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The Long Winter (Little House #6)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  36,896 ratings  ·  871 reviews
The town of De Smet is hit with terrible, howling blizzards and Laura and her family must ration their food and coal. When the supply train doesn't arrive, Almanzo Wilder and his brother realize something must be done. They begin an impossible journey in search of provisions, before it's too late.
Paperback, 422 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by HarperTrophy (first published 1940)
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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
82nd out of 3,125 books — 5,913 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
10th out of 485 books — 520 voters

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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,
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
Kressel Housman
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
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
Jan 03, 2009 Jonna added it
Shelves: favorites
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
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
Salman H. Dhrubo
নাহ!! লিটল হাউজ সিরিজ এর বই গুলা পড়ে আসলেই মাঝে মাঝে মনে হয়, তখন যদি জন্মাতাম তাহলে ভালোই হত কিন্তু। মানুষের লাইফ এ কতটা জটিলতা কম ছিল। আবারো লেখিকার লেখার হাতের প্রশংসা করতে বাধ্য হচ্ছি। :)

এইবারের কাহিনী তে লরারা একেবারে পাকাপোক্ত ভাবে হোমস্টেড খুজে পায় ডাকোটায়। ছুটাছুটি আর না ।কিন্তু নতুন জায়গায় এসেই ভয়াবহ শীতে বিপর্যস্ত পুরো পরিবার । পরিবারের মানুষেরা যে একে অপরের প্রতি কতটা দায়িত্বশীল হতে পারে এই বই তার উদাহরণ। আর আলমানযো এর কাহিনীও আছে বইতে, বড় হয়ে গেসে ব্যাটা। রিতীমত হীরো!!! :p

কেউ যদি র
Maria M. 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
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
Sarah T
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
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
This has always been my favorite Little House book, I first read it when I was maybe 10 and ever since then I read it at least once a year. The only other House book I enjoyed as much was These Happy Golden Years. Those two have been reread till they are in tatters and ready to be replaced, I can never get over how cold it must have been…
Sep 11, 2008 Art rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone, especially interested in survival
Recommended to Art by: My Mother, Kay Shutt
I read this book during a blizzard that lasted at least 3 days in Minnesota.
I couldn't get enough to eat so it seemed because the Half-pint and everyone in the book was hungry.
I also kept covering myself up and went to the warmest spot in our house to stay warm.
When I went out to the barn to do chores, I thought about what they did w/their animals and how easy it would be to get lost and freeze to death in a blizzard.
Was I ever glad when the storm broke.
While it was being read to me I felt that I was going through something. I wanted to ration my food and wear my coat inside. Just reading it makes you cold and hungry.
It also made me afraid to have children. Pa and Ma could be counted on. I knew they would never let their children starve, they would make something happen. The idea that I would be in charge of someone's life scared me very much at the time. And still does.
Oh, I love this one! The Long Winter was one of my favorites in the series as a kid, and I think I like it even more as an adult. So much happening! So much tension! And when Wilder talks about feeling dull and stupid after such a long, mind-numbing winter, I felt she nailed it. This actually caused me anxiety this time around, despite knowing everything turns out happy and sunny and well-fed in the end, probably because of the soul-killing, death-bringing winter we just emerged from in real lif ...more
What else are you going to read when there's a foot of snow outside and everything is closed because it's -16 outside? I mean, come on.
So, believe it or not, I have never seen a single episode of Little House on the Prairie! Nor had I read any of the books, until this one. I wasn't aware until a few chapters in that the Laura character was actually the author as a child; I googled for some info and learned that she'd written this series based on her own childhood. Neat! It appears that she was 65 years old when the first "Little House" book was published in 1932, and 73 when The Long Winter first appeared in print. Her daughter ...more
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
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
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
Karina Halle
Sometimes I wonder why I've read this book so many times. I think I've probably read it 12 times in total, which is quite a lot considering, you know, it's a book. And though it's not a long one, it's still an investment of your time.

