking the overtures and public displays of affection of subsequent generations and all the sweeter for it.
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LibraryThing member BBallard09
Laura Ingells is a young fifteteen year old that is quite the grown up. In this books, this is the year that she begins teaching school. Some of her students are even the same age as she is. She is away from home living with a family, just so she can teach school. She becomes very, very homesick
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and wants more then anything just to go home. Every Friday, no matter what the weather is like, a very kind man that has a crush on her named Almonzo comes to pick her up and take her to her home for the weekend. Laura just thinks he is being nice, and ignores everyone when they call him her beau. Finally at the end of the school year and Laura goes home, she realizes she has feelings for Almonzo, and loves him as he continues to pick her up and take her places. Almonzo asks Laura for her hand in marriage.

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.
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
I loved the description of Almanzo's courtship. Despite Laura's reticence and shyness, Almanzo continues to seek her company and eventually win her heart. The ending chapters, when Laura is preparing to leave her parents home were so poignant - marriage is the end of childhood, even as it is the
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beginning of a new chapter in life.
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LibraryThing member amerynth
"These Happy Golden Years" is one of my favorites in the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It picks up with Laura when she is 15 years old as she starts teaching for the first time and travels away from home. The center of the book is really the courtship between herself and her future
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husband, Almanzo Wilder. Like many other books in the series, it's a fascinating look at life as a pioneer out west -- it's particularly interesting to see how the country around the Ingalls family grows as well.
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LibraryThing member MerryMary
OK, I'll admit it. I'm an unabashed fan. I love everything about this series, from the descriptions of household chores, to the family characters, to the old fashioned morality. I love Garth William's illustrations. I love the memories I have of hearing my mother read these to us, and the memories
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of my own voice reading them to my daughter. And this particular volume pulls all the pieces into a gentle happy ending.
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LibraryThing member SeriousGrace
When we meet up with Laura again she is fifteen years old and off to teach school at the Brewster settlement, twelve miles away. This is a period of great confusion for her. On the one hand, she is still a child, wanting to go to school to learn and to be with friends. On the other hand, she is a
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young adult, wanting to teach school to earn money for her family. Mary is away at a school for the blind and needs help with tuition. As she says, "only yesterday she was a schoolgirl; now she was a schoolteacher" (p 1). During this time Laura's fashion sense is becoming more adult with floor-length dresses and fancy hats. She takes up sewing on Saturdays to earn money for new clothes. She is starting the receive the attention of Almanzo Wilder as well. While this attention is, at first, unsettling to Laura she begins to look forward to his cutter (winter) and buggy (summer) rides. Soon they are courting under the guise of taming wild horses, but I don't think I will be spoiling anything to admit their inevitable engagement seemed sudden and uneventful to me.
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.
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LibraryThing member Hamburgerclan
Well, here we are in China and all my books and the Seattle Public Library are back home. I had planned to read a number of my daughter's school books--the Sonlight curriculum is literature intensive--but of the two boxes of school materials we had sent out, only one has arrived. Oh, well at least
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that one contained some of the "Little House" books. This one the girls left sitting on the table and I happened to pick it up and then had to read it through. It's the second to the last of the series, the one where Laura is fifteen, is finishing school and is catching the attention of the young men in town. Like the rest, this book is well written with likable characters and vivid settings--check it out. Mrs. Wilder's books are truly an American treasure.
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LibraryThing member thatotter
my absolute favorite Little House book.
LibraryThing member lmm161
I love this book. It was always my favorite of the series. I thought it was romatic and beautiful in its simplicity. I read it more times as i could count as a kid and a teen.
LibraryThing member librisissimo
Substance: The courtship of Almanzo ripens into marriage in a delightful story of Laura's coming-of-age , when that term meant "growing into adulthood responsibilities" rather than just having sex for the first time (the book ends with the cabin door not just closed, but never even touched.
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As usual.
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.
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LibraryThing member nx74defiant
I love the sweet romance between Laura and Almanzo. Laura works to help her family and her sister Mary. She has very little, but her family is loving and happy.
LibraryThing member Stahl-Ricco
“I will build a little house in the grove on the tree claim. It will have to be a little house. Do you mind?”
“I have always lived in little houses. I like them,” Laura answered.

Laura moves from home and begins her teaching career- at 15 years of age! And she gets engaged to Almanzo Wilder!
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And we all know how that usually turns out! :-)

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...
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
Laura is now working as a teacher and making money for her family. It’s been such a joy to watch her grow up and it’s hard to believe she’s a woman now. Almanzo courts her with buggy rides and I loved watching her show her strength and fearless nature as she becomes more comfortable around
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him. Definitely one of my favorites in the series.

“The last time always seems sad, but it isn’t really. The end of one thing is only the beginning of another.”
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LibraryThing member bookbrig
There's something so wistful and lovely about growing up and moving on, and this book just captures that mood beautifully. I really do enjoy rereading the Little House books.
LibraryThing member fingerpost
Laura continues her schooling, while also teaching school, as Almanzo Wilder patiently woos her. One of the better books in this uneven series.
LibraryThing member LibraryCin
Laura is now 15(?) years old and has her first teaching job. But it’s taking her away from her family and she needs to board with people near the new school… and the wife/mother doesn’t seem to like her much. Lucky for Laura, Almanzo decides to come bring her home on weekends. And the job is
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only for a couple of months. Once she is done, she can go back to her own schooling.

This is the start of this installment of Laura’s childhood/growing up in the late 1800s. The rest of the book follows her to more teaching jobs and with her and Almanzo’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 (“Golden Years”) 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 didn’t need to finish school to become a teacher. I really do love the descriptions of the prairie and of the weather.
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LibraryThing member 6boysandme
Summary: Laura grows up and finds herself teaching school and finding her soul mate. Little House makes me long for those simple times when we enjoyed simple things and worked hard each day. Though the days are gone I can still chose to implement some of those lovely true principles into my home
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and into my heart.
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. "
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LibraryThing member atreic
Well, we have known it was going to happen all series, so I don't feel it is much of a spoiler to say this is the book where Laura and Almanzo finally get together. I really enjoyed this - Laura as a young woman has a more varied and interesting set of relationships in her life than Laura as a
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child, and I even found myself fond of Pa now, playing the fiddle, and lovingly supporting Laura in her growing adulthood.

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!
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Newbery Medal (Honor Book — 1944)


Original language


Original publication date

1943 (1e édition originale américaine, Harper & Row)
1979 (1e traduction et édition français, Bibliothèque du Chat Perché, Flammarion)

Physical description

7.66 inches





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