I'm nearing the end of the Little House saga, with only two more audiobooks left to hear. Here are my reviews of three of the books in the series.
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Covering about a year in Almanzo Wilder’s childhood, this book details life on a farm in New York during the mid-1800s. Almanzo wants nothing more than to have his own horse to train, but his father doesn’t think he is old enough yet. Life on the farm is difficult and full of work, but there is still time for fun.
I liked the view of a year in Almanzo’s life, and learning more about him and his family.
Perhaps because it was not about Laura’s own life, I found this to be my least favorite of the series thus far.
By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
When Pa’s feet get that wandering itch again, the Ingalls family pack up and head west in search of their own homestead, but only after Ma makes Pa promise that they will stay settled. The family moves to a railroad town in Minnesota. After the railroad crew moves on for the winter, the Ingalls family settle down in the abandoned camp, all the while hoping that Pa can put his homestead claim in before someone else grabs the land.
I loved reading about life in a railroad town and about the railroad being built. Laura’s natural curiosity makes for an informative tale.
Once the railroad crew leaves for the winter, the story gets a little boring. This could also be because I’ve been listening to all of the stories back to back.
The more I listen to the stories, the less I like Mary.
This was a Newbery honor book in 1940.
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Ingalls family has moved onto their homestead claim, and is living in a small shanty. But as autumn approaches both Laura and Pa have an uneasy feeling. While in town, Pa hears an old Indian proclaim that the settlers are in for a very long and nasty winter. Heeding these words and his own uneasiness, Pa decides to move the family into town for the winter. What follows are seven months of blizzards, keeping the trains from bringing in supplies, and keeping the families secluded and struggling in their homes. As food runs lower and lower, two young men decide to brave the snow-covered prairie in search of a fabled crop of wheat that can help the town survive the long winter.
One might think that a book about being stuck inside for nearly 7 months due to seemingly endless blizzards would be a boring read; however, I found the story fascinating. Wilder’s description of the struggles her family experienced during that winter are concise and clear, worry interspersed with bits of joy. Her descriptions of the sounds of the blizzards, of the sluggishness of those final weeks of the winter, and of their complete and utter elation when spring finally arrives all make this a thoroughly gripping tale.
This was a Newbery honor book in 1941.