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By the Shores of Silver Lake (Little House, #5)
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By the Shores of Silver Lake (Little House #5)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  42,552 ratings  ·  556 reviews
Laura and her family are headed to the Dakota Territory for a chance to finally own their own land - and also stop moving. But the new town of De Smet is filling up with settlers lured west by the promise of free land, and the Ingalls family must do whatever it takes too defend their claim.
290 pages
Published by Turtleback Books (first published 1939)
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Summer
One of the things I love about this series is how the prose grows with the protagonist. Four-year-old Laura lives in a world with short sentences and simple feelings, and thirteen-year-old Laura, who has had to broaden her vocabulary to help describe things to her blind sister, inhabits a text that is intricately described and which gives a broader overview of events and situations.
Philip
Alright... By the Shores of Silver Lake... You ready, Eleanor?

E: Mm-hmm.

Dad: Ok. Go for it.

E: Um. Well. My favorite paaaarrrrt waaaassssss.... hmmmmmmm... hmmm. hmmm. hmmm. Chapter 8? I thiiiink. I think, daddy. I think... uh... My favorite part was when they went out in the shanty, and when they got- do you want me to tell you the surprising part that I liked, or the regular part that I liked?

D: Start with the regular part.

E: My favorite parts were the ones with the littlest sister, Grace!

(Gra
...more
Kressel Housman
It was toward the beginning of this novel that I abandoned the Little House books at age eleven, and to a large degree, I blame the television series. The book opens with the news of Mary’s blindness, which was shown with typical pioneer stoicism: “She was able to sit up now, wrapped in quilts in Ma’s old hickory rocking chair. All that long time, week after week, when she could still see a little, but less every day, she had never cried. Now she could not even see the brightest light anymore. S ...more
Treasure
This one begins so sadly, with two years since Plum Creek has ended, the famil sick with Scarlet Fever, and Mary now blind. I've always wished Laura had written about those years, as Baby Grace appears during that time, and apparently a baby brother was also born and died during that time. Clearly, it was a sad and diffucult time, but I find their fortitude inspiring and I wish there was more about that time.
Laura us much more grown up in this one-- I feel there is a separation between Plum Cre
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Torie
Oct 26, 2007 Torie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Girls who would rather watch the railroad being built than sit inside sewing
What blows me away every time about all Laura Ingalls Wilder books is how she can put me right in the place of someone seeing the world change in extraordinary ways that have nothing to do with the 21st century. I am right there with Laura's fascination with the railroad and trains and crossing the continent to "settle" in the West where no one but buffalo and savages and their little papooses have lived before. The books are instructive in how the popular perception of Manifest Destiny was was ...more
Kathryn
Perhaps my least favorite of the four I've read so far, but I still can't give it anything less than five stars. Most of the second half is wonderful! I guess, like Laura, I just didn't love the town and busy-busy aspects of their lives in this one but it was still well written.
Emily
Laura sure is growing up, as are the other girls.

Again, I polled the boys for their favorite parts. It's always interesting to see what sticks in their heads. Both of them liked the brief moment toward the end when Laura sees Almanzo for the first time, driving his team down the center street of the fledgling town of De Smet. They'd been waiting to see when their paths would cross and were gratified to know it finally happened. And they were sad that Mary had lost her sight.

Josh loved the part w
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Michelle
Man, oh man, again I start out feeling disappointed by Pa and Ma's life choices. Since we last left the Ingalls family, they have come down with scarlet fever and Mary is now blind. To be fair, they could have gotten sick any ol' place, but Pa, Plum Creek was clearly a bad decision for your family. Locusts, blizzards, BLINDNESS. The scary thing is, Laura's now 13, which means it's been a couple years since the last book left off. What the heck other crazy things happened that Laura doesn't want ...more
Melody
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 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
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Kristina
Finished reading this tonight with my 5-year-old. She begged me to read her the last two chapters, even though it was a wee past bedtime. I obliged. Can't dampen this budding reader's enthusiasm, can I? Bedtime be damned.