I'm not really sure what it is about Ingall's writing here that has captivated me with The Long Winter. I haven't read any of her other books more than once. But there's something about the authentic details and stunning yet non-flowery imagery that conjures up a re
Delicious Strawberry
To really enjoy this book, you need to read the others in this series. You COULD read it by itself, but it's not really written as a stand-alone book and should not be treated as so. If you've already read the preceding Little House books, then you should be familiar with this family and their circumstances as well as the time period they lived in, and the technology they had compared to us. I've read the negative reviews for this book and am surprised at some of the complaints, which didn't fee ...more
This is, hands-down, my favorite Little House book. And that's saying something because I really love all of them! (I have mentioned before that my youngest sister is named Laura, and yes it absolutely is after LIW.) I normally reread these in the summer, as that's the best time to read about blizzards, not December! I felt like a bit of a wuss, huddling under my fleece throw in my silk long underwear, wondering when the heater would click back on, while the poor Ingalls are probably in a house ...more
Wow! What a story. I'm almost glad that I never read this when I was younger. I don't think I would have appreciated the magnitude of what they had to live through. And it meant so much more knowing that the experiences described here were based on actual events. This definitely deserves its Newbery honor, and I'm VERY glad that I finally got around to reading it! I never thought any of the other books in the series would come close to eclipsing my love for Little House in the Big Woods which I ...more
De Smet, South Dakota 1880/81. Laura und ihre Familie sind in ihr provisorisches Haus auf ihrer Farmparzelle gezogen. Die Familie beginnt den Boden zu bebauen, aber im ersten Jahr ist keine große Ernte zu erwarten, daher mäht Pa Ingalls vor alle Gras, um dieses im Notfall an vorüberziehende Siedler verkaufen zu können. Nie hätte er gedacht, dass dieses Präriegras seiner Familie das Leben retten wird, denn keiner nimmt den alten Indianer ernst, der die die Siedler warnt, dass jeder siebente Winte ...more
This one was pretty good. It tells about their first winter after getting the homestead, which turns out to be crazily filled with one blizzard after another. I have to wonder though-how realistic is it that it would blizzard THAT ferociously and THAT frequently? I researched it a little and turns out it really was a crazy winter that year, (1880-1881) and is referred to as "The Snow Winter". There's some bits of drama and suspense as they get snowed in and run low on food. We hear more about Al ...more
Wendy Scott
This October I was listening to a radio episode of "This American Life," in which a woman was talking about relocating from New York to the midwest. She moved because she had always been a fan of the "Little House on the Prairie" books, and wanted to see the countryside Laura Ingalls grew up in as part of an early homesteading family. Well! I thought. I had never realized that the Ingalls books were anything other than fiction, and the few clips I had seen of the Little House TV series were so " ...more
Charity (CJ)
I'm enjoying all of the Little House books, but this one has been the best to date.

First, Laura's a teenager here. She's assumed many more grown-up responsibilities around the Ingalls' home. Not only is her work becoming more critical to the operation of the household, she's starting to be let in on the dangers of her family's life in a way that she's not been before. In The Long Winter, Laura faces the very real possibility of losing her family and her own life. She witnesses her parents shift
This was always my favorite of the Little House books; I like stories where people are pitted against nature. I've since read that the Snow Winter of 1880/1881 was not quite as intense as this, but it's understandable that she would write it this way. If the trains couldn't get through, they would have been struggling to survive even if there had been fewer blizzards.

Early in the book there is an incident where an old Indian comes into town and warns the men that the winter will be very bad. It
Cynthia Hill
I think it's safe to say that this is the most difficult of the original Little House books to read. By its very nature, it is suffocating and torturous, but at the same time, that is the brilliance of it. I cannot even imagine what the settlers of De Smet went through that winter. Nothing to eat for several months but sour dough bread made with home ground wheat. Very little light. The possibility of being lost in a blizzard any time you left home. Freezing cold. Having your hands chapped, cut, ...more
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libertarianism and capitalism 30 137 Mar 18, 2014 06:02PM  
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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) On the Banks of Plum Creek  (Little House, #4) Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7)

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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.” 1251 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.” 36 likes
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