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Little House in Brookfield (Little House: The Caroline Years, #1)
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Little House in Brookfield (Little House: The Caroline Years #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  6,697 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Spirit of the Western Frontier: Meet Caroline Quiner, the little girl who would grow up to be Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother.

Little House in Brookfield marks the launch of an on-going series about the adventures of Caroline Quiner, who would grow up to be Ma Ingalls in the Little House books. Written in the classic tradition of the Little House and the Rocky Ridge books, an
Paperback, 298 pages
Published April 12th 1996 by Harpercoll
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Naomi Sarah
Awww. Dear Caroline. I do like this book - and I remember LOVING it as a child. Really, Caroline was the first heroine I fully related to; and I remember being THRILLED when I read this book first - to find such a kindred spirit.
Jul 14, 2011 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: little-house
You know a book is good when I (age fifteen) am reading about the daily life of a five-year old. Not garanteeing that every Fifteen year old will love this book, But it reminds me of my childhood, and makes me happy. I just wish it was a fairy tale, because if it was based off anything but a true story, Father would come waltzing in Christmas morning with a big sack of flour and candy all around. Unfortunately, this is not a movie, this is not one of my "once upon a time" novels, this is little ...more
Rea K
Sep 11, 2015 Rea K rated it really liked it
Excuse me while I go and cry in a corner. Caroline Quiner's father died about the time she turned five, and this begins towards the end of their first year without him.
I recognized parts of this book, making me wonder if perhaps I read this one already. I remember laundry day the best. Thank goodness for wash machines. And running water. All that modern stuff. I take back all I said about going back in time. Doctor, if you were planning on stopping at my house, I'm going to have to put a leash
Sep 17, 2010 Megan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley Perham
Dec 27, 2013 Ashley Perham rated it really liked it
Apparently this was one of my favorite books ten years ago. I seem to have started it so much that the first two chapters are falling out of the book! I can see why my seven year old self might have liked it. It's basically Little House on the Prairie before Little House on the Prairie but written after. It had a protagonist basically the same age I was, and it's a fun read.

But reading it after the Charlotte series was different. Young Charlotte and young Caroline are basically the same. Maybe w
Apr 15, 2015 Beverly rated it really liked it
Caroline Quiner is the fourth of six children. Older siblings are Joseph 12, Henry 10, Martha 8. Caroline is 6, Eliza 3, and Baby Tomas 1. Father was lost at sea the previous year and his mother came to live with them. Mother, Charlotte, was a dressmaker in Boston when she met Henry Quiner, Sr. He was a silversmith at the time. He was a happy go lucky fellow who trusted in his wit. Charlotte realized the dangers of silver making, and he told her she could worry for him. The day of his wedding, h ...more
Kristen Luppino
A good intro to "Ma." Though some felt a little generic...guess that's what happens when you go back through the years!
Sadly, this was the only Caroline book that I managed to read. I always wanted to buy the others, but by the time I had enough allowance, I had already moved on to greater books.

One of these days I will buy the whole entire series (from Martha all the way down to Rose!)

As I recall the novel, though, Caroline was a bit boring. The most interesting thing was that she lived in Boston (all the other girls I'd read about lived in frontier towns, or something similar), so we got a bit of city life (b
Rosa Cline
Once again a really good book that even though it was from a different author than the Martha and Charlotte years; this author writes very similar to the other so it's not to often you recognize the difference.

