On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House, #4)
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On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House #4)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  61,039 ratings  ·  782 reviews
The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as they leave their little house on the prairie and travel in their covered wagon to Minnesota. Here they settle in a little house made of sod beside the banks of beautiful Plum Creek.

Soon Pa builds a wonderful new little house with real glass windows and a hinged door. Laura and her sister Mary go to school, help wi...more
240 pages
Published (first published 1937)
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Diane
I was visiting relatives in Minnesota recently and was hit with a wave of nostalgia when I saw a sign for the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in Walnut Grove. Somewhere in my mother's photo collection there is a picture of 8-year-old me, crouching by the grassy mound that was once the dugout home of Laura Ingalls and her family in the 1870s. Laura's stories from that period are told in the book, "On the Banks of Plum Creek." Coincidentally, Laura was also about 8 in the book.

I loved the Little House...more
Michelle
Good grief, as an adult and as a parent, have I grown too practical to read and completely enjoy these books?

When Ma and Pa packed up the kiddos and left the Big Woods because there were too many people, less land and game to go around, I thought a little bit to myself, Um...Pa, did we think through this completely? Are you sure? Are we safe? But Pa is supposed to be an example of Great American Spirit. So, fine, we let this happen. There were some bumps in the road, but oh boy, we have some ma...more
Deborah Markus
It's easy to get so stuck on the subject matter of the stories Wilder tells that we fail to notice her brilliant, deceptively quiet writing. Her descriptions of scenery are gorgeous, of course, but I love the tiny sentences that tell so much, like this one when 8-year-old Mary and 7-year-old Laura are confronted by a wild herd of cattle (no, not a herd of *wild* cattle -- these are domesticated, they're just being rude):

"Mary was too scared to move. Laura was too scared to stand still."

Or simila...more
Mimi
Ha! I couldn't even tell you what the cover illustration was on this one (although I'm sure it was the above) as it has been gone for so very long.
A few years ago, my Book Club read The Children's Blizzard, which talked about the settling of the Midwest by the mostly Scandinavian immigrants and how harsh the land was, and really unsuitable for homesteading. While at the time, I thought of The Long Winterthis book illustrates the point as well. When they first arrive, Mr. Nelson is heading west...more
V. Gingerich
This isn't my favorite Laura book but it contains two of the most impressive, and perhaps famous, scenes: Nellie Olson dancing about with leeches on her legs (the absolute best example of "what goes around, comes around" I've ever seen) and the coming of the grasshoppers (nightmare material, that.)

This is also the book where the doll Charlotte goes and comes back--in two favorite, love-hate scenes--and the book where Laura gets a fur muff. Oh, how I wanted a muff. There are more simple, beautif...more
Dawn Trlak-Donahue
Starting to really agree with a review I read of the Little House books. One woman wrote about how on top of things Alamonzo's family seemed in Farmer Boy. They had a permanent home, savings, etc. Whereas Papa Ingalls was a hot mess. He dragged the family away from their relatives in Wisconsin where they had a home, to Indian country. Along the way they were almost swept away down a river when he insisted they could cross it, wagon and all. (Jack, the dog, gets the short end of the stick overall...more
Audrey
I loved this book! I am currently rereading the entire Little House series, which I have not visited since I was a kid. I feel like the books just keep getting better. Since it had been such a long time since I read this, I had forgotten most of the plot and, consequently, it was almost like reading this for the first time.

I was left with a few unanswered questions. For example:(view spoiler)...more
Philip
Eleanor and I are here to review the latest installment of the Little House series, so Eleanor, I'm going to move it to the "Read" shelf.

E: What color shelf is Gwen's?

Dad: Oh. It's not the color red. There are 3 shelves: read - meaning "I read it," currently reading, and I want to read it.

E: Oh. Maybe for the next book, we could sit on the computer bench and move the Silver Lake book to the "currently-reading" shelf.

