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The Long Winter (Little House #6)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  55,190 Ratings  ·  1,211 Reviews
Struggle for survival The old Indian in Harthorn's store warned that the coming winter would have seven months of blizzards. The first one strikes in October, and the town of De Smet is soon snowed under. Laura and her family move to town to weather out the winter, but once the trains stop running, the food supply dwindles. When Almanzo Wilder volunteers to go search for w ...more
Hardcover
Published April 1st 2003 by Turtleback Books (first published 1940)
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Cathryn She is 13 to 14. I am halfway through the book.
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Diane
Dec 21, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was fitting that I read "The Long Winter" while visiting family in Minnesota. It was bitterly cold, the streets were packed with snow and the wind chill was below zero. As I read, I could hear the wind howling outside, and the harsh winter of 1880-81 didn't seem like that long ago.

Book six in the Little House series tells how the Ingalls family survived numerous blizzards while homesteading near De Smet, South Dakota. Pa first sensed that the season would be severe when he was harvesting hay
...more
Hannah
Gah, I love the Little House books, and none more than The Long Winter, the 6th in the series.

Although all of Laura Ingalls' books have a cozy, homey charm, The Long Winter brings with it a gritier, more menacing realism of what life would actually have been like for the American pioneer. Since it is a children's book, Laura keeps the threat light, but make no mistake, the threat of starvation is a serious and ever present danger to not only the Ingalls family, but all the residents of De Smet,
...more
Tatiana
This place is a double Hell Hole, compared to Plum Creek and its crickets. No amount of Pa's fiddle-playing can compensate for the fact that they all almost died of hunger and cold during this winter.

Remind me again, what was so bad about Big Woods in book one?
Elizabeth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Philip
Eleanor and I just finished this up last night. A couple thoughts before she starts her review:

I saw a facebook post not too long ago in which the person was opining that they didn't live in the "Little House days." This was in regard to Christmas. They mentioned how Laura and Mary et al received only one or two presents and were thrilled and grateful to receive them. You know, that was a "simpler time."

Several days later, I saw that they were taking a trip to Disney for Christmas. And there wer
...more
Kelly
Title tells the entire plot.

Kathryn
Remarkable how Laura is able to write a captivating, moving novel essentially about being housebound for six months during a long, harsh winter of blizzards. Perhaps more remarkable, she is able to convey the drudgery, the monotony, the physical and emotional toll of those dark days without the book becoming a horror story or pity party. For example, moment they realize Pa can no longer play the fiddle because his fingers are too numb and tattered from the cold is utterly heartbreaking (the fidd ...more
David Schaafsma
The family is finally done with this book, listening to Cherry Jones read it as we traveled over-the-rive-and-through-the-woods-to Grandmother's-house-we-go and over a few meals, even, and it was not always fun, sometimes tense, but on the whole it was good, as usual.

This one is mostly blizzards and near starvation from the South Dakota winter. Tedious, for a while, then realistically and impressively oppressive and frightening. They could actually have starved. They go months never eating in a
...more
Jennifer Lynn
Ever since I first read this series at the age of 9 or so, THIS one stuck out in my memory as a favorite. It just seemed so much more REAL than the others, even if, yes, they are all REAL stories. The Long Winter was indeed that, with 7 months of blizzards nearly freezing and starving the Ingalls family to death. As a kid, I liked it for the adventure of it all, as an adult I like it for the sense of realism- they actually nearly died! Starving, eating crushed up wheat, burning sticks of horse's ...more
Jonna Higgins-Freese
I read this first when I was young, and a few years ago started a practice of re-reading it every winter, whenever I start to feel sorry for myself because it's so cold and dark. Re-reading it as an adult, I'm impressed by how cheerful they remained in the face of tremendous adversity. I love her storytelling, which is so simple on the surface, but really complex enough to entertain both children and adults. I agree with one of Kim Stanley Robinson's characters in the Science in the Capitol seri ...more
সালমান হক
নাহ!! লিটল হাউজ সিরিজ এর বই গুলা পড়ে আসলেই মাঝে মাঝে মনে হয়, তখন যদি জনমাতাম তাহলে ভালোই হত কিনতু। মানুষের লাইফ এ কতটা জটিলতা কম ছিল। আবারো লেখিকার লেখার হাতের পরশংসা করতে বাধয হচছি। :)

