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On the Banks of Plum Creek

(Little House #4)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  93,260 ratings  ·  1,882 reviews
Based on the real-life adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, On the Banks of Plum Creek is the Newbery Honor-winning fourth book in the Little House series, which has captivated generations of readers. This edition features the classic black-and-white artwork from Garth Williams.

The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as they leave their little house on the p
...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published October 14th 1953 by Harper & Row (first published 1937)
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Charlotte I think it might be cool to. But I would not let oxen on it.
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I think it might be cool to. But I would not let oxen on it.
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Ruby Rose Depends on how you like it. It took me around 5 days to read.

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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  93,260 ratings  ·  1,882 reviews


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Michelle
Good grief, as an adult and as a parent, have I grown too practical to read and completely enjoy these books?

When Ma and Pa packed up the kiddos and left the Big Woods because there were too many people, less land and game to go around, I thought a little bit to myself, Um...Pa, did we think through this completely? Are you sure? Are we safe? But Pa is supposed to be an example of Great American Spirit. So, fine, we let this happen. There were some bumps in the road, but oh boy, we have some ma
...more
Deborah Markus
It's easy to get so stuck on the subject matter of the stories Wilder tells that we fail to notice her brilliant, deceptively quiet writing. Her descriptions of scenery are gorgeous, of course; but I love the tiny sentences that tell so much, like this one when eight-year-old Mary and seven-year-old Laura are confronted by a wild herd of cattle:

Mary was too scared to move. Laura was too scared to stand still.

Or similarly simple descriptions of the girls waiting for their mother to come home:

The
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Tatiana
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This place should be called "Hell Hole", not "Plum Creek". Grasshoppers and blizzards. Another crappy decision by Pa. ...more
Miranda Reads
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
The Ingalls Family versus the World

Laura and her family drove their covered wagon all the way to Minnesota to begin life anew.

Their new house? Built into a bank, with mud walls and a grass roof. A dugout. Ma is not pleased (especially when a cow manages to go through the roof!) but the girls found little ways to be delighted.

There's a little creek full of fish and crayfish. There's school - full of new people and learning. And there's family - all together and happy.

Except, the crops are ruined
...more
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
This one seemed to be the most serious so far in the series. Things were not always happy and easy, by any means, but the family always made the most of their circumstances and survived. I'm anxious to read on and find out what happens next! ...more
Diane
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was visiting relatives in Minnesota recently and was hit with a wave of nostalgia when I saw a sign for the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in Walnut Grove. Somewhere in my mother's photo collection there is a picture of 8-year-old me, crouching by the grassy mound that was once the dugout home of Laura Ingalls and her family in the 1870s. Laura's stories from that period are told in the book, "On the Banks of Plum Creek." Coincidentally, Laura was also about 8 in the book.

I loved the Little House
...more
HBalikov
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book #4 in the series. It can be read on its own, but there is much to be gained by knowing what Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and baby Carrie have experienced. For instance, the first book has them in the dense forests of Wisconsin in the last quarter of the 19th century. A lot of their extended family live nearby. In Little House on the Prairie, they leave Wisconsin and journey alone into Missouri and, finally, Kansas.

In this volume, having left Kansas for Minnesota, they have traded t
...more
Manybooks
So yes indeed, in Laura Ingalla Wilder’s fourth instalment of her Little House on the Prairie series, in her published in 1937 and 1938 Newbery Honour winning On the Shores of Plum Lake (where Laura and her older sister Mary appear to be around eight to ten years of age and the Ingalls family is trying to homestead near Walnut Grove, Minnesota) there are of course and naturally some encountered and in fact be expected time and place oriented and based instances of ethnic stereotyping (a number o ...more
Elizabeth
Decided to re-read this preparatory to visiting Walnut Grove!

