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On the Banks of Plum Creek

(Little House #4)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  90,741 ratings  ·  1,774 reviews
The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as they leave their little house on the prairie and travel in their covered wagon to Minnesota. They settle into a house made of sod on the banks of beautiful Plum Creek. Soon Pa builds them a sturdier house, with real glass windows and a hinged door. Laura and Mary go to school, help with the chores around the house, ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by HarperTrophy (first published 1937)
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Charlotte I think it might be cool to. But I would not let oxen on it.
I think it might be cool to. But I would not let oxen on it.
Ruby 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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 ·  90,741 ratings  ·  1,774 reviews

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Start your review of On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House, #4)
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
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:

This place should be called "Hell Hole", not "Plum Creek". Grasshoppers and blizzards. Another crappy decision by Pa.
Miranda Reads
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
David 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
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
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
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
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.
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
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, america, audiobook
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 The Bibliomaniac
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.
Listening to the audiobooks for this whole series since I never read them as a kid.
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is maria i am lisas daughter.i think the book was 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
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
I loved this book! I am currently rereading the entire Little House series, which I have not visited since I was a kid. I feel like the books just keep getting better. Since it had been such a long time since I read this, I had forgotten most of the plot and, consequently, it was almost like reading this for the first time.

I was left with a few unanswered questions. For example:(view spoiler)
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
This one has some of the most memorable moments in the Little House series: the little dugout house, the cow putting his foot through the roof, leeches in the creek, locusts, doing chores by following a rope between the house and barn in a blizzard..... all those moments of life in a pioneering era of hardship and pure heart. Despite knowing how these stories turn out, I still get anxious for Pa coming home in the storm, or when trying to put out a prairie fire, and get grossed out by the leeche ...more
Jul 18, 2016 added it
Shelves: read-in-2016
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
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorites in the series--it's just so exciting! The grasshoppers, Pa in the storm, Nellie Oleson (boooo!), Christmas at church, leeches in the many fun and interesting and sad and scary and happy things happen in this one.
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See similar books…
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 (1 - 10 of 11 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)
  • On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894  (Little House #10)
  • West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915  (Little House #11)

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