D: Ummm... Ok. We can do that. Or, I could I could move it to the "currently-rea...more
Andrea
We are back to Laura's childhood and here is where they and the reader meet Nellie Oleson and other characters that form the basis for what would become a beloved television program. The Ingalls family are able to attend church, Sunday School and for the first time Laura and Mary are able to attend school. As always they are faced with many of the challenges of settling in a new territory and farming is not an easy way to live when nature prevails to take back the land. Yet there is love, laugh...more
Darcy
On the Banks of Plum Creek has always been one of my favorite Little House books. This story makes me want to run barefoot through tall prairie grasses, roll down haystacks, and wade through muddy creeks. It makes the idea of only getting a package of candy for Christmas seem extra-special and a dinner of “beautiful brown baked beans [and] golden corn-bread” sounds more appealing than steak and crème brulee. I don’t know how she does it, but Laura Ingalls Wilder weaves some sort of prairie magic...more
Stephy
Oct 10, 2008 Stephy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every child six and over
Recommended to Stephy by: My Father brought them home to me, one by one, as they came out.
My gosh, what didn't I learn about real history from these books. Laura Ingalls Wilder was a staple of my library most of my childhood. back then you could cite me a line and I knew which book it came from, who said it and in what circumstance! I learned that as my father, born in 1899, was fond of pointing out to us, we had life easy! People worked really HARD for a living back then, and lucky to have three sets of clothing, and hope you liked mush, 'cause you ate it a lot! Dresses down to the...more
Jennifer
This was one of my favorite Little House books as a kid because I thought it would be so fun to live in a dugout on Plum Creek! I also remember being appalled at the meanness of Nellie Olsen, and I still think she was mean! I thought I was making up the memory of the story about Laura leading Nellie into the leeches in the creek, but then, there it was, just as I remembered it! It really is fun to revisit some childhood favorites. As a kid I thought it would be fun to be Laura Ingalls Wilder, bu...more
Kassak
It has been years since I have read this (just the same length as the others). I remembered quite a bit of it, but one thing that I didn't remember was how good it was. I remembered it was good enough to give it 5 stars when I first entered it as a "read" book on this site. But what I didn't remember was that this book actually is more deserving of a 6 star rating. With this book you see the simplicity of Laura Ingalls Wilder's writing start to fade away (it becomes much more obvious in By the S...more
Ginny Marie
I brought out my set of Little House books for my husband to read to our four year old daughter. She loves hearing stories from these books over and over again. I had great fun rereading the first four books again! (I think we are going to stop at On the Banks of Plum Creek for now. As I was previewing the fifth book, By the Shores of Silver Lake I thought some story lines might be too mature for our four year old.)

From my childhood readings, I distinctly remember the grasshoppers coming and des...more
Duchess Nicole
This seems to be the favorite book of the series so far, both for my three daughters and me. There are a lot of changes again for the Ingalls family. They live in an underground house at first, which is a story all on its own. Plum Creek makes for many happy times for Laura and Mary...and a few scary experiences.

All seen from the eyes of an eight year old American girl, this entire series is one that I couldn't possibly let my girls not read. I remember these from when I was a kid, and rereading...more
Mary Schumann
wow. As other reviewers have stated - the contrast between Pa & Almanzo's father could not be greater. Reading these as an adult is rather mind-blowing. Add "as a parent" and it takes on a whole new level of "holy crap!". I simply cannot fathom doing the things that they did, nor weathering the storms that they did - quite literally. Nor putting my children in the way of harm the way that was done then (as when Pa decides to leave the whole family alone for months on end or simply days on en...more
sabisteb
Plum Creek, Minnesota 1874. Nachdem Familie Ingalls ihre Farm im auf Indianergebiet auf Anordnung des Staates verlassen musste (Laura in der Prärie), zieht die siebenjährige Laura mit ihrer Familie wieder in Richtung Osten. Die Ingalls lassen sich zunächst in einem unterirdischen Erdhaus am Ufer von Plum Creek nieder, das Pa gegen die Pferde der Familie eintauscht. Hier beginnt für Laura und ihre Schwester Mary eine neue spannende Zeit, denn zum ersten Mal besuchen die beiden eine Schule und ler...more
Laura

By far, the boys enjoy the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder more than any other chapter books. I know I am very enthusiastic about them, but they love the on their own merit. They especially love Pa and all of the things that he builds.
On the Banks of Plum Creek was especially exciting to the boys as it is set in Minnesota. Their grandparents live in Minnesota and that is where my husband is from originally. They thought it was very cool that Laura and Mary lived in a so...more
Kressel Housman
Of all the Little House books, this was my childhood favorite. I was exactly Laura’s age when I read it – eight – and at last, her life experience was close to mine; she began school! I re-read the chapters called “School,” “Nellie Oleson, “Town Party,” “Country Party,” and “Surprise,” hundreds if not thousands of times, just the way I would later re-read Elizabeth’s scenes at Pemberley, Dumbledore’s scenes with Harry, and lately, Daniel’s scenes with Mirah. What’s more, I’d discovered the TV se...more
Amalie
The best thing about the Little House series is that, it just grab me and make me (I'm more than happy to) go into the book and to experience the story with them and have their meals. Comparing with the previous books I find this one bit depressing but it gives a strong picture of the hardships and wonders they must have undergone and experienced while moving west in the 1800s.

