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Farmer Boy

(Little House #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  63,568 ratings  ·  2,720 reviews
Growing up on his family's farm in New York, Almanzo Wilder wishes for just one thing — his very own horse. But Father doesn't yet trust him with such a big responsibility. Almanzo needs to prove himself — but how? ...more
Paperback, 357 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by HarperTrophy (first published 1933)
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Alysa Farmer Boy was originally second in the series when the books were first published in the 1930s. When the series was illustrated and re-released in th…moreFarmer Boy was originally second in the series when the books were first published in the 1930s. When the series was illustrated and re-released in the 1950s, Farmer Boy was released as #3 in the series. It is only recently that it is being listed as #2 again.(less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  63,568 ratings  ·  2,720 reviews


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Miranda Reads
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Are you hungry yet?

Much of Laura's childhood was spent in near-starvation. While they always had something to eat, it was never enough for the family to be satisfied.

Thus when Laura wrote about Almanzo (her future husband)'s childhood, she focused on the most idyllic parts and what she wanted for her own childhood and her child - which was a full stomach and stable home.
Almanzo simply ate. He ate ham and chicken and turkey, and dressing and cranberry jelly; he ate potatoes and gravy, succot
...more
Sheri
As a child, this was my least favorite Little House book as it wasn't about Laura. But now as an adult, I have grown to like and appreciate it as another perspective on pioneer living. Laura Ingalls Wilder honors and respects her husband by telling his story too. The story of Almanzo Wilder’s childhood days shows another farm family’s lifestyle in America's earlier days. The juxtaposition between the life of a homesteading family and the life of an established farm family in a settled part of th ...more
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
I loved looking into Almanza’s childhood. Reading about how so many things are built, grown, harvested and stores were so interesting!!! I also enjoyed watching him grow into his own, and the ending was the icing on the cake.
Wendy Darling
My annual re-read, this time with Heidi! :)

My favorite of the Little House books from start to finish, but especially the chapter where Ma and Pa go away for a week and the house falls into disarray as the children eat cake, slice watermelon, blacken the parlor wall, and most importantly, use up all the sugar making ice cream. Still no other author has ever captured the life of pioneers in quite this way, and the good eats will make your mouth water!
Sheri
I enjoyed listening to this engagingly narrated and enchanting story. (I won’t recap my thoughts on the story; you can read my review of the print version here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...)

Listening to the audio version after reading the book reinforced the story for me and many scenes definitely stood out more. Additionally, language differences also stood out more when heard instead of read. One instance is the family’s use of be (as in “Be you sick, Almanzo?”) instead of the conj
...more
Theresa
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, in particular "Little House in the Big Woods", "Little Town on the Prairie" and "These Happy Golden Years". They are books I can read and savor over and over again. But I just need to give a shout out to my absolute favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder book, and that is "Farmer Boy"--to me, Farmer Boy is the under-appreciated middle child of the Laura Ingalls collection. People forget about it just because it doesn't start with "Little" or end with "Prairie". ...more
Tatiana
SO MUCH WORK! And they all seem to enjoy it, even create MORE work for themselves instead of looking for opportunities to have some leisure time (or a nap at least). I would have never made it in those olden days. I am just too lazy.
HBalikov
Feb 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t sure what to expect since this is listed as a part of the Little House on the Prairie series, but it does not involve the same family. In fact, it is all about life on a farm in “upstate” New York. I thought I knew a little about farming. I’ve been on farms; I’ve plowed fields (with a tractor). I seen how dairy farms operate and how baby pigs are “prepped” for the market. I had little idea how (when 90% of all Americans lived the rural farm life) difficult and chancy life was and how se ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Listened to ¾ of this in January, and now, two months later, finished it today, also in the car. And pretty much loved it. This is not about Laura's family, though it’s technically listed #3 IN the Little House on the Prairie series. It functions as a kind of contrast in that it is a wealthier farm life experience in New England vs. the Midwestern farm life Laura lived, seemingly near starvation. This book is about her future' husband Almanzo Wilder's family.

As with Laura’s family, she describe
...more
Cindy Rollins
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Much wailing and gnashing of teeth this morning as we finished Farmer Boy. My student could not believe it was over! Going to be hard to top this one in the coming months. Not sure how many times I have read this but I am thinking five.
I believe after Little House in the Big Woods, it is the best book in the Little House series.

Goodbye, Almanzo. Not sure when we will meet again.
Elise
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Upon finishing Little House on the Prairie the kids and I were dying to know where the Ingalls' adventures would take them next but discovered that the next in the series focuses on Almanzo Wilder, Laura's future husband. We were immediately taken in by the descriptions of late 1800's farm life in upper New York State. We were struck in particular by the richness Almanzo's family enjoyed in comparison with the Ingalls who seemed to be moving all the time. One of my favorite features of this book ...more
Philip
Before I hand the reviewing reigns over to Eleanor, I wanted to say a couple things I took out of this book. (Hopefully she doesn't get too impatient.)

There's a lot in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books written for adults as well as kids. The theme of self-reliance comes through loud and clear. The difference in child-rearing... wow. Hold on:

Me: Eleanor, what does it mean to "speak when spoken to?"

E: It means, "BE QUIET UNTIL YOU ARE SPOKEN TO!!!"

