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Farmer Boy (Little House #3)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  34,984 ratings  ·  1,131 reviews
Growing up on his family's farm in New York, Almanzo Wilder wishes for just one thing--his very own horse. But Father doesn't yet trust him with such a big responsibility. Almanzo needs to prove himself--but how?
Paperback, 357 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by HarperTrophy (first published 1933)
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Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Favorite books from my childhood
177th out of 3,215 books — 6,113 voters
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George SpeareThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Best Children's Historical Fiction
11th out of 501 books — 577 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Darling
My annual re-read, this time with Heidi! :)

My favorite of the Little House books from start to finish, but especially the chapter where Ma and Pa go away for a week and the house falls into disarray as the children eat cake, slice watermelon, blacken the parlor wall, and most importantly, use up all the sugar making ice cream. Still no other author has ever captured the life of pioneers in quite this way, and the good eats will make your mouth water!
Elise
Upon finishing Little House on the Prairie the kids and I were dying to know where the Ingalls' adventures would take them next but discovered that the next in the series focuses on Almanzo Wilder, Laura's future husband. We were immediately taken in by the descriptions of late 1800's farm life in upper New York State. We were struck in particular by the richness Almanzo's family enjoyed in comparison with the Ingalls who seemed to be moving all the time. One of my favorite features of this book ...more
Theresa
I loved all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, in particular "Little House in the Big Woods", "Little Town on the Prairie" and "These Happy Golden Years". They are books I can read and savor over and over again. But I just need to give a shout out to my absolute favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder book, and that is "Farmer Boy"--to me, Farmer Boy is the under-appreciated middle child of the Laura Ingalls collection. People forget about it just because it doesn't start with "Little" or end with "Prairie". ...more
Philip
Before I hand the reviewing reigns over to Eleanor, I wanted to say a couple things I took out of this book. (Hopefully she doesn't get too impatient.)

There's a lot in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books written for adults as well as kids. The theme of self-reliance comes through loud and clear. The difference in child-rearing... wow. Hold on:

Me: Eleanor, what does it mean to "speak when spoken to?"

E: It means, "BE QUIET UNTIL YOU ARE SPOKEN TO!!!"

Me: Do you think we should make that a rule in our ho
...more
Kathryn
I still didn't love it as well the first few books about Laura's childhood, perhaps because I know and love the Little House stories so well from my own childhood (I know my mom read me "Farmer Boy" but I don't really remember it). That said, I did quite enjoy and appreciate Almanzo's story this time and feel Laura deftly articulated his conundrums being on the cusp of boyhood and young-manhood, both his eagerness to do the more adult work on the farm with his father and older brother as well as ...more
Diane Librarian
I loved these farm stories told from 9-year-old Almanzo's point of view. I don't think I read this book when I was young, but it was delightful to read it as an adult.

My father grew up on a farm, and I inherited his pride in what farmers have accomplished. I liked this quote, spoken by Almanzo's father:

"A farmer depends on himself, and the land and the weather. If you're a farmer, you raise what you eat, you raise what you wear, and you keep warm with wood out of your own timber. You work hard,
...more
Book Concierge
Book on CD read by Cherry Jones

Considered Book # 3 in the Little House series, this book is about a young boy growing up on a farm in upstate New York. Almonzo Wilder will eventually find his way to Laura’s part of the country, but for now he is just starting school and eager to be allowed to work the horses. He’s certain that he would be gentle and never startle them, but Father won’t let him near the prize colts. In the meantime Almonzo learns to farm. The book covers about eighteen months in
...more
Rebecca
#3 Farmer Boy - August 2011

I listened to Farmer Boy for the most part, only read a chapter or two in the middle on my own. I enjoy the book so much more read by Cherry Jones rather than my own voice in my brain. She makes me feel so cozy and I'm swept back in time. I don't think I ever read Farmer Boy when I was young, only the books starring Laura. I can't believe how hard Almanzo had to work at such a young age. And he enjoyed the work! And I really can't believe how much he ate! So much food!
...more
Lacey Michael
Just finished reading this to the kids today. Such a pleasant look into a life that we know so little about! Almonzo is growing up on a farm in the late 1800's in NY state. He works from morning till night learning all sorts of life skills- amazing for an 8-10 year old boy. My kids enjoyed learning about all of his jobs and we all enjoyed reading about the food. Oh.My.Word. the food. Can we please start having Thanksgiving Dinner every meal?! ;)
benebean
Almanzo is so cute and lovable-- reading this book is like playing with an adorable loving puppy.