This book introduces you to Caroline (Laura Ingallas mother) when she was 5 (as in the other books they all seem to start when the child is 5 or 6) Right after Caroline's Daddy was lost at sea and so the story takes you into the first year of trials and adjustment of Charlotte doing what s
Paul Lunger
Sep 27, 2012 Paul Lunger rated it it was amazing
Caroline Quiner is the little girl who would go on to become Laura Ingalls's mother in the Little House on the Prairie series in both film and print. Maria Wilkes's "Little House in Brookfield" begins the tale of Caroline at the age of 5 in 1845 Wisconsin. The story finds the Quiner family dealing with the recent death of their father Henry who has been lost at sea in a schooner accident & follows them across the better part of a year. From the harvest to a visit to town to Christmas to scho ...more
Apr 15, 2009 Sadie rated it really liked it
I enjoyed learning about Caroline and her family as a little girl, but I found I felt most for Charlotte, now grown up and raising a family alone..having just finished reading about her as a little girl this book now completes Charlotte for me, seeing her as a mother. The same thing happened to me with Martha's stories and I expect that it will continue to do so with the rest of the series. There are quite a few touching moments when Charlotte and her children are helped by friends and other une ...more
Jun 02, 2009 Penny rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure my middle son would be interested in this series. I've been a fan of Little House my whole life. And I guess he's been forced to be one, too. But, his immediate reaction was postive. I was intrigued because this series features Caroline, Laura's mother. I found the first book very true to the original series in tone, style, and historical integrity. Not to mention it kept not only my middle son interested as well as my youngest while they worked on their spelling and handwriting. N ...more
Jul 11, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a good book, and probably based more in fact than the books about Martha and Charlotte, since the author's research included letters from Caroline's sister about their life at the time. It was a bit sad that the throughline was the loss of Caroline's father when she was four, but I suppose that's a bit of fact that you can't get around, and was surely typical of the times. Caroline's life sounds very like Laura's in the Big Woods book, in terms of frontier technology, so girls ...more
Jennifer Rasmussen
I like this book because it has funny, sad and kind characters. Also, the main character is a little girl named Caroline. She goes through sad, happy and good times. Caroline has two sisters and two brothers. Her grandmother lives in the house with her ever since her father died. One example of a funny moment is the first time Caroline went to church her older sister slipped off her shoes in church. The last reason I like this book is because at the end Caroline meets a new friend named Anna.
April Brown
Oct 08, 2012 April Brown rated it really liked it
What ages would I recommend it too? – Eight and up.

Length? – A couple of day’s read.

Characters? – Memorable, several characters.

Setting? – Real world 1845 in Wisconsin.

Written approximately? – 1996.

Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? – Ready to read more.

Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? No.

Short storyline: Caroline is five, and learning to live without a father in a large family.

Notes for the reader: You'll want to read more.
Lorraine Catt
Oct 20, 2014 Lorraine Catt rated it it was amazing
I think that this book was a very interesting book. You would never know what was happening next. When Martha and Caroline got to the school house I was surprised as much as they were that there was a schoolmistress. Not a schoolmaster. Caroline is like a young lady and is just like her daughter Mary. Her daughter Laura was just like her sister Martha. I think EVERYONE should read this book! It is REALLY good.

Jun 26, 2013 Kymm rated it liked it
Close to a 3.5 or a little higher. As a fan of the Little House series, this was a pleasant read, but not a great one. It imagines the childhood of Caroline Quiner, who grew up to be Ma to Mary, Laura, Carrie, and Grace. The writing is much in the style of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but lacks the sparkle Laura brought to her own books. Still, I will likely read other books that extend the Little House series as something of a summer project.
Jan 15, 2011 Zoe rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
While not quite as detailed about daily life as the original books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this book (the first in the series about her mother's childhood) is based on letters Laura wrote to her aunt, asking for more stories about her and her mother's childhood. The story begins about a year after Caroline's father was lost at sea, and her mother is having a tough time making the best of things with 6 children.
Feb 26, 2008 Jennifer rated it did not like it
I read this thinking (or hoping) that it would be just another series/continuation of the old Little House books I read growing up. While I thought the story was adequate, it didn't give me the good feelings, reminiscences, and homeliness-feel that the original books by Wilder left me with. My advice is have your kids read the original series first, and then if they want to, read these (but NOT as a replacement for the originals!).
Mar 25, 2010 Kasey rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was very interesting learning about Ma growing up.
This is the first book in the Caroline Years and I would greatly encourage Little House fans to read the whole little house series beginning with Laura's great grandmother, Martha, and ending with Laura's daugher, Rose. It was so much fun reading about the different times these women lived in. Rated three stars because it is way below my reading level so it is a entertaining fast read.
Panda Incognito
This book was not nearly as good as I remembered it. It was still interesting, and a nice story, but the writing was not engaging. The Martha books, the first generation of the Little House books, were by a different author and significantly better when it came to the writing style, although I would recommend both series to a younger child.
Mar 10, 2012 Allison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm sad to hear that they've abridged these books as it makes it harder for me to track down the "real" copies. Still, I felt like I was really missing a lot when I realized this book was barely over 100 pages in an easy-reader size font.

