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Little Town on the Prairie

(Little House #7)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  80,221 ratings  ·  1,211 reviews
Laura is almost fifteen. The long winter is over. With spring comes socials, dances, and "Literaries." There is also work to be done. Laura spends many hours each day sewing shirts to help send Mary to a college for the blind. But, in the evenings, Laura makes time for a new caller, Almazo Wilder.
Paperback, 374 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by HarperTrophy (first published 1941)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  80,221 ratings  ·  1,211 reviews

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Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About two years ago I started rereading the Little House books. It started as a whim after visiting Minnesota and driving by one of the places where Laura Ingalls used to live. I had read these books with my mother when I was a child, and I grew up with the popular TV show based on the series, so there was a hefty dose of nostalgia whenever I reread one of the books.

Now that nostalgia has become even more powerful, because book seven, Little Town on the Prairie, was the first one that I read alo

I kind of don’t know how to deal with the casual racism in these books. The minstrel show in the chapter “The Madcap Days” appals me as an adult. As a child, living in Jamaica, sharing homes with Jamaican families and running in a pack with Jamaican kids, I actually didn’t know what the “darkies” of this chapter were supposed to be. Clearly they were men making music and singing, their faces disguised with black polish. I neither knew nor would have understood what they were supposed to be. They
Miranda Reads
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How would you like to work in town, Laura?

When Mary lost her sight, she lost all hope of continuing her education. A kindly reverend tells the Ingalls family of a college for the blind. It goes without question that Mary will attend the seven years of school.

Now, the Ingalls family desperately needs money to cover school costs for Mary. Laura takes up work in town - sewing buttons of all things. While she hates it, she wants Mary to go to college far mor. The Ingalls family's crops are set u
Aug 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, ya, 2016, newbery
Most problematic of the bunch so far.

Minstrel show? Lunatic fringe? Half-wit? 23-year old Almanzo slithering around 15-year old Laura?

And why is Ma so keen on Laura becoming a teacher? It seems to be a one-year-of-teaching-and-then-get-married sort of enterprise. Why even bother?
David Schaafsma
Over two car trips we finished listening to the wonderful Cherry Jones read book seven in the popular classic Little House series, as Laura Ingalls grows into a young (15-eyar-old, but mature for her age, given what she has been through) lady. In earlier books, ones I really prefer, such as The Long Winter, the Ingalls family was nearly starving, struggling to create the homestead and stay alive, but in this one, set in 1888 DeSmet, South Dakota, it is really about how a group of people begin es ...more
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eleanor and Gwennie are both here, but before we begin, I want to tell MY favorite part... and I have to write it quietly because it's not quite appropriate.

Laura had just started working in town, when she saw these two men get kicked out of a bar. They were sloshed, and singing an old church hymn. They went through the town punching holes in the screens of local businesses, and Laura thought this was funny.

Laura got in trouble when she got home for thinking this was funny, but the last line of
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I flew through this one, maybe because I was so happy not to be stuck in a blizzard anymore, freezing and starving. Things are really looking up for the Ingalls family--they get a kitten, Mary finally goes off to college, there are parties in town, and by the end of the book, Laura gets her teaching certificate. The most extravagant thing is when Pa allows Laura to buy name cards (they're the latest thing and cost 25 cents!). I actually squealed, "Oh, Pa! Letting Laura buy name cards!", elicitin ...more
Book Concierge
Digital audiobook performed by Cherry Jones

Book seven in the popular classic Little House series, has Laura growing into a young lady. She feels that the new teacher, Miss Wilder, is unfairly picking on her and her sister. Nellie Oleson seems to be thwarting Laura at every turn. Mary has left to go to a college for the blind, and Laura takes on a part time job to help pay the expenses. The town is growing and with growth come new opportunities for socializing. Laura passes her examination to be
Once again, a super sweet read. I found myself feeling so proud of Mary finally going to the college for the blind, and so proud of Laura getting her teacher's certificate. And Almanzo. <3 Of course I also continued loving the historical context of the story.

Only two more books to go, I think? I'm looking forward to them. :)

Content Advisory
Mention of strangers swearing, and also mention of the husband in a family Laura works for swearing while he and his wife constantly argue.

Laura witnesses a
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Laina
I squeezed one more book into 2012! The characters are the same as in all the books, of course--Pa is the greatest and a hero among men, Ma is uptight and kind of racist, Laura is rebellious but good at heart. Everything is described in such loving detail. I do feel like I should have reread The Long Winter before this one because the relative plenty in LTotP is in such contrast to those poor people starving around the stove.

Notes of note:

- I liked the conversation when Mary admitted that she w
oh, this one is so good. the ingalls family is no longer starving/freezing, so things are starting to look up for them.
-they get a cat!!
-mary goes away to college in an extremely pretty dress
-almanzo wilder starts sniffing around
-they have enough to eat
-it does not snow inside the house
-they get chickens

low points:
-miss wilder being a real jerk. although, as evidenced by laura's own teaching certificate, teachers were only tested on knowledge and not classroom-management skills.
-pa p
Reread from childhood. I loved it then and I loved it now. It's not my favorite from the series, but this is where Laura and Almanzo started dating and is super cute. It's a light read which I really needed right now.