And the food descriptions-- made me crave more food than any exercise or episode on the food network.
Elizabeth K.
This is one of my favorites in the series, although it wasn't when I was a kid because it was too much about boys. And not in the good way.

But, thankfully, having read it several times as an adult, I can now see that it's a stellar book any way you look at it. The horses! Breaking calves! Cutting ice! Anarchy in the schools! Racing to save the crop before the frost! The county fair! The FOOD! It's really excellent historical fiction and captures a very particular time and place.

I confess I have
...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Along with Little House in the Big Woods, this was always my favourite of Laura Wilder's books. It's a warm, family-centred story about a group of people who really love and care for each other. The description of the farm and house paints a vivid picture, and the beloved horses and calves are definite characters in the story. Almanzo's parents are subsistence farmers who are able to provide most of the family's clothing and home-maintenance needs as well as selling surplus (butter, garden produ ...more
Kressel Housman
I was a Little House fan as a girl, but since Farmer Boy is the story of Almanzo’s childhood and not Laura’s, I didn’t bother with it. Who wanted to read about boys? Then, I grew up, and it turned out Farmer Boy was my husband’s favorite of the entire series. And since G-d has blessed us with sons, my husband brought it in for them. Our eldest read it on his own, and I read it aloud to the younger ones, which turned out to be a real treat. The book is every bit as good as the rest of the series, ...more
Jen
I haven't read this in 30 years. It was a treat. We chose it as our October Homeschool bookclub book. In general the parents liked it more than the kids, but many of the kids loved it. We were all struck by the dawn to dust work that the family did, including Almanzo and his siblings. I think many of the parents started thinking "Hmm, 9 year olds doing chores twice a day, what a great idea..." Our kids were wary of that gleam in our eyes.

But along with the useful skills Almanzo learned, and the
...more
ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ
Okay, I didn't really want to read this book in the series, because it's all about Almanzo's childhood (Laura's future husband). However, once I got started, it was a wonderful peek into how a farmer's life revolves around the seasons and how they did everything by hand. Here's a wonderful quote from page 370, from Almanzo's father... A farmer depends on himself, and the land and the weather. If you're a farmer, you raise what you eat, you raise what you wear, and you keep warm with wood out of ...more
Michele
My six year old daughter is currently obsessed by these books (as was I as a child) and so we are reading them aloud together. I got a bit off in their proper order and mis-remembered Farmer Boy as #2 in the series (it is actually #3), but no harm done. As a child, this was actually my least favorite of the series if only because I simply loved Laura and Mary (probably because I related to them best). But as an adult, I found this installment of the series absolutely delightful. My daughter love ...more
Emily
Wilder interrupts her narrative of her own life to tell us about how her future husband grew up on a large farm in New York State. Young Almanzo enjoys helping his father with chores relating to caring for their animals, sowing and reaping their crops, and building various equipment for use around the farm. The narrative drags at times as the process of cobbling shoes and building a bob sled is explained in excruciating detail, but other pursuits are fascinating to read about such as the process ...more
Taylor Brazil
This will be a great book for sixth grade and up to tenth grade. The reason is that it is about the age of the childs that are in the book.It also the genstation came compare there life to the book.
the plot of this book is on a farm . There are four kids. The children have to walk to there school every day but there is once in a will there stay home to help with course. The family goes to church every sunday . Now they don't have cars they have a team of horse and a sleigh. the family has to hav
...more
Pili
This is both a very sweet book and a lesson of history on the everyday work that pioneers in America did. And of course it's full of the most amazing descriptions of food ever!

I had never read any of the Little House On The Prairie books before but now after reading Farmer Boy, I feel like I really need to read them all! The writing is lovely, apt for both younger and older readers and the descriptions of the family life and the characters are absolutely charming!