Thankfully I've got the older (i.e. uncondensed) versions of the next two. We'll see if they're much better.
Amy Flink
Dec 12, 2012 Amy Flink rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!! It is about Ma Ingalls as a little girl. In Laura's books she is quiet and reserved but as a child I am delighted to find that she is very engaging and a little girl of integrity. My favorite part of the book is when Caroline and her sister Martha get dressed for church and Martha decides she will not wear her holey shoes with her pretty new dress into church!! TOO funny.
Yolanda Rico
having a really hard time getting into this book. i stopped reading it and read the little house series instead. it just pales so much and doesn't have LIW's storytelling presence. debating finishing before it is due at the library on saturday.

i finished it, it is okay. debating whether to read the rest of the series. nice to hear stories about Ma, just wonder how much of it is true.
Jul 07, 2008 Keara rated it liked it
I read this book because one of the books in the series takes place in Concord, "On Top of Concord Hill". It's a cute story and a super easy read (4-6th grade level). There weren't many historical references to Brookfield, as I had hoped. I'm not sure if I'll continue on with the series, just skip to the book about Concord or give up.
Jul 17, 2013 Noelle rated it it was ok
'Little house in Brookfield' was exactly the same as my rating; OK. The storyline was a bit slow, and all the paragraphs were wordy. Yes, it's from the point of view of a five-year-old girl, (Caroline) so I guess the wordiness and slow pace were sort of justified. However, I do recommend reading the whole series, because it gets better as she grows older.
Jul 01, 2014 Mary-Jane rated it liked it
In this first book of the series, Caroline (Laura's mom) is 6 years old. The family is learning to manage without their dad (and with subsequently fewer resources) after he is killed while on a schooner in a storm, and their grandmother now lives with them. Their mother thinks the town is too busy (about 1,000 people), so Caroline hardly ever goes into town.
Jan 05, 2017 Natalie rated it it was ok
I think I liked this a whole lot better when I was younger, but this time around I'm sorry to say I was bored out of my mind. There's no plot. :P

Due to my love of Little House, I feel that I must mention that it's still a sweet book though. Just really boring. ;)
Callie Stillion
Jul 19, 2013 Callie Stillion rated it it was amazing
This is the unknown story of Caroline`s times in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Now that you`ve read the book, it isn`t an unknown story. Caroline, in this story finds out that her Father will never be back from his adventures, because the storm pulled Father`s ship down. ...more
Emily-Jane Orford
Another good classic read - not quite as good, though, as the "Little House on the Prairie" series, which are more historical memoirs. Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford, award-winning author of "The Whistling Bishop" and "F-Stop: A Life in Pictures".
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Maria D. Wilkes first read the Little House books as a young girl and has been fascinated by pioneer history ever since. She did extensive research on the Quiner, Ingalls, and Wilder families, studied original sources and family letters and diaries, and worked in close consultation with several historians and the Laura Ingalls Wilder estate as she wrote the Caroline Years books. She lives in New J ...more
More about Maria D. Wilkes...

Other Books in the Series

Little House: The Caroline Years (7 books)
  • Little Town at the Crossroads (Little House: The Caroline Years, #2)
  • Little Clearing in the Woods (Little House: The Caroline Years, #3)
  • On Top of Concord Hill (Little House: The Caroline Years, #4)
  • Across the Rolling River (Little House: The Caroline Years, #5)
  • Little City by the Lake (Little House: The Caroline Years, #6)
  • A Little House of Their Own (Little House: The Caroline Years, #7)

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