Tracy's Reviews > Little House on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
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's review
Aug 31, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: children, little-house
Read in August, 2012

I am re-reading the entire series now, which I read repeatedly when I was a child in the 1970s. I know there is a lot of controversy around this particular book now: the descriptions of the Indians, for one, as well as the fact that Laura was so young when her family lived in the little house on the prairie that she is not telling this story from her own memories. Regardless, it is a classic adventure story. The family sets off on a long journey for parts unknown. They face many life-threatening dangers, not only on the journey, but also in the strange new land, but they triumph over them. In the end, finally facing defeat, they set off for a new life with some regrets and sorrow, but with a sense of anticipation that all will be well.

The descriptions are vivid and bring the prairie to life. I feel the loneliness of the vast expanses, the hotness of the sun, the blowing of the wind, the restlessness. The prairie is at turns charming and frightening. It is also marvelous to know that Pa can pull his family up to a spot on the prairie and build a house with a fireplace, and furnish it, using materials he finds right there for free on the land.

As for the description of the Indians, it is true when I was a child reading this book on my own, not with a parent or as part of a school curriculum, that the Indians frightened me. Now with my adult eye, I can see that there is sympathy for the Indians. Laura asks Ma why they moved to Indian Territory if Ma is so afraid of the Indians (a question without an answer!). Pa wants to be on good terms (albeit to take their land away from them, but he at least seems to have some respect for their culture). I think this book is a good springboard for discussion on these issues.

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