The unrelenting goodness of the entire Ingalls family, the love and understanding between Ma and Pa always gets me, and...more
Leila Kheiry
I remember simply accepting the grasshopper plague story in this book when I read it as a kid. This time, I wanted to know why you never hear about those grasshopper storms nowadays. Turns out, it's true. The Rocky Mountain locust used to do exactly what this book describes, but it went extinct around the turn of the century. Fascinating!
Allie
I 100% forgot that I read this book as a kid, until my coworker and I were talking about earth houses and it sent me on a quest to discover which Little House book that was a part of. Turns out, this is the book that made the biggest impression. The dugout house and the locusts!
Elaine
Lots of drama in this one. The only thing I didn't like was Laura did something quite naughty and never got in trouble or felt any remorse over it. I mean, given, she's like 7-8, so it's realistic that she would do it and not even feel bad about it, but not her greatest moment. But I do like how she struggles to behave well, and sometimes it's just too hard for her to resist temptation, which seems much more realistic than Mary, who is always so good. its a reminder to me to think about how a ch...more
Kelly Hager
The Ingalls have settled in Minnesota, and at first things seem pretty awesome for the family---they quickly find a place to live (in a dugout, which is an underground home) and soon Pa builds their own home and, for the first time, it's one with two rooms AND an attic, where Mary and Laura sleep. But soon things fall apart. Grasshoppers eat the crops and and there are fires and blizzards. Oh, AND we meet Nellie Oleson.

I think this is my new favorite of the series (and yes, I'm aware I said that...more
Amy C
May 21, 2009 Amy C is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book to share with kids. I am reading it to my 10-yr-old at night. He seems very interested in the work and hardship kids faced back in the 1870s. I have caught him reading the book during the day. The prose is simple and elegant. Chapters are short enough for bedtime (but we always end up reading more than one). This is our fourth in the series. We have read LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, FARMER BOY (which he really enjoyed), and now ON THE BANKS OF...more
Kay
Technically listed as the fourth book of the series, I think of it as the third; as a kid, I always skipped Farmer Boy because I wanted to hear about little girls lives, not little boys. So I think of it as the third. And, in true fashion, I skipped Farmer Boy again this time around. I primarily read women authors, telling women's stories. It's the rare occasion I'll read a book about men's lives (or by a man). That's a long lecture/discussion though, so let's skip it and just get to what I like...more
Beth Anne
Read aloud to Emma. She's loved every book in the series so far, and I'm loving sharing some of my favorites with her. This was the first book that brought some real challenges to the Ingalls family...grasshoppers eating the crops, Pa having to walk to find work in shoes with holes, and getting lost in the blizzards. Emma was close to tears more than once, she was so captivated and moved by the story. And unprompted she suggested that maybe she could have a fur cape and muff some day just like L...more
Ibis3
I think I would've enjoyed these books quite a bit as a child--(sort of) learning how a pioneer family lived. As an adult, I'm left wanting more detail. I like Laura's spirit in the stories she relates--always the brave one, the one who wants to get involved with the "men's" work--and the nice thing is, Pa lets her. I couldn't help but feel annoyed that Charles gave the money he needed for boots to the church for something so frivolous as a bell.
Alise
I didn't realize Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing all these books at the age of 65. I thought, "How did she remember all these events that happened to her when she was so young?" Then you read On the Banks of Plum Creek with one calamity after another and realize why! I equate Pa to a cat with nine lives. I think this one is my favorite so far- probably because Nellie is in it!
Rachel M.
Over the past couple of years, I've been rereading the Little House on the Prairie Series, and I've got to say that so far, this one is my favorite. All of the books are wonderful to read, especially as an adult, because you view them as a fictional autobiography or a slightly fictionalized account of one family's history during the pioneer days. You hear about the way people lived in the past in your history classes, but reading it through the medium of fiction creates an entirely different exp...more
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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) Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7) By the Shores of Silver Lake  (Little House, #5)

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“She heard pa shouting,"Jiminy crickets!It's raining fish-hooks and hammer handles!” 21 likes
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