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Little Author in the Big Woods: A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Many girls in elementary and middle school fall in love with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. What they don't always realize is that Wilder's books are autobiographical. This narrative biography describes more of the details of the young Laura's real life as a young pioneer homesteading with her family on many adventurous journeys. This biography, complete w Many girls in elementary and middle school fall in love with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. What they don't always realize is that Wilder's books are autobiographical. This narrative biography describes more of the details of the young Laura's real life as a young pioneer homesteading with her family on many adventurous journeys. This biography, complete with charming illustrations, points out the differences between the fictional series as well as the many similarities. It's a fascinating story of a much-celebrated writer.


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Many girls in elementary and middle school fall in love with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. What they don't always realize is that Wilder's books are autobiographical. This narrative biography describes more of the details of the young Laura's real life as a young pioneer homesteading with her family on many adventurous journeys. This biography, complete w Many girls in elementary and middle school fall in love with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. What they don't always realize is that Wilder's books are autobiographical. This narrative biography describes more of the details of the young Laura's real life as a young pioneer homesteading with her family on many adventurous journeys. This biography, complete with charming illustrations, points out the differences between the fictional series as well as the many similarities. It's a fascinating story of a much-celebrated writer.

30 review for Little Author in the Big Woods: A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Well-researched and detailed biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life. Well-researched and detailed biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Book Preview Review

    Book Description: “Here is the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author as well as the heroine of the beloved Little House books. While the series is based on Wilder’s childhood experiences, this narrative biography describes more of the details of the young Laura’s real life- as a pioneer and homesteader with a zest for adventure and new challenges- and points out the differences from the fictional series as well as the similarities. Readers of all ages will enjoy this fascinating look at a muc Book Description: “Here is the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author as well as the heroine of the beloved Little House books. While the series is based on Wilder’s childhood experiences, this narrative biography describes more of the details of the young Laura’s real life- as a pioneer and homesteader with a zest for adventure and new challenges- and points out the differences from the fictional series as well as the similarities. Readers of all ages will enjoy this fascinating look at a much celebrated writer.” Recommended for elementary and middle school children in grades 3-6, adults alike will enjoy this wonderfully written classic biographical book about the famous author many have come to love and cherish. This is an invaluable addition to your old collection of Little House books! Format and illustrations seamlessly make this book appear as if it were part of the Little House original collection rather than written 82+ years later. If the clever title doesn’t immediately pull you in, then the timeless illustrations will. Gifted illustrator, Jennifer Thermes, has a talent that matches Renee Graef, illustrator of the My First Little House picture books. Thermes, as well as Graef remind the reader of the books many of us fondly remember – the reissued 1953 “new” illustrations by Garth Williams and his pencil, charcoal and ink illustrations that have now become synonymous with the much-loved Little House Books. The illustrated map at the beginning of the book is extremely helpful for the young reader to visualize the places and distance Laura and her family traveled to and from by buggy and later by train. Also included is an authors note, prologue, epilogue, quotes from Laura, games played, directions on how to make a corn-husk doll, recipes, books and other writings by Laura, author sources and finally a glossary that certainly will help a young reader. McDonough is a gifted and talented storyteller whom not only is an award winning children’s book author (she has written several titles in the Who Was series) but also a seasoned writer of adult novels. Her passion and love for writing biographies on people she admires and whose lives inspire her is evident in her incredibly detailed research on Laura Ingalls Wilder. Having read all of the Little House books myself as a child, I was excited to learn new things about Laura and the challenges she endured during her lifetime that were not known before or presented in her own writings in the series. The reader will come to know a little bit more about all the immediate members of Laura’s family as well as little tidbits about aunts, uncles and cousins. McDonough gives the reader more insight on Almanzo and Laura’s marriage, hardships, their daughter Rose and how Laura’s writing career started. True to the Little House writings, the reader begins to “feel” all that Laura experienced in her life - even her reflections on all the modern changes she experienced during her long life and the way her pioneer life seems to almost vanish with the additions of modern technology. Her goal to record her early life on the American frontier has been immortalized by many through her words. Almost 150 years after Laura was born, millions around the world are still reading and learning about life on the prairie.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    It's hard to take a reader of a beloved series and draw that same reader into a biography which shows the difference between the fiction and the reality, but this manages. The pencil-drawn illustrations are reminiscent of Garth Williams' famed charcoal drawings, but without being overly referential, and the book itself is deliberately written in a similar style to the Little House books, and targeted to the same audience. The tone is close but naturally a little more distant than the LH series, It's hard to take a reader of a beloved series and draw that same reader into a biography which shows the difference between the fiction and the reality, but this manages. The pencil-drawn illustrations are reminiscent of Garth Williams' famed charcoal drawings, but without being overly referential, and the book itself is deliberately written in a similar style to the Little House books, and targeted to the same audience. The tone is close but naturally a little more distant than the LH series, and this whole combination works well. I've read a few LIW biographies before, one for children and the others for adults, and was pleasantly surprised to find not only a new retelling of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life but also some new details, especially smaller ones about the economy or life at the time (up to $1 for every bushel of dead grasshoppers!) while not delving too much into things that would distress or confuse children (Almanzo's name for Laura does not come up). It shows the strong influence of Ma's background in the education of all her girls, and the effect both Ma and Pa had on all their children, as well as on Rose. Readers of the series who want to know what happened to the rest of the Ingalls and Wilder families will find out more, and how Laura started her writing career. It also touches on her career as a speaker and social activist, mainly for farm women, and how she came to write the Little House stories for which she is most famous. Toward the end there are some nice additions to the usual: some of her quotes about life, family and love; schoolyard games she played, and how to play them; how to make a corn-husk doll; how to make some of the dishes mentioned in her books, like johnnycakes with homemade butter (the latter made in a mason jar). In short, it's a gentle but thorough introduction to the real Laura for children who read her books and wanted to know more. Disclaimer: I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan Dunn

