Little House in the Big Woods
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Little House in the Big Woods
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Children’s
Aug 11, 2018
At the age of sixty or so, Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote a memoir of her upbringing called Pioneer Girl, for which she couldn’t find a publisher. With some advice and guidance from her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, she recast her memories as a book for young readers, Little House in the Big Woods. A celebration of the resourcefulness and resilience of a settler family, it set the template for seven books to follow, which, together, have earned Wilder and her books enduring popularity—so much so that when Pioneer Girl was finally published in 2014, by the South Dakota State Historical Society, it became a surprise bestseller. That original manuscript depicts a harsh, hardscrabble life—darker, more dangerous, more makeshift and impoverished, and less innocently “can-do” than that depicted in the Little House stories. Reading the original memoir makes it clear how much Wilder invested in reshaping her raw material into a golden age glowing with the virtues of individual agency and self-sufficiency, and a nostalgia for the “sweet, simple things of life” that were never all that sweet and simple—which is to say she sheltered her recollections, like her parents sheltered her, from the violence and vagaries of the frontier. It’s a handmade, homemade world that beguiles young readers with its code of capability, and envelops in a sentimental embrace what is, as Wilder wrote to her daughter, “only the struggle to live, through the winter, until spring comes again.”
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Loved these books.
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Nov 4, 2018
The entire series is fabulous.
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Jan 3, 2020
Yes
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