Me: Do you think we should make that a rule in our ho
...more
Manybooks
So for me personally and as an older adult who never did encounter Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series as a child and in fact only managed to read Farmer Boy just recently (and which contents recount the 19th century New York State boyhood of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s husband Almanzo), what I have found very much interesting and enlightening has been to notice and realise how in Farmer Boy much more advanced with regard to farming in general the Wilder family in 19th century N ...more
Christy
I'm actually not sure if I read this one as a child, but I wanted to go ahead and read it before I got to my re-read of Little House on the Prairie. Kind of bored unfortunately, but the narrator of the audio version did a great job. ...more
catherine ♡
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This one and Little House on the Prairie will forever be some of my favorite childhood stories. It tells of such a realistic story, but with such a beautifully innocent touch that I think really complemented the setting and made the story unforgettable.
Kelly
Jul 08, 2016 added it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I liked this way more than I thought I would. Some quick observations:

1. All this family does is eat and talk about eating and plan around eating.

2. The parents go on a "vacation" for a week to a family's residence 10 miles away and leave the kids alone. Sheer chaos, of course, on the part of the kids.

3. Almanzo's family is way richer than Laura's, but they also seem to work more. Everything is about the value of money to them, which, when they're not eating or talking about eating, is the thi
...more
Chantal
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I want to like this book more than I did. Found it slow and really childish at times. It was missing something, but what I don't really know. It does however tell such a realistic story of the time being and therefor is a good representation of the time.



This book is in the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up challenge I am doing.
...more
E.F.B.
Another very cute story! This one was different from the Little House books that I've read so far because Almanzo lives on a farm near a town rather than the frontier, but it was still written in the same charming way that gave me all sorts of historical insights.

The characters were enjoyable once again, as well. All unique personalities, not repeats of previous characters, and I especially enjoyed the family dynamic.

Content:

Swearing: On rare occasion it's said someone swore, but the word is not
...more
grllopez ~ with freedom and books
This one makes me think my kids don't do enough chores around the house!
My review: Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder .

And another review: Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
...more
Karen Witzler
I skipped this one when I was young because it was about Almanzo. I was wrong - ah the good old days when a nine year old could plough a field with an ox team they'd trained themselves and a teacher could beat unruly students with a bullwhip. Many details of life on a hardworking horse and sheep farm in upstate New York in the late 1800's. ...more
Kathryn
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I still didn't love it as well the first few books about Laura's childhood, perhaps because I know and love the Little House stories so well from my own childhood (I know my mom read me "Farmer Boy" but I don't really remember it). That said, I did quite enjoy and appreciate Almanzo's story this time and feel Laura deftly articulated his conundrums being on the cusp of boyhood and young-manhood, both his eagerness to do the more adult work on the farm with his father and older brother as well as ...more
Lydia Therese
I thought I wouldn't really like this book because it isn't about Laura and the rest of the Ingalls family. Well boy was I wrong!! I LOVED Farmer Boy!

Let me just say all those mouthwatering descriptions of all of that delicious food...it made me so hungry I actually went up and got myself a bowl of ice-cream. xD

I also think Almanzo's father is great. He disciplines and lets Almanzo figure things out for himself, but he's also very kind, compassionate and sensible. Alice was also fun, she remin
...more
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
Lovely. I don’t remember reading this one as a kid. I think I skipped it because it was about a boy. Silly young Kate. It was wonderful, because of course it was...
Darla
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful way to revisit this classic series. Cherry Jones does a lovely job narrating this story about Almanzo Wilder as a young boy on the farm. His parents are loving, but firm and so industrious. They are so efficient at using their resources and providing what they need for the family and the farm. They waste not, want not and strive for excellence in their work. Inspiring!
Sarah
Dec 05, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, midwest
This second book in the Little House series is much racier than the first!

There’s a schoolteacher who thrashes school bullies with a black snake whip until sweat pours from his face. I mean, the man full-force whips them until their clothes are in tatters and blood spills from their lacerated arms and legs.

We also have an attempted burglary, a scary burn incident, and… wait for it… children disobeying their parents!!

In addition to this 30% of spiced-up content, the remainder of the book breaks
...more
Betsy
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this story probably a little more than the first book of the series. Almanzo gives us great insight into how children may have grown up in early America. While Laura's story gave us insight into the dances, run ins with wolves, and the food of the day, Almazo's story gives us a peek at school life, how farming the land often took precedence to spelling lessons, and how boys learned bartering and math skills in the market. While the intended audience is for children, this was a pleasant ...more
Mimi
Continuing my re-read of the Little House books, I was shocked to discover that my copy of this one is also sans cover, as I really didn't have a memory of much that happened. I remembered Star and Bright, and Manley's siblings, but that was about it. It makes an interesting contrast between his upbringing and Laura's much poorer and much more Puritan background.
It's also a good reminder of how much hard farm work will allow you to eat :) I also appreciated that he wasn't good, good, good, and h
...more
ValeReads Kyriosity
Apr 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
The way to a man's soul is through his stomach...especially if that man is a nine-year-old farmer boy. Omigoodness, I don't think I've ever read a book with so. much. food. in it! Clearly food is Almanzo's love language.

I like Almanzo quite a lot. Laura hadn't met him at this age, but she evidently knew him all the same, albeit retroactively. She's drawn us a realistic and entirely sympathetic boy, and her creation is a delight.

Cherry Jones's excellent narration continues.
...more
Leo
Dec 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Found this to be an equally charming book in the series, even though it wasn't about Laura and her family. This one is about her future husband Almanzo's childhood and I found it engaging ans as fascinating as the rest. I've got the whole series in a box set but try to space them put and not finish the whole series to quickly. They are just a cozy comfort read for me ...more
Sophia
After taking up the first Little House book and being caught up in the nostalgia, I was tempted and gave in to keep going with the series. What a delighted it was to switch from the Ingalls household in the woods of Wisconsin to visiting the Wilders of New York State to see Alonzo's life as the youngest boy in a prosperous farm family and determine that farming and working with horses was what he wanted to do.

The detail of daily life and family was endearing and I could have happily hung around
...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 (10 books)
  • Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1)
  • Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #3)
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House, #4)
  • Old Town in the Green Groves: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Lost Little House Years (Little House, #4.5)
  • 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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