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

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  53,028 Ratings  ·  738 Reviews
The Ingalls family leaves Plum Creek.

Pa heads west to the unsettled wilderness of the Dakota Territory. When Ma, Laura, Mary, Carrie, and Grace join him, they become the first settlers in the town of DeSmet. And Pa begins work on the first building in what will soon be a brand-new town on the shores of Silver Lake.
Paperback, 290 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by HarperCollins (first published 1939)
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Jimmy Warner That's sad to hear. I remember watching the TV Show as a Kid and Just started reading the books. And absolutly love them. Althou so far, Not much of…moreThat's sad to hear. I remember watching the TV Show as a Kid and Just started reading the books. And absolutly love them. Althou so far, Not much of the TV Show is following the books, It looks like they've added some things and taken things out.

I'd love to go visit the actual house if it still exists.(less)
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80th out of 753 books — 985 voters
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24th out of 80 books — 11 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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.
Dec 30, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it
This was a charming book to read on Christmas Day. Last summer I started rereading the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, and this fifth one was a delight.

"By the Shores of Silver Lake" covers the family's move to the Dakota territory at about 1879, when Pa gets a job working for the railroad. Laura loves being out on the open prairie, and she's fascinated when she gets a chance to watch the men preparing the ground for railroad tracks. Pa explains the process for how railroads are built, and how effi
Jul 07, 2013 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!

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
David Schaafsma
Listened to this volume with kids, in car, over supper. And it, the whole series, is an old classic I might have been tempted to dismiss. I had three sisters and all these books were in the house and I read everything, so I knew these stories decades ago, and it is surprising to return to them and find what a good writer Wilder is. This book was written in 1939, and is meant to reflect 1880 U.S., and it is a sort of fictional treatment of Ingalls's own experiences growing up, with herself as the ...more
This was always my least favorite of the Little House books, so I tried to read it with a more interested and knowing eye this time, and liked it better. So impressed with how LIW is aware of both the story arc for the individual book, and for the series as a whole by this time. She introduces Almanzo here, and brings back many characters - some of them fictional - from previous books (Aunt Docia, Mr. Edwards, Reverend Alden) - doing a really good job of making this book a link from all her prev ...more
Apr 24, 2015 Treasure rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one begins so sadly, with two years since Plum Creek has ended, the family 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 difficult 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 Cr
Jane Potter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 13, 2016 Kailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
This is not my favorite out of the Little House books, but still a really good story! The writing is beautiful, and the more I reread this series, the more I love it!
Oct 26, 2007 Torie rated it really liked it  ·  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
Aug 24, 2015 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Read to Meg (11) and Kate (7). The first two chapters have sad developments, and the following chapters include almost painfully long descriptions of landscapes, machines, and household tasks. The family is isolate for most of the book. It occasionally lost the girls' attention, and I don't blame them much. Although I was a huge fan of the series as a child, I do not remember this one being a favorite. While 3 stars may be too generous, one redeeming quality is that the book captures Laura's tra ...more
The best part of the whole book was where Almanzo's family was mentioned, tbh. Super boring.
I don't think I will ever grow tired of these stories. I love them too much. Oh, what adventures they had.
Naomi Sarah
Feb 09, 2016 Naomi Sarah rated it really liked it
Well. Cue all sighs and nostaligic childhood memories. I LOVE LITTLE HOUSE. I cannot not like a Little House book. They're just ALL GOLD. This one isn't my favourite ever, but I do love it. It's the first Little House book in which Laura is 'grown up' - and in which I start to relate to Laura. :-)