Almanzo lives with his family i
...more
Kendra
Read this one with my 6 year old son and we are really enjoying it...this was a favorite when I was a girl...all of the "little House" books were...I am surprised at what huge plot details I forgot....for example, I didn't remember just how Mr. Corse, the seemingly milquetoast teacher, dealt with the big bad boys and was just as surprised as my son when the blacksnake whip came out...of course, by then I was committed, and my son was just as surprised, I think, that I had chosen a book with such ...more
Duchess Nicole
Well, I read this with my three daughters and husband in the evenings before bedtime. While I loved getting the insight into Almanzo's life, the rest of the family definitely were more restless during reading time than they were with Laura's books. I suppose because Almanzo's book all took place in the same house, and everything that happened was fairly normal. There were a lot of pages of descriptions on how to make things around the farm and very detailed talk of farm life. Despite that, it wa ...more
Anna
Once again my boys were enthralled by the vivid descriptions that Wilder created of life in the late 1800s. This book focuses on the early childhood of Laura's husband Almanzo who lived and worked on a family farm in New York state. Parents should be warned this book starts off really rocky. Wilder relates a tale of how some older boys had beat a teacher to death. Almanzo fears for the new teacher. The new teacher, Mr. Corse, fends off the attack by beating the students back with a bullwhip. It' ...more
Carin
Of all the Little House books, this is the only one I have never reread. And I didn't want to. Until I read Shelf Discovery last year, which piqued my interest. Plus it's weird that I have reread a series dozens of times, except for one volume. So I resolved to reread it this year. And as usual I am glad I did.

I have no recollection of this book at all it turns out. While reading it, it felt all unfamiliar and new, not like a reread in the slightest. (I was probably six when my parents first rea
...more
Laura
I came back to this old childhood favorite because I am spending this summer working on a small vegetable farm. These books are every bit as wonderful as they were when I first read them as a child, although I notice different things now.

This is certainly an idealized version of 19th-century American farming - the Wilder family farm is wonderfully prosperous and the main hardship of the story is that Almanzo's father does not think he is old enough to help train the horses. I suppose the fact th
...more
Emily
At first the boys weren't at all sure if they liked this switch to Almanzo's life story; they kept wanting to know what Laura was up to. But they got in to it soon enough, right about when we got to the story of the schoolteacher whipping the big bullies with the blacksnake ox-whip. (I had forgotten that these boys had beaten their previous schoolteacher so badly that he later died of his injuries. It astounds me that the father of one of the boys was bragging about it and that no one was punish ...more
Julie
This book describes a vanished way of life, and that is where its value lies. This is not a book driven by a plot although the thread about the colts keeps the book tied together. I'm glad I read this with my son. He probably would not have read it on his own because it's not the type of book that interests him, but now he knows how some boys once lived and the level of work and responsibility they had. Perhaps he will be inspired by that, I know that it did inspire me.
Penny
This is new to me - Laura Ingalls wrote an account of her husband's childhood. Alfonzo grew up like Laura, working hard on the homestead of his parents. They come across as wealthier than the Ingalls but Alfonzo works very hard even at the age of 8. The children I read this to were astounded at how much work he had to do and how firm his parents were. As usual there is a lot of humour and a lot of information about life in those days. A great read.
Kirei
I didn't read this one when I was a kid. Maybe I was stopped by the seemingly endless descriptions of farmwork...I can't quite remember.

However, now that I have read it, I did like it. It was comforting in an old-fashioned sense. You really got a feel for how the father was raising Almanzo to be independent. Today's world could take lessons from this book.
Laura (booksnob)
This is the first time I have read Farmer Boy and I loved it. It is the story of Almanzo growing up in Malone, NY and following his dream to being a farmer. I love how Wilder details every day life back in the 1860's. I found it interesting how they made butter and soap, candles and so much more. Love this series. It is a cool experience to read this series as an adult, I highly recommend it.
Alex
One of my favorite books growing up (along with Carry On, Mr. Bowditch), I just reread this for the umpteenth time. I noticed a few things I had never noticed before, namely the subtle but real character development Almanzo undergoes over the course of his 10th and 11th years. (He is 9 at the beginning of the book and turns 10 in the early chapters.) He becomes more responsible, more confident, and more independent. Basically, he becomes a real farmer, a young one, but also a productive one. (Ch ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: series has an edition with wrong order numbering 3 172 Jan 05, 2013 10:44AM  
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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)
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek  (Little House, #4)
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake  (Little House, #5)
  • 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)
Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #2) Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1) The Little House Collection (Little House, #1-9) On the Banks of Plum Creek  (Little House, #4) Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7)

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“Never bet your money on another man's game.” 26 likes
“A farmer depends on himself, and the land and the weather. If you're a farmer, you raise what you eat, you raise what you wear, and you keep warm with wood out of your own timber. You work hard, but you work as you please, and no man can tell you to go or come. You'll be free and independent, son, on a farm.” 15 likes
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