By the Shores of Silver Lake c.2

by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Autore)

Other authorsGarth Williams (Illustratore)
Paperback, 1971


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Call number

J Wi


Harpercollins Childrens Books (1973), 290 pages


Ma and the girls follow Pa west by train where they make their home at a rough railroad camp and plan for their own homestead.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member Stahl-Ricco
Starts sad, especially for poor Mary. But there is a new Ingalls too, baby Grace! And a new direction in the writing, as I felt like this was the most descriptive book of the series yet! Maybe that was due to Mary's affliction, or maybe it was just the growth of the author. Either way, I liked
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This book also finds the family on the movie, again. This time, they end up in the Dakotas. There's a lot of writing, and description of the railroad and the family's hunt for a homestead. And of course, just life itself, including another Christmas! I've written this before, but I am enjoying this series and I'm glad my daughter has shared this with me!
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LibraryThing member lycomayflower
I've been dipping into a reread of the Little House books for a while now (this time is the first, I'm quite sure, since childhood). They have a gentle lyricism to them that surprises me as an adult, and the pioneering details are a delight. It always strikes me now how very close to real, horrible
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disaster Laura and her family were so much of the time, and how careful the parents are to keep real knowledge of that horror from the children. In this one, for instance, spoiler the family lives the entire winter alone on the prairie with no one else around for hundreds of miles (and later just one other couple nearby). Even a minor medical issue or, say, a fire, would have meant death. And later, when homesteaders start showing up in the spring, the family boards them as there is nowhere else. Ma improvises a lock for the girls' bedroom and tells them not to come out in the morning until she calls for them. Because she doesn't want them around the "rough men." As an adult reader, I know that it isn't just hanging out with rough men that Ma is worried about it. Pa is also presented as the one who knows all (how does he know all that stuff?) and who can do no wrong. But reading between the lines, he's kind of cavalier and sometimes downright irresponsible with his family. Much of these books are chilling now, as well as fascinating and pleasant, overall.
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LibraryThing member wordygirl39
Never my favorite. I think even as a child I sensed the desperation in Ma at having to move yet again, the family's unstable financial situation, Laura's struggle to become a young woman of purpose and meaning in a world that didn't expect that of her. Dark book, right from the early chapters when
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we learn Mary is blind, Laura's exposed to "rough men" with her "fast" cousin Lena, and she's forced to give away her childhood doll, Charlotte, that she later finds upended in an icy prairie pool. Lots of pain in this book.
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
The Ingalls family moves yet again, heading further west to the Dakota territory, where Pa works for the railroad as a payroll clerk. When the work is done for the summer and all the rail men return east, the Ingalls family stays for the winter, without a neighbor for at least 20 miles. But when
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spring comes, they have to rush to get their homestead claim in, as a boomtown explodes all around them.
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LibraryThing member cspine
It seems that as Laura writes about herself getting older writing becomes more mature, and the language in this one was really beautiful. But this book does have some of the saddest moments in it too. Now, onward to The Long WInter, which my mom and I got stuck in the middle of and never finished.
LibraryThing member SeriousGrace
If you know the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder you know these two things. Little House on the Prairie is not the first book in the series (Little House in the Big Woods is) and By the Shores of Silver Lake is the fifth book in the nine-book series. You also know "the Laura series" are
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both autobiographical and historical fiction.