She keeps telling me she wished she could meet Laura. Reminds me of Holden Caufield in "Catcher in the Rye." She also wants to take train ride to see the vast prairie. Funny little girl.
Thomas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lora
Another great one in the series. The writing has matured. I absolutely felt the restlessness and wanderlust of Pa and Laura. I hadn't felt that in years. I could also see the difference in Ma and Mary- they wanted to stay put; they wanted roots.
I wasn't sure I enjoyed Farmer Boy, but to be honest, it serves as a fantastic contrast to the lives of the Ingalls. And I felt a little thrill in By the Shores when I saw Almanzo's name first mentioned. The whiff of destiny, perhaps? That was fun.
With ea
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Kirei
Two things that I noticed most:

Mary is stricken blind before this book starts, and this is the first book in which she is blind. She is almost absent from this book. (She is there, just sitting in her rocking chair.) Laura has lost her buddy, her bossy older sister. Laura hangs out with Carrie more in this book, but it just isn't the same.

When Laura first sees her future husband, Almanzo, she only notices his horses and wants those, not him! Such is the mind of a twelve year old girl.
sabisteb
De Smet, South Dakota 1879. Zwei Jahre sind vergangen seit den Ereignissen von “On the Banks of Plum Creek” und es gab Familienzuwachs: Grace ist nun das Nesthäkchen der Familie, die Mitglieder sich gerade erst mühsam von einer Scharlachinfektion erholen, die Mary, Lauras ältere Schwester, das Augenlicht raubte. Da bekommt die Familie Ingalls unerwarteten Besuch. Tante Docia arbeitet mit ihrem Mann Henry für die Eisenbahn und sie macht Charles Ingalls ein Angebot, dem er nicht widerstehen kann. ...more
Charity (CJ)
The Ingalls kids are getting older and are taking on more responsibility as the hardships get more difficult. Laura's becoming a young woman and her reflections and perception is changing to match that transition.

There was one part that really struck a chord with me. It's when the Ingalls are moving from the surveyors' house to the unfinished store building in town at the end of the winter. Laura reflects that she was "alone and happy" on the prairie throughout the winter, but now in town with s
...more
Amalie
I don't know what happened but there is a somewhat large gap between On the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake. We only learn that there had been some life-altering events in Ingalls' lives but never really take part in them. Grace appears without an introduction and scarlet fever has left Mary blind. Then Laura is much more grown up in this one (she is thirteen years old.) and to make it all worse, Jack dies.

Pa gets a job offer to works for the railroad and on the eve of Pa g
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Frank Stein

The only problem is that now I want to read all nine books.

I think I found this book so sweet and touching because Wilder doesn't try to gussy up any of the scenes or dramatize the emotions. Most of it is written in a strict, almost journalistic, tone, and everything from angry mobs to the death of their dog is told matter-of-factly. It heightens rather than dampens the emotions, and makes you respect the narrator even more. Although obviously written as an adult, the young Laura comes across as
...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
One of the things I've always loved about Laura's books is that she wrote the way kids think,at each stage in their lives. I related strongly to Little Laura in the Big Woods, the way she thought and felt about living as a child in an adult's world, where kids were expected to take responsibility fast. Do your chores, be seen and not heard, obey, work hard, be polite and get good grades if ever we live in a place with a school.

This installment shows Laura a bit older, but still a child in most w
...more
Mia Parviainen
As I'm re-reading this series, so many years after the first time I read these books, I'm amazed at how much energy and a sense of danger is in this book. Even more surprising is how much this book was edited, based on this letter from Rose Wilder Lane to Laura Ingalls Wilder, about the manuscript of this particular book.

