Rebecca's Reviews > On the Banks of Plum Creek

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
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's review
Jan 04, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2012, read-out-loud
Read from December 23, 2011 to January 03, 2012

This was my favorite in the Little House series growing up, and it is Audrey's (age 5) favorite so far. I love the setting (the Minnesotan plains now) and the adventures they go through in On the Banks of Plum Creek. The live in a dugout until Pa makes them a house with two rooms (!) and more than one glass window (!!) and a wood-burning stove (!!!). So much happens: Laura almost drowns, Laura's legs get covered in leeches, a glittering cloud of grasshoppers descends on the wheat fields and eats everything in sight.

It's true that life was harsher back then, and parents expected more of their kids than they do today. Recognizing these differences is one of the most valuable parts of the series. I find myself referring to the books whenever my child does something Ma or Pa wouldn't put up with. "What Would Laura Do?" I ask. (I should make her a WWLD? bracelet.)

Final note: Some of the reviewers have written Pa off as a crazy, impetuous man who keeps putting his family in danger, all for his selfish desire to tame the Wild West. He bought the materials for his house on credit only to have his wheat field get devoured by a swarm of grasshoppers, for example. This detail bothers a lot of readers, but I'm not sure why; after all, don't most of us homeowners take out a mortgage for a house, expecting to pay it off with future earnings? There is no textual evidence to support the idea that Pa wasn't able to pay off his loan.

Besides, if Pa hadn't hauled the Ingalls family off in a covered wagon to tame the Wild West, what would Laura have to write about?

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Jenny I think this one might be my favorite too. I love the stories about Nellie Oleson and the blizzards. Janna and I just finished On the Shores of Silver Lake and it definitely wasn't as fun to read as this one. As far as Pa goes, he is one of my favorite characters. He's a jack of all trades and pretty amazing with a fiddle.

Rebecca He also seemed to really get Laura in a way her mother and sisters never quite did. I remembered so many details from this book from my childhood! I don't remember anything from On the Shores of Silver Lake except for a part about running so fast through the rain that she didn't get wet because she could dodge through the raindrops. Is Nellie in Silver Lake? I know she comes back in later books. I loved how she used to say, "Well that is just too-too!"

Jenny No, she's not in Silver Lake. Janna found a chapter titled "Nellie Olson" in These Happy Golden Years. I can't remember if she's in of the others.

I think Pa and Laura were very similar, which is why he got her better than her mom. In Silver Lake she realizes how much she loves being out on the prairie, not near crowds of people. This was the main reason Pa wanted to leave the Big Woods.

I didn't read this series until I was an adult. I love it and it's so fun to read it again with my daughters.

Rebecca Have your kids watched the t.v. show? I loved that as a child, too. I think I was older (6th grade?) before I started watching it; they played re-runs every day after school. I'm sure it was quite a few years after they originally aired.

I think my daughter will really like the t.v. show when she's a little older. She's still in kindergarten now.

Oh, the reason I thought of this is because Nellie is one of the main characters in the show!

Jenny My kids were really into the series this fall. I used to watch it as a kid too, but I don't remember so many episodes about domestic violence and alcoholism. The first season shows are more from the books. You could probably get the whole first season from your library. I bet your daughter would love them in a couple of years.

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