By the Shores of Silver Lake is a continuation of On the Banks of Plum Creek. From Plum Creek the Ingalls family has moved to Silver Lake so that Charles Ingalls, the patriarch of the family, can help with the building of the transcontinental railroad. The Ingalls family is to become the first settlers in the town of De Smet, South Dakota. Told in third person by middle daughter, Laura, the shores of Silver Lake is an exciting place to be. She is happy to be out of the big woods and away from Plum Creek. Despite Laura's mother's admonishments to be lady-like and demure, Laura is irrepressible. She loves to run wild across the grasslands and go exploring. One of my favorite scenes is the wild pony ride she takes with Cousin Lena. Her spirit is as big as the unsettled territory her family has arrived to claim. She appears brave and adventurous although, interestingly enough, she would die if anyone knew she is afraid of meeting new people.
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LibraryThing member puckrobin
In this installment of her autobiographical series, Ingalls Wilder and her family begin the move to the American West that will determine the rest of her life. These books were so much a part of my childhood - at one point my mother made me a "Little House" dress in pink gingham with a bonnet. Many
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of my "pretend" games involved me living as I imagined Laura and her family living. I have re-read them many times over, and when I have done so as an adult I was interested to consider the values and morals expressed in the book as being morals and values that I absorbed, sometimes even when those values were not necessarily taught in my family.
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LibraryThing member amerynth
The fifth book in Laura Ingalls Wilder's terrific series of memiors about her life in the American west. This installment brings the Ingalls family out to South Dakota, where they spend a winter alone in new homesteading territory and see a town literally spring up around them as the snow recedes.
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I've found that Wilder's writing style has improved and I particularly enjoyed this installment's tales -- plenty of interesting historical tidbits and a few exciting tales as well (including fleeing from a wolf.) Although these books are written for a much younger audience (than me,) I'm very glad I decided to read through the series, as the books don't disappoint.
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LibraryThing member Molly2Faith
This book is the 5th book in the little house on the prairie series. The family moves to South Dakota and experiences many sicknesses as well as Laura's sisters' blindess. Laura loves riding the horses. She encourages the family to stay strong through all their sicknesses and a cold winter.
LibraryThing member selfcallednowhere
Well, I said I liked [book: On the Banks of Plum Creek] the best, but I think it might actually be tied with this one. It seems that as Laura writes about herself getting older writing becomes more mature, and the language in this one was really beautiful. But this book does have some of the
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saddest moments in it too. Now, onward to [book: The Long Winter], which my mom and I got stuck in the middle of and never finished.
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LibraryThing member hlselz
I didnt think this one was as good as the previous Little House books. But still enjoyable.
LibraryThing member sdbookhound
The first book taking place in Dakota Territory. Laura Ingalls Wilder had a way of describing her surroundings that make the reader truly able to visualize it themselves. Although other titles in the series are more my favorites, I still love this one.
LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
This novel was a return to lots more adventures for the Ingalls family. I particularly enjoyed seeing how the town of DeSmet was raised up from the dust of the prairie in a mad rush for land and business. My kids loved the night that the family woke up to snow on their beds from a spring storm that
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rushed through the unfinished cracks on their 'storefront' building.
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LibraryThing member June6Bug
Classic, must-read series for kids of all ages.
LibraryThing member gillis.sarah
This one has grown on me over the years. When I first read it, I didn't like it as much as I liked 'On the Banks of Plum Creek', but now I can appreciate it anyway.
LibraryThing member ovistine
Another excellent addition to the Little House series on audio CD. This is probably my least favorite of the books so far, as there's less frontier/pioneer material, but I think the next book will be better.
LibraryThing member mrsarey
The story of Laura picks up with Mary suddenly blind and Pa ready to move on again, to Ma's disappointment. He chooses to go to the Dakota Territory and promises Ma they will remain there. It's a very interesting story of how a town was begun and the rush on land.
LibraryThing member eesti23
By the Shores of Silver Lake is the fifth book in the Little House on the Prairie series and was so far my least favourite. The family have all suffered scarlet fever in Plum Creek, which left Mary blind. An offer of work takes the family West to Dakota Territory, where they become some of the
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first settlers in the new town of De Smet.
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LibraryThing member satyridae
I am not finding the love. I read these books over and over as a kid. I see their value as historical documents. I'm this far in the series and I'm going to stick it out, but when I finish, I suspect the hardcover set that has taken up a fair bit of shelf space in my library is going to be out on
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its ear.