Part of me wishes that Wilder didn't gloss over the years between this book and On the Banks of Plum Creek, since so much seemed to have happened--all of a sudden there's a fo
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Erin R
This novel uniquely portrays the author as a young girl growing up as a pioneer in Midwestern states. It tells about true events in a dramatized way, creating interest for the reader by giving many details about the events of the author’s life. In this particular book (as part of a series), Laura moves further west with her family to North Dakota and weathers a long, cold, and enjoyable winter there, savoring the last lonely months of solitude with nature before hoards of settlers move in and be ...more
03MckenzieO
By the shores of silver lake
Laura Ingalls Wilder
This book is really intended for anyone. It has a lot of good information and a lot of cool facts about the pioneer time period. The main issue in this book is that technology is starting to get big. More people are settling in premade homes, railroads, people are now wanting to settle in other places.
Setting
The setting of this story is in the pioneer time period. It takes place at Plum Creek, Silver Lake, Dakotas and the Great plains. These settin
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Lauren Brennan
This was the first of the Little House books so far that I just couldn't wait to finish reading. The first thing that I disliked was the fact that 4 or more years went by between the last book, On the Banks of Plum Creek, and this one. In that time two babies were born, one of the babies died, everyone but Pa and Laura had scarlet fever, and Mary went blind. No where in this book was it EVER mentioned that Laura had had a baby brother and he died. Then Jack dies. I loved Jack. He was...a good do ...more
Kristi
My favorite chapters in this book were the train trip chapters, in which the reader can share Laura's excitement and the novelty of the experience. I particularly appreciated the way Laura "saw out loud" for her now blind sister Mary. I also really loved the wolf section towards the end, with Laura's great compassion coming to the fore. There is a great deal of sadness in this book,a feeling of restriction and loss, which stagnated the plot. There is deep resignation in this book as well, which ...more
Heidi
It's interesting to reassess my love of these books as an adult. If you'd asked me as a kid, this would have been my favorite (it doesn't hurt that my father grew up very near De Smet so I know the area well). However, as of now, Plum Creek is edging it out. We'll see how the rest of the books go--I never made it through The Long Winter let alone read the others.

It was exciting to get a first glimpse of Almanzo since I've now read Farmer Boy (another I did not read growing up).
Mimi
A slight bit of repetitiveness made this not quite a five star read, but it was wonderful all the same. It was interesting to see the town come into being, and I really loved that the Ingalls had some friends in the Boasts.
It does have a darker tone than the previous books, and I think marks the shift between the earlier books and themes and the later ones.
I'd completely forgotten the first meeting of Manley.
Kate
I've been re-reading the 'Little House' series and really enjoying them. I find that they have a certain innocence to them, and I love Laura Ingalls Wilder's descriptions of her childhood experiences. The descriptions are so vivid as to put me there with her, 'seeing out loud' for Mary, skating along the lake with Carrie, and finally finding a home with the rest of her family. Can't wait to read the next one! :)
Ellinor
I really love the pioneer spirit in this novel. It is even stronger than in Little House on the Prairie.
I was feeling with the family and especially with Laura much more than in the previous books. I so hoped that things would turn out alright for them especially when Laura's father gets his claim.
I'm really looking forward to reading the other books in this series!
Robin
The previous Little House books are pretty happy, but this one starts the not so happy phase of Laura's life I think. Mary is now blind, Laura is starting to grow up and doesn't think she will ever leave De Smet. You know The Long Winter is coming just around the corner, so it is hard not to read this with just a little bit of dread.
Cari
Ah, yes, I forgot that By the Shores of Silver Lake was the one in the series that bored the ever-lovin' bejeezus out of me as a kid. Which is not to say this is a bad book because it most certainly isn't, it's actually quite good with Wilder's writing having grown quite a bit from her earlier style, and the story itself contains the several key setups for later books, including (view spoiler). T ...more
Dharia Scarab
Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up.

4 sta
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cause of Mary's blindness 24 120 Oct 18, 2013 07:12AM  
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5300
Ingalls wrote a series of historical fiction books for children based on her childhood growing up in a pioneer family. She also wrote a regular newspaper column and kept a diary as an adult moving from South Dakota to Missouri, the latter of which has been published as a book.
More about Laura Ingalls Wilder...
Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #2) The Little House Collection (Little House, #1-9) Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1) On the Banks of Plum Creek  (Little House, #4) Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7)

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“We'd never get anything fixed to suit us if we waited for things to suit us before we started.” 53 likes
“Roma tidaklah dibangun dalam waktu sehari. Begitu juga sebuah jalan kereta api. Atau hal-hal lain yang menyenangkan dalam hidup ini. - Charles Ingalls” 7 likes
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