*WARNING* This book has the only offensive scene in the whole series that I can remember. Pa performs dressed in blackface and is referred to as "Darky." Considering these books are based on the author's real life in the 1800s, I can look the other way. As a kid I just remember thin
catherine ♡
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I feel like my favorites in this series were Little House on the Prairie and Farmer Boy. I liked the others, but they simply couldn't match up to those two. ...more
I tend to forget how much I love these books (and especially this one) until I re-read them for about the 60th time!! Now it's even nicer because I'm able to read them for the first time to my little sister who is loving them just as much as I did!
Oct 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood
I loved the sense of re-birth. After reading The Long Winter, it felt great to be warm and light-hearted again.
Jane Greensmith
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always a comfortable treat to read--one of my favorites in the series.
Hemavathy DM Suppiah-Devi
I wanted to like it, I really did. But reading as an adult is very different to reading as a child. The innocence is stripped away, and we now read with the benefit of experience and education.

Unlike many children's classics it has not aged well. It works well enough for the junior reader, but even young children these days know better than to call Native Americans 'red savages' and that for Ma to 'hate Indians' is hypocritical when they've claimed Indian land as their own, and when it was an I
“There is no comfort anywhere for anyone who dreads to go home.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little Town on the Prairie

I read the whole Little House series as a kid. I would like to reread some of them and this one is one of my all time faves from the series.

I adored the whole little house family and loved Laura's determination to become a teacher. I loved everything about the series and this book, even Nellie and her "name cards". I still get a smile on my face from these books even after all this
When I was younger, I distinctly remember not enjoying the later books in this series as well because Laura grew up and the events weren't as exciting. But now, as I re-read it, I eagerly keep reading and lavish over the events of her young adult years. I love these books, every single one, every age, aspect, and adventure of Laura's life. It's just so exciting.

Plus I embarrass myself by my reaction to Almanzo's appearances. What a dreamboat! :)
This installment was much more fun than the last. There were no crazy blizzards that resulted in near starvation and a level of cold that sinks into your bones and seems like it will stay there forever. In this book we see the Ingalls family experiencing more prosperity than ever before in the series. While their preparations for winter are much more thorough, they find themselves enjoying a mild winter almost completely free of the blizzards that plagued them the year before. The family has ple ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A random string of thoughts I had while reading:
Why put the kitten on the cover if she's barely featured?
Remember when Laura slapped Mary across the face, why hasn't she slapped Nellie Olsen?
Hmm, this minstrel show is really solidifying that this will be the end of this series for me.
"A Town and a Young Girl Grow up”

Continuing the autobiographical sharing of her life in pioneer times Laura brings her loyal readers (mostly of the female persuasion) to the year after THE LONG and very hard WINTER. Her life as a town girl includes miserable hours in the school house run by Miss Eliza Jane Wilder--an inept and unfair teacher. Laura’s social nemesis from prior stories, darling Nellie Olson, shows up again to torment her in non-academic ways. Navigating social mores and coed activ
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Love this book just as much as always. Good ol' American heart, ethics, and Christianity <3 So fascinating to see what we were like 100+ years ago. ...more
2.5 stars

There's a lot in this book that didn't age well and made me cringe.
So. There is a minstrel show. Wow. That went completely over my head as a kid.

I do like this book. I'm glad Laura finally has friends! And oh dear, Nellie Oleson. This is almost a relief after The Long Winter. But it's not as good as The Long Winter. It's almost confused about how old Laura should be: young enough to go to school, old enough to teach, young enough to rock that desk, old enough to have Almanzo "see her home" -

They did grow up earlier then, I suppose, and maybe that's a piece of
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is such a delight listening to this audiobook, decades after I first read the book as a child. After all these years, Nellie Olson is just as infuriating, Miss Wilder just as cruel, and Almanzo just as dashing. Theses stories are so simple, but their pacing and descriptions are really masterful.
Katie B-K
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: with-kiernan
Don't say I did nothing of value during this pandemic, for I explained the super problematic minstrel show in this book and its racism to an 11-year old.

And this book is still a delight and a great ethnography of its time and an excellent read with my middle schooler.
I went back and forth between the audio and the physical book to finish before the New Year’s deadline.

The book covers about a year and a half, Laura being 14 to 15 1/2. There were a lot of things I could relate to:

Carrie complaining about her hair getting caught in the buttons on the back of her dress — That happened to me when I was little, and I’d completely forgotten about it.
The birds eating the crops — They always pick clean my fruit trees, and that makes me so mad.
Laura being in awkwar
Infamous Sphere
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who like disgusting midwestern tomato recipes
Better than the torrid slug of The Long Winter, but it has three major points against it:
- The Ingallses repeatedly eat tomatoes with sugar and cream as if this is a normal thing, and not, in fact, disgusting
- The uncomfortable blackface minstrel bit, hey-o!
- The continued character assassination of Eliza Jane.

The last one is a particular sticking point for me. Goddamn it, does Laura hate Eliza Jane, and goddamn it does it seem completely unjustified. She hates her because she', too nice?
Why, why, why did I never read this when I was younger? Well, I missed out! But I'm VERY happy to have read this now. I was enthralled with the classroom drama that happened while Miss Wilder (Almanzo's sister) was teaching school. I sure sympathized with her! Although she brought a lot of her troubles upon herself with her "we will all be happy and friends all the time" style of classroom management.

This is just a wonderful continuation of the story told in The Long Winter. And even though it i
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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)
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek  (Little House, #4)
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake  (Little House, #5)
  • The Long Winter (Little House, #6)
  • 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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“There is no comfort anywhere for anyone who dreads to go home.” 169 likes
“This earthly life is a battle,' said Ma. 'If it isn't one thing to contend with, it's another. It always has been so, and it always will be. The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are, and more thankful for your pleasures.” 59 likes
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