Pa's a bit less annoying in this book, but Ma steps up the to the plate with her endless shushing and what is up with all of a sudden they are having church services all over the place? Laura's got less backbone every book. And Mary's a saint, Carrie's a whiner and Grace is a cipher.
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LibraryThing member dgadkins88
Laura Ingalls Wilder retains information from her childhood and retells the story of her family moving into the troubled Dakota Territory. Here she struggles to deal with the loss of the family dog, Jack and of her sister's blindness. She assists her older sister by describing their new
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surroundings as well as her new home she will be living in. Laura also loves to rides a horse and encourages her family to get through a cold winter.
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LibraryThing member amandamay83
With each book I read, I hate Mary more and more.

I especially liked the Christmas portion of this book. Likely all the more so because I know what comes in the next book, The Long Winter. (But, oh! How I laughed at Pa and his notion that South Dakota winters were milder!)
LibraryThing member EmScape
Laura and her family, 3 years older now, have decided to leave the Plum Creek area of Minnesota to go West again. The Ingalls farm hasn't been producing as well as hoped after the grasshopper fiasco and Pa is offered a job in a Railroad store. Again, the family leaves on a journey and starts from
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scratch at their destination. Better fortunes follow them this time, which is good, but Laura soon realizes she's not pleased with the life her Ma has in mind for her. Laura wants to explore and be wild and Ma wants a sedate schoolteacher for a daughter. I can see a conflict coming!
This pioneer family is fun to read about and good for young people to contrast with how life is nowadays.
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LibraryThing member atreic
These are all starting to merge a bit. Laura, forever trying to get out of wearing her bonnet and wanting to be out on the prairie. Pa, always on with some new place to live that will be the right place this time.

What actually stands out about this one?

A surprising amount happens between the end of
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the last book and the start of this one. Everyone has had scarlet fever. Mary has gone blind! And an entire new baby has turned up mostly unremarked on.

There are a lot more people in this book. Some of them are even characters from previous books, managing to cross paths with the Ingalls again.

They go on a train! And Pa gets work helping out with the railroad! It felt like such an anachronism, after all the minimalist wilderness life, to have a train, and pay disputes, but I guess it isn’t, and all these things just live together.

Their luck hasn’t really changed. Pa just manages to get their claim in because his friend distracts someone into a fist fight. They get buried in snow while they sleep one night, Pa nearly gets lynched by an angry mob of railway workers, who don’t like being paid two weeks in arrears. Their final claim turns out to be full of mosquitos (well, it is next to a swamp.)

The description of the giant wolf in the moonlight, and the chapter about building the railway with everyone working like a machine are both stunningly good.
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LibraryThing member skayw
I’m re-reading this series as a bedtime read aloud with my son. I didn’t remember this book very well and it wasn’t my favorite. But I still enjoyed the descriptions of family life especially once the railroad crews had left. I find it so interesting how the narration is more grownup as Laura
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grows up through the books.
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
This might be my favorite of the series so far. From the start of the book we know this is a time of change. Mary has gone blind from scarlet fever, the family rides a train for the first time, they move into a shanty in a railroad town, etc. I love Laura's adventurous spirit. Even when her path
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crosses with wolves, she's almost more concerned with their welfare than her own.

There are some intense parts in this book as well (SPOILERS AHEAD). The death of their sweet dog Jack, the confrontation of Pa on payday by angry workers, the moment when the youngest Ingalls daughter, Grace, goes missing, and a scuffle when Pa fights to place his claim for their homestead plot. Life on the prairie was not for the faint of heart.

I'm continually impressed with Pa's moral compass and the way he treated his wife and daughters. Even though Ma is quiet, he looks to her before making big decisions. They do not allow themselves to go into debt or take charity, but when an opportunity presents itself, like the chance to stay in the surveyor's house for the winter, they aren't too prideful to take it.

I've grown to love the Ingalls family already and can't believe it took me so long to read this series.
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Original publication date

1939 (1e édition originale américaine, Harper & Row)
1978 (1e traduction et édition français, Bibliothèque du Chat Perché, Flammarion)

Physical description

7.65 inches


0064400050 / 9780064400053



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