When I was 7 or 8 this was my favorite of the series and all I remembered about it was the creek and the school and Laura's rivalry with Nellie Oleson. Which is quite remarkable because that is only a couple of chapters, and the rest of the book - the BULK of the book - is the battle against poverty, drought, and mainly, GRASSHOPPERS. The descriptions of the grasshopper swarms are absolutely CHILLING. I literally had goosebumps every t
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Andrea Cox
This series was a staple of my childhood! It was a pure delight revisiting Plum Creek for a reading challenge this spring (2018). Truly, I now want to revisit each book in the series, from beginning to end. Such grand adventures Laura had! I hope my future children (if God so blesses me) will adore this book (and the rest) as much as I.

I was not compensated for my honest review.
Dave Schaafsma
Listened with the family to the great Cherry Jones read this on cd and it is really (again) so surprisingly good. Listening in the car from Davenport, Iowa back to Chicago to finish it, I can't recall stretches of road (gulp). What I recall is Pa telling his story of snow blindness and falling into a ditch in a blizzard and sleeping in a bearskin coat for a couple days under six feet of snow and then, when the storm clears, seeing he was very close to his Plum Banks home and trudging in. Makes R ...more
Celeste
I’m still completely engrossed in this series. For the first time in Laura’s story (not including Farmer Boy since it revolved around Almanzo instead), the show begins to deviate from the books that inspired them. Some of the characters in the book, while still present, differed greatly from their counterparts I have come to know through the show. There was one change I’m incredibly glad that the show made, and that was the substitution of hail for the plague of grasshoppers that hits the Ingall ...more
Karin
The Ingalls family has come to Minnesota after leaving Indian country when they learned that they had been given false information about being allowed to settle there--this chronology is a big fictionalized, since IRL they returned back to where they came from for a time before heading to Minnesota, but the basics of all of this are from their real lives.

They start off living in a dugout that Pa trades for, near a creek, where Mary and Laura go to a school and an actual church for the first time
...more
E.F.B.
Once again, I enjoyed seeing this historical era through the eyes of someone who lived it. Who knew a square broom as opposed to a circular one would be seen as a luxury to get excited about? And I hadn't thought about tumbleweeds catching on fire and threatening homes as they continued to roll as wheels of fire. I've heard of grasshopper clouds dimming the sun but to have it and the destruction the insects caused described was both frightening and fascinating. And of course, in the midst of it ...more
Sanja_Sanjalica
If we disregard racist parts (but they do paint a picture of the time the book was written. with proper explanation of the context to the children, this could be a great lesson book about prejudice), this was a really fun read. I feel that, as more the family goes west, the harder their life is and the nature is more dangerous and unpredictable. Since they live closer to the town, we get more interactions with other characters. The book made me appreciate all the amenities we take for granted. N ...more
Philip
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eleanor and I are here to review the latest installment of the Little House series, so Eleanor, I'm going to move it to the "Read" shelf.

E: What color shelf is Gwen's?

Dad: Oh. It's not the color red. There are 3 shelves: read - meaning "I read it," currently reading, and I want to read it.

E: Oh. Maybe for the next book, we could sit on the computer bench and move the Silver Lake book to the "currently-reading" shelf.

D: Ummm... Ok. We can do that. Or, I could I could move it to the "currently-rea
...more
Anne
I loved reading this book while camping. I wasn't exactly in a prairie, but it was great to read this outside lost in the nature. This book was so sweet and charming, and its simplicity was refreshing after some other heavier books I was reading. I loved following Laura and Mary around their underground house, picking up plums and playing in the creek. I loved feeling happy for them when they made a button garland for Carrie's Christmas, or when they got a new cow. And I could sympathize and fee ...more
Christina DeVane
So fun to listen to this with the boys! 😍 They were so sad when it ended!
Jammin Jenny
I really enjoyed this story set in 1875-1877 with Laura Ingalls and her family. In this story, they first move into a home in the creek (a dugout) - makes me think of the hobbits homes :).

I liked the historical information - the swarm of the grasshoppers that wrecked their first wheat crop. We also meet Nellie Olsen and Willie Olsen - they are really obnoxious. It was funny I thought when Nellie ended up covered in leeches.
wanderer
This isn't my favorite Laura book but it contains two of the most impressive, and perhaps famous, scenes: Nellie Olson dancing about with leeches on her legs (the absolute best example of "what goes around, comes around" I've ever seen) and the coming of the grasshoppers (nightmare material, that.)

