EA asked:

I'm looking to buy a Little house set for my kids and have noticed that there is a set of books 1-5 only and a complete set of books 1-9. Does anyone know why the set of just the first five is more readily available? Were books 6-9 about different characters, or written in a different style? I'm just trying to figure out if I need to go to the extra expense and effort of buying the complete set of 1-9? TIA!

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Kristin I bought the first 5 and at that time I didn't know there were more. I then had to buy the rest individually, from Amazon. I know in my set the 1-5 are illustrated in color and there were more pictures. The 6-9 are black and white and have fewer pictures. I have been reading these to my 7 yo son, and he preferred the books with the color illustrations. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these to him because I did not read them when I was younger. We are almost finished and I will be sad when we can read about the adventures of Laura anymore. She really brought that time period to life. There is a little gap in time after the first 5. It jumps ahead 5 years to when the the Ingalls family moves out west to the Dakota Territory. They are still written in the same style with each book chronicaling a year in her life. Except for the very last..."The First Four Years" is about the first 4 years of Almanzo and Laura's life together. This book was published after she died as the manuscript was found in her papers. It is an unedited version, so the writing is a little different than the others.
Tyla The is a paperback set of 1-9 with no color. Although there is no color there are all the books and they come in a very compact case and can be found on Amazon
Coral We've been reading these, and the whole family loves them. I've kind of expected Oren to get bored and want to move onto something else, but although we have read other books in between, he always asks to go back to them. Word of warning - in Little House on the Prairie they're living in Indian territory and some of the attitudes portrayed are at best out of date and at worst horribly offensive. So, something to be aware of as you read aloud. In answer to your question, the first five books take you up until Laura is about 13. (Farmer Boy, which is one of the first five, is about her eventual-husband-to-be during his childhood.) The last three (which we haven't read yet) are about her adolescence and, I believe, early marriage.
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