Some random things I love about this book:
1. The train trip.
2. The clothes they wear to the train.
3. The fact that they meet up with uncles and aunts and cousins. I love the Ingalls/Quiner family, and
সালমান হক
শুরুটা হয় একটা খারাপ খবর দিয়ে। মেরির দুই চোখ অনধ হয়ে গিয়েছে। কিনতু লেখিকা যেভাবে সাবলীল ভাবে বরণনা করে গেলেন!!! অসাধারণ !! আরেকটা জিনিস খুব ভালো লাগল যে, আগের বই গুলোতে চার বছরের লরা যেভাবে জিনিসগুলা দেখেছে এখন বছর বয়সে তার চেয়ে কতটা পরিণত ভাবে জিনিসগুলা বরণনা করছে। গলপের শেষ দিকে আলমানযো মিয়াকেও দেখা গেল। খুব শীঘরই মনে হয় দুইজনের দেখা হতে চলেছে :D মিডটারম আর ফাইনালের মাঝের চাপের মধযে রিফরেশমেনট এর জনযে একদম পারফেকট একটা বই। :) ...more
Sep 26, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 08, 2016 Nina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, children
Reading the Ingalls adventures always gives me chills! It’s like they always encountered obstacles (which is true), danger and had very little peaceful moments. I’m sorry about the scarlet fever that some of the Ingalls members suffered, especially to the sweet Mary. She suffered the fever in her eyes, thus made her eyesight deterred and eventually she became blind.

This time the family stayed in the railroad camps and Pa worked as a storekeeper, bookkeeper and basically.... the staff who helped
So far, this is my least favorite of the series.

Laura moves quite a few times in this book - from the last homestead (where Mary loses her sight), to a shanty where her father works for the railway company, to the prospector's house for the winter, to their half a house as they are staking their claim. That's a lot of moves for one person in a year, and it was frankly boring to read about. This book is also the saddest one to boot, between Mary losing her sight, and the family dog, Jack, dying.

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
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
May 30, 2016 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Full review for #LittleHouseRAL: Wow. Things were gettin' crazy out in De Smet when Pa finally went to town to file his claim! And if not for his old friend, Mr. Edwards, he well might not have had a claim, nor his life! But the Ingalls are finally moved to their rightful lawful homestead, even if they are temporarily just living in a "thrown-together" very small house/shanty!Pa will prevail and they'll have a nice house, I'm sure!
Nov 24, 2015 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why oh why do we skip like three years?! *sigh* This used to be my favorite Little House book, but then I read the next two. This might be my third or fourth favorite now. They're all so good! I love that Laura finds a friend in her cousin. And I love the descriptions of the prairie! It's amazing how fast it grew! And Mr. Edwards gets back! I love how he helps Pa get the claim! And the night they go sliding on the ice!!! Obviously, I love descriptions of big open spaces.

I also loved hearing abou
Jul 12, 2016 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By the Shores of Silver Lake contains so many beautiful word pictures, that I felt completely drawn in to the story. The spirit of adventure in this book is infectious. The characters are absolutely wonderful, especially the newly introduced families. By the Shores of Silver Lake is a pleasure to read!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bree Dunscombe
Jul 05, 2016 Bree Dunscombe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
My Little House love continues, even when the Ingalls' journey is harder to stomach. These are hard times in Dakota territory, during the building of the railroads, and men are rougher. I worry for my favorite prairie family!
Oct 08, 2010 Melody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2011 Kristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 13, 2009 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2014 Lora rated it really liked it
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
Tracey Morait
Apr 28, 2015 Tracey Morait rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
In Plum Creek, the Ingalls family are recovering from scarlet fever. Mary Ingalls is the most badly affected as she is now blind. Life for the family has become hard and food is scarce, so when Pa is promised a job and decides they must relocate, he moves them to South Dakota, though his wife Caroline is reluctant to leave. They settle near Silver Lake. Laura, now 12-years-old, describes how she becomes Mary's 'eyes', telling her everything she sees, and how her family learn to adapt to their ne ...more
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The Challenge Fac...: Trea, Erica, & Cindy - Little House Series 66 25 21 hours, 50 min ago  
The Pleasant Pioneer: By the Shores of Silver Lake 1 4 Jul 12, 2016 08:12AM  
cause of Mary's blindness 25 131 Feb 07, 2015 07:07PM  
  • In the Land of the Big Red Apple (Little House: The Rocky Ridge Years, #3)
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  • Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (Betsy-Tacy, #4)
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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...

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)
  • The Long Winter (Little House, #6)
  • 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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“We'd never get anything fixed to suit us if we waited for things to suit us before we started.” 68 likes
“Roma tidaklah dibangun dalam waktu sehari. Begitu juga sebuah jalan kereta api. Atau hal-hal lain yang menyenangkan dalam hidup ini. - Charles Ingalls” 6 likes
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