এইবারের কাহিনী তে লরারা একেবারে পাকাপোকত ভাবে হোমসটেড খুজে পায় ডাকোটায়। ছুটাছুটি আর না ।কিনতু নতুন জায়গায় এসেই ভয়াবহ শীতে বিপরযসত পুরো পরিবার । পরিবারের মানুষেরা যে একে অপরের পরতি কতটা দায়িতবশীল হতে পারে এই বই তার উদাহরণ। আর আলমানযো এর কাহিনীও আছে বইতে, বড় হয়ে গেসে বযাটা। রিতীমত হীরো!!! :p

কেউ যদি রিডিং বলক এ ভু
...more
Matthew Hunter
Wow. Some free advice from Uncle Matt - don't choose The Long Winter as a read along with your toddler while at the same time reading Oryx and Crake. Atwood's dystopian nightmare's challenge enough. Throw in a claustrophobic account of near-starvation during a long, cold, blizzard laden winter and it's almost too much to bear in combination.

The Long Winter's unlike any of the other books in the Little House series. The sense of foreboding and doom is palpable in the early chapters. Pa can't quit
...more
Kressel Housman
Mar 09, 2011 Kressel Housman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids 10 and up
Review #1 - The Little House series was so popular in my school in 1975 that after I’d finished Little House on the Prairie, the only book available in my school library was the sixth in the series, The Long Winter. At 400+ pages, it was the longest book I’d ever read, and it took me months. Kids in my class even commented about it. “It’s called The Long Winter because it’s long book.” And that was one of the more neutral comments. Much more typical was, “You’re still reading that?” And from the ...more
Mary
Dec 08, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title of this installment of the Little House series sums up the theme - The Long Winter. When Charles notices that the muskrats have built an exceptionally sturdy home for the winter with very thick walls he points out to Laura that animals know things through the environment that we humans no longer recognize. Other signs are pointing to a cold winter and when a Native American comes into one of the shops and communicates his predictions, it frightens the settlers and rightfully so. "Heap ...more
Maria Elmvang
My mum used to say that this was the most boring book of the lot. Perhaps for that reason alone I never felt so. I realize it's quite repetitious, but you get to follow an entire town during a difficult time, and get lots of survival tips... should you ever be in a situation where they're actually needed ;) If I remember correctly it's the only book not told solely from one person's POV which I think was a good choice as there would otherwise have been far too much telling and not enough showing ...more
Lynn
Jun 08, 2016 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full review @ Smoke & Mirrors: http://books-n-music.blogspot.com/201.... Unbelievable how close they all came to starving! Oh, my! Twisting hay for fuel and using ab itty-bitty grinder to coarsely grind wheat for brown bread, which they lived on for months! Crazy blizzards, one right after another. This had more suspense, what with Cap and Almanzo on their "wheat expedition"!
Angela Boord
I have a hard time believing that this is only the second time I have been through this book. I listened to my husband read it aloud to my middle boys this time and remembered why it is my other favorite in this series, along with Farmerboy.
Ashley Perham
Jul 20, 2015 Ashley Perham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! LIW makes you feel in this book! You feel the cold, the hardness, the sameness, and the pain that she felt! It's amazing! I would hate to have to live through a winter like that! And Pa! He did so much to help the family! He's a great example of what a man should be! I also liked the look at schooling that we get in this and the next two books. That's something that has always interested me. And Almanzo and Cap!!! Bravo! You did what needed to be done! That part makes me so happy! And then ...more
Diana
Jul 25, 2011 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books in the series. It takes place after the family moves to DeSmet, SD. Every few years when the weather starts turning cold I have an urge to read it. It takes place during the winter of 1880-1881 when there were constant blizzards on the prairies.
Jaime
It's truly amazing how much they went through in this book. Wow.

Stories like this are what make history.
A Great Book Study
My third favorite in the Little House series.
Jillian
Feb 20, 2015 Jillian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First read December 2010.
Reread with Ma for Christmas 2016. First read 2010.
Melanie Fishbane
The Long Winter just keeps getting better every time I read it. I have no idea how many times I've read it. We aren't just lulled by the howling winds of the blizzard, but feel the dreary dullness of the monotony tied up in the weather's grip. The blizzard is a character in itself, blasting and teasing, howling and laughing, sometimes even playing.

