I'm so glad I was able to read this. It was very interesting to compare it to the published Little House books and see how they differ. One significan...moreI'm so glad I was able to read this. It was very interesting to compare it to the published Little House books and see how they differ. One significant difference is Pioneer Girl includes the 3-4 years in between On the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake. Since I've read several biographies about Laura Ingalls Wilder I already knew what happened then, but it was nice to read the original source material.
Other things I noticed:
* Laura learns to knit at 3-4 years old, but soon gets tired of it.
* Laura learns to read at the same time as Mary, when she is about 4 years old. In the series, Laura is 7 years old before she learns to read.
* Ma and the girls visit Aunt Martha and her children—I think this should have gone into Little House in the Big Woods!
* Laura learns how to milk a cow from Mrs. Nelson, which is why she already knows how when Pa purchases a cow.
* Sunday School picnic in Walnut Grove—Laura and Mary can't eat any dessert because they didn't know it cost extra money. They had brought a lemon pie, but the teachers held it back for themselves and the girls couldn't eat it.
* Laura's cousin Gene's name is spelled correctly—I don't know why it was spelled "Jean" in the series!
* The Ingalls family has a boarder, Walter Odgen, while they are living in the Surveyors' House.
* Christmas in the Surveyors' House—they have different Christmas presents
* During the Hard Winter, a young couple named George and Maggie Masters stay with the Ingalls family. I'm glad they weren't put into The Long Winter—it is better without them.
*Pa actually shoots one of the antelope, and the townspeople share it
* Some people stay with Laura, Carrie, and Grace while Pa and Ma take Mary to Iowa. I'm glad they weren't put into the book.
* T. P. Power (one of the drunks Laura watches while sewing for Mrs. Clancy) is Mary Power's father! I don't think that connection was made in the book.
* When Laura and Carrie go home a different way and get lost in the Big Slough, it was because they were trying to avoid Banker Ruth's angry bull. They actually tell Pa about their experience and Pa gets angry with Banker Ruth.
* A boy named Ernest Perry likes Laura and takes her to country dances. She doesn't like it and refuses to go after the second time. She says she was "a snob even then".
* Laura likes Cap, and one of the reasons she tells Almanzo she won't go driving with him after she finishes teaching school is because she hopes to go with Cap. One time Cap does ask her to go sleigh riding, and Laura realizes she likes Almanzo better. Arthur Johnson walks Laura home from church once, and Laura doesn't like that either and she realizes how much she likes Almanzo.
* Laura doesn't want to call Almanzo "Mr. Wilder" and mishears his nickname, Mannie, as Manly. She calls him "Manly" thereafter because she thinks Manzo and Mannie sound silly. Almanzo calls Laura "Bessie" because he doesn't like the name Laura (he also had a sister named Laura), and her middle name is Elizabeth.
* Laura once skips school to go skating at the new roller rink. Her teacher is disappointed because she usually set such a good example.
* Almanzo sells both Skip and Barnum before he and Laura are married, but both horses are in The First Four Years
* The Perry school is not mentioned, but Laura's time in the Wilkins school is covered.
* When Laura and Almanzo are engaged, Almanzo comes for dinner every Sunday and is allowed to stay and talk to Laura until 11:00 at night (the rest of the family goes to bed at 9:00). Once, Almanzo sets the clock back an hour after the family goes to bed so he can stay until midnight.(less)
This is definitely one of the best books in the Little House series. I was 8 or 9 when I first read it, and at the time I thought it was kind of borin...moreThis is definitely one of the best books in the Little House series. I was 8 or 9 when I first read it, and at the time I thought it was kind of boring because "nothing happens". However, by the time I was about 15 it was one of my favorites. The Long Winter is very well written and suspenseful. It really is amazing how everyone survived.(less)
I'd forgotten how good this book is. When I was younger I didn't like it as much as other books in the series, so I didn't read it as often. This audi...moreI'd forgotten how good this book is. When I was younger I didn't like it as much as other books in the series, so I didn't read it as often. This audio version really makes the book come alive with the excellent narration and fiddle music. A few parts even brought tears to my eyes.(less)