This is also the book where the doll Charlotte goes and comes back--in two favorite, love-hate scenes--and the book where Laura gets a fur muff. Oh, how I wanted a muff. There are more simple, beautif
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Heidi
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

I normally never write a review of a
book if it has at least 30 to 50 ratings.
As far as I am concerned, what would be the
point of doing that.

I know I read at least 3 of these books when
I was about 11 years old. At the time, I just thought
they were sortof OK. I didn't think any of them
was particularly great or special.

I recently re-read this book--I am now 59
years old. I don't know if I can explain how
my opinion of this one has changed so much
but it must just be that I am older and
...more
Dawn Trlak-Donahue
Starting to really agree with a review I read of the Little House books. One woman wrote about how on top of things Alamonzo's family seemed in Farmer Boy. They had a permanent home, savings, etc. Whereas Papa Ingalls was a hot mess. He dragged the family away from their relatives in Wisconsin where they had a home, to Indian country. Along the way they were almost swept away down a river when he insisted they could cross it, wagon and all. (Jack, the dog, gets the short end of the stick overall ...more
Chinook
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america, audiobook, kids
The bit where Ma makes Laura give the baby visiting her doll to take home and the other mother allows her kid to take it, considering how few and far between any toys are - that bit killed me. How fucking mean. Also, this family has horrible luck with farming. I mean, it feels a bit like maybe they aren’t very good at it either, but still. Grasshoppers the first year is rough.
BAM Endlessly Booked
In this book Laura is living in Minnesota in a dugout type of house-literally a hole underground. And strange thing -mild winters whoda thought?
She lives here about five years, but her Pa just cannot get much to grow; the land is just not fertile. They are very close to town though, within walking distance.
BookishStitcher
Listening to the audiobooks for this whole series since I never read them as a kid.
Mimi
Ha! I couldn't even tell you what the cover illustration was on this one (although I'm sure it was the above) as it has been gone for so very long.
A few years ago, my Book Club read The Children's Blizzard, which talked about the settling of the Midwest by the mostly Scandinavian immigrants and how harsh the land was, and really unsuitable for homesteading. While at the time, I thought of The Long Winterthis book illustrates the point as well. When they first arrive, Mr. Nelson is heading west
...more
Kelly
Aside from Pa's failures to produce the promised wheat crops (he sure talks a helluva game about this in this book) and his need to "walk 300 miles" to find a job, this book features the Ingalls family staying in one place the entire book.

No worries, though. We know how irritating the Norwegians are, how the church folks can't sing in tune, and how the grasshoppers are the root of all evil. Also, Laura is a vindictive little bitch toward one of her classmates and it was kind of fantastic to rea
...more
Lisa
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is maria i am lisas daughter.i think the book was graet.my favrit part is when laura allmost drowns on the footbrige.the end was very exsiting whith the blizerds.i want to read the next book about this family.
Ivy-Mabel Fling
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has been the most exciting yet of the series with even more disasters and fewer descriptions. It is also the volume where things start to go a bit wrong, which does make the whole story more realistic. The narrator is, as in the other books able to draw us into the tale and help us to forgive Pa (who seems to make some very unwise decisions). I don't know who I would recommend this to as it depicts a very different world from that of today's children and is not necessarily what adults would ...more
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Ingalls wrote a series of historical fiction books for children based on her childhood growing up in a pioneer family. She also wrote a regular newspaper column and kept a diary as an adult moving from South Dakota to Missouri, the latter of which has been published as a book.

Other books in the series

Little House (9 books)
  • Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1)
  • Farmer Boy (Little House, #2)
  • Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #3)
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake  (Little House, #5)
  • The Long Winter (Little House, #6)
  • Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7)
  • These Happy Golden Years (Little House, #8)
  • The First Four Years  (Little House, #9)

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