Laura is like the town and community on the verge of growing up. She's both Ma and Pa's right-hand, doing both the farm work and work in the home. Wi
...more
Tracy
Sep 12, 2012 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was not my favorite Little House book when I was a child. The book, like the winter it describes, is long, and not much happens. Endless blizzards, darkness, freezing, near starvation... Where were the prairie bunnies and the gentle breezes and the joy?? Pa can't even play his fiddle for much of it.

As an adult, I can see it for the masterpiece it is. The Ingalls had endured hardships before, but this time they are truly helpless and in danger on the prairie. They've spent only one summer in
...more
Ticktock
I don't have a "Children's" shelf, so I've filed this under YA. I know I read them when I was really young, like 8-9. And then after Laura I got into Anne Shirley and those occupied most of my preteen/teen years but anyway. But from Silver Lake on, we're looking at Laura when she was 13 and up. So I guess it qualifies.

This is a dark book. It was one of my favorites as a kid. It was just the perfect thing to read in the winter when it was snowing. On my reread I find myself more interested in th
...more
Kate
This has to be my favourite Little House book on the basis that it describes a real meteorological event that took place during the winter of 1880-81 on the Dakotan prairie. A winter full of horrifically low temperatures and killing blizzard winds that lasted from October until April with no supplies being brought into town from November onwards. The awful privation that the Ingalls family suffered because there were no supplies in this new prairie town make really quite harrowing reading even f ...more
Susan
Sep 17, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In keeping with the winter theme, The Long Winter has been on my mind lately. To me, it's the most memorable of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House series, with its vivid description of the winter of 1880-1881. The first blizzard hit October 15, and I think it was May before the trains could finally resume their runs - devastating to the pioneers on the prairie.

It's also been on my mind because the cooling weather this year reminds me of the 4.5 days the week before Christmas last year when ou
...more
Whitney (First Impressions Reviews)
I had not read The Long Winter in a long time and had forgotten what a classic children's book it was. Like The Force Awakens, The Long Winter felt like a throwback to the earlier books, with the return of Mr. Edwards, stories of Pa's childhood told by the fire and his nightly songs on the fiddle. It was like an old friend had come home.

Laura, while only fourteen has grown up and with school and farm work has taken on more responsibility and showed that she could be relied upon and therefore muc
...more
Cynthia
Mar 25, 2014 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SO many memories of reading this book around forty years ago, when I was in third or fourth grade. I wanted to share this book with my eight-year-old son, but he wasn't too keen reading this "girls' " book. It is NOT just a girls' book. In fact, this one is really more about just how harsh the winter was to those pioneers out in the midwest in the 1800s and how hard they ALL had to work just to stay alive! Thought it was appropriate what with our "long and harsh" winter here in New England this ...more
Cath Russell
Jan 02, 2014 Cath Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2014, the-usa
The little town on the prairie, in South Dakota, is warned by an Indian that they are to have seven months of cold hard winter this year, blizzard conditions all through. And so it turns out. The Ingalls family struggle through the longest, most severe winter they have ever experienced. Thoroughly enjoyed this delightful book, suffered with them, laughed with them, and was amazed at their ingenuity and stamina. Fantastic descriptions of blizzard conditions on the prairie. Unreservedly a five sta ...more
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2017 Reading Chal...: The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder 1 12 Mar 21, 2015 06:35PM  
  • On the Banks of the Bayou (Little House: The Rose Years, #7)
  • Beyond the Heather Hills (Little House: The Martha Years, #4)
  • Betsy Was a Junior (Betsy-Tacy, #7)
  • All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown (All-of-a-Kind Family, #4)
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Little House (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1)
  • Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #2)
  • Farmer Boy (Little House, #3)
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek  (Little House, #4)
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake  (Little House, #5)
  • Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7)
  • These Happy Golden Years (Little House, #8)
  • The First Four Years  (Little House, #9)
  • On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894  (Little House #10)
  • West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915  (Little House #11)

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“Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small, but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.” 1301 likes
“These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraphs and kerosene and coal stoves -- they're good to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on 'em.” 49 likes
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