Summer's Reviews > Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
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I started rereading this series because of John Scieszka's bizarre hatred of Little House on the Prairie. In attempting the perfectly noble task of getting young boys to read more, Scieszka has continuously heaped scorn on that book, banishing it to the girl ghetto of the Sweet Valley High and American Girls series. Putting aside the unfair comparison to syndicate titles published for purely commercial reasons, his assesment of Little House as a book purely for girls is infuriating.

For one thing, gender-segregated reading rubs me the wrong way. For another thing, these books contain aspects that any child might enjoy. There's farming, hunting, construction, cooking, locust plagues, wolf packs, riots, blizzards, tragedy, hope, family, hard work, preserverance, horses, dogs, railroads, envy, loss, and triumph. Ignore the sugary-sweet, insipid television series - these books are genuine and engaging.
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Comments (showing 1-22)




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Patsy Whoa, I had no idea. He is so incredibly wrong. Read this book to my son when he was 5. He LOVED it. I thought it would be too girly ... but then we read about slaughtering a pig, shooting bears, etc. Repeat: He LOVED it. Loved Little House on the Prairie more - Indians! Methinks he watched the TV show instead.


Summer I'm glad to hear that your son liked it! I think this is a great series for any kid.


♥ Ibrahim ♥ Men who classify literature as gender-segregated are really a bunch of fools. They miss the point completely behind a work of art that is meant to enrich the human experience at large. I am so eager to read this work and I read everything. We are the male and the female at one: the cosmos.


message 19: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Schmidt My brother loved these books as much as I did. All the grist of real life is here-- for boys and girls alike. I have no idea who John Scieska is and I hope I never find out!

(Two of the 15 books my daughter has read for high school English so far have female protagonists. Many of them have had no major female characters at all.)


Laura I'm reading it to my sons right now and they LOVE it. It is definitely not just for little girls - the boys love pa and his adventures hunting.


message 17: by Lara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lara I got into these books because of the tv series which both my husband and I love. These stories are great for all people of all ages. And the tv series is pretty good too.


Cup of tea My son loved to read it at the age of 13.
And I'm going to recommend it to my parents too.


Kimberly Mcdermott My 8 year old son is an avid reader and adores this book. I just bought th rest of the series.


Wendy Darling Wow, I had no idea. Thanks so much for the info--those kinds of views are pretty self-centered and narrow-minded.


Wendy Darling P.S. I can't find any articles about it--I don't suppose you have links to any of those statements? I know it's been awhile since you posted this!


Brylee Smith Cool


message 11: by Sara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sara Just started this and my son is enjoying it. I read classics to my daughter and son each night, and have never thought of limiting our choices based on gender. Maybe one of the reasons some kids lack for reading passion is that adults like Scieszka imply that readers need limit themselves to certain types of books. Wow, now I am angry. I thought children's authors wanted more kids to read more books.


message 10: by Anna (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna My 8 year old son enjoyed this book. It was an interesting look back at the way things used to be. We are now reading "Little House on the Prairie", and he begs me to read each night.

My mom read these, at bedtime, to my sister and I. So, I am happy to carry on the tradition.


message 9: by Leslie (new) - added it

Leslie Since I am reading the first book aloud to my 8yo daughter, I also checked out Farmer Boy. My 14yo son is having a great time reading about farming in it! I think many boys would love the simple, gentle voice of the narrator in these books.


message 8: by Tim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim I read it when I was around 10 years old, loved it.


message 7: by Tiffany (new) - added it

Tiffany Crites Currently reading this to my 3 &7 year old.They're loving it


Mrs. Sol My boys love this book


Ashley Fuller Just read this to my 3 and 5 year old daughters, and we all enjoyed it immensely. I was probably 10 the last time I read this book, and I appreciated a lot of new aspects re-reading it as an adult. (Poor Ma, that lady never got a day of rest, did she?) As a writer, I appreciated more of Laura's tongue-in-cheek assessments of herself as a child, especially when comparing herself to Mary. Really subtle, really delightful.


Rachael My mom read this book to my siblings and I (two girls and two boys). We all enjoyed it equally. I think there were even times they liked it more. My brothers were ages 9 and 4 at the time. I would recommend it for all children.


Laurence I was about 10 when I read this and it was one of the best books this outdoorsman has ever read!!


Hanz first time I have read them at age 37. I never knew they were so good.


Phil Jensen Hey, now, take it easy on the AG books! I never finished one because they were (unlike Little House) too girly for me. However, I would never lump them in with the Sweet Valley/Babysitter's Club stuff. They teach historical knowledge and lessons about citizenship- much like Little House does.


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