    Fans of the Little House books will be fascinated with this illustrated, kid-friendly description of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life, and how she turned her experiences and the family and friends that surrounded her into the famous series of books. There really was a kindhearted, blue-eyed Pa who played the fiddle, and the family really did live by the shores of Silver Lake (not its real name) and on the banks of Plum Creek. And Laura's older sister Mary really did get sick and lose her sight. But n Fans of the Little House books will be fascinated with this illustrated, kid-friendly description of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life, and how she turned her experiences and the family and friends that surrounded her into the famous series of books. There really was a kindhearted, blue-eyed Pa who played the fiddle, and the family really did live by the shores of Silver Lake (not its real name) and on the banks of Plum Creek. And Laura's older sister Mary really did get sick and lose her sight. But not everything in the books is 100% true, and readers can find out more about what Wilder embellished as well. This title also goes into Laura's life after she stopped writing, and how she lived out her days. Appropriate for all Little House fans, big and small.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    i loved the little house books so much as a kid (well, the first few at least. i don’t think i ever finished the series—something i must rectify). when i saw this little biography i knew it would be something i would enjoy, and i was right. ☺️ it is written for children, so it is a quick and easy read, but still very informative & i definitely learned a few things i didn’t know/ was reminded of things i had forgotten. and what’s most important is that it brought the little house books to the forefr i loved the little house books so much as a kid (well, the first few at least. i don’t think i ever finished the series—something i must rectify). when i saw this little biography i knew it would be something i would enjoy, and i was right. ☺️ it is written for children, so it is a quick and easy read, but still very informative & i definitely learned a few things i didn’t know/ was reminded of things i had forgotten. and what’s most important is that it brought the little house books to the forefront of my mind and made me want to read the whole entire series and jump back into the world of laura and ma and pa and mary and all of those beloved people ❤️🌾👧🏻 it is so fascinating to know that they were not just characters in books but real people, and that laura based pretty much every single event in her books, on things that happened to her and her family.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    A touching and straightforward tribute to one of the most long standing and beloved children's authors. Filled with facts and mysteries of early prairie life and all of Laura Ingall's childhood travels this lovely piece will reach readers of all ages. A touching and straightforward tribute to one of the most long standing and beloved children's authors. Filled with facts and mysteries of early prairie life and all of Laura Ingall's childhood travels this lovely piece will reach readers of all ages.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Yay! Great book for little (or not so little) Laura lovers. Particularly love the games, crafts, and recipes in the back. Excited to be hosting Yona Zeldis McDonough on my blog near release!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kim Ambler

    This is a very good biographical introduction to Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House series. It is written for the elementary to middle school age range, and it's perfect for that set. As an adult, I enjoyed reading it, but found myself wanting to know a lot more than could ever be told in a short biography written for kids. This is a good thing as it has definitely prompted me to want to read more about the life of this fascinating woman (and pioneer days in general). I felt the st This is a very good biographical introduction to Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House series. It is written for the elementary to middle school age range, and it's perfect for that set. As an adult, I enjoyed reading it, but found myself wanting to know a lot more than could ever be told in a short biography written for kids. This is a good thing as it has definitely prompted me to want to read more about the life of this fascinating woman (and pioneer days in general). I felt the story kind of jumped around a lot, and it didn't feel as fluid as I would have liked. However, I don't think that was necessarily the fault of the author. Instead, I believe it was a bit inevitable due to the fact that the family did, in fact, move around a lot. In a longer book with even more details, the jumping around might not have been as noticeable. Despite this issue with the interrupted flow of the story, the author does quite a nice job of including some really great details while still keeping the book fairly short. Perhaps the thing I loved most about the book was all of the extra information included after the author was finished telling Laura's story. It really added something special to an already informative book. There was a short selection of quotes from Wilder such as, “Home is the nicest word there is.” Sweet, simple words with lasting appeal. There was also a list of all the Little House books as well as other writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The glossary at the end was helpful for young readers as they could easily find the meanings of some words with which they may have previously been unfamiliar. By far my favorite sections were about the games, crafts, and food of the time period. The author describes games the kids used to play outside back when Laura was a a child. Today, when it seems like playing outside is a lost art, it was neat to see some names and instructions for games kids would have played back then (like Ante I Over, Pull Away, and Prisoner's Base). Hopefully, young readers will feel compelled to try out some of these games with their neighborhood friends. There were also instructions for a prairie craft: making corn husk dolls. I think this would be a fun activity for kids learning about this time period. There were recipes too. Kids might enjoy making johnny cakes and homemade butter, or perhaps some gingerbread. These were things Laura's family ate when she was growing up. It is always neat to immerse yourself in a different time period by cooking new foods, playing games and making crafts from that time in history. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. As previously mentioned, it is geared towards kids ages 8-12, so that is the group I would most highly recommend it to. However, just about anyone could learn something new from this charming little biography. *I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Malandrinos

    "Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs." This sentence opens Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the first in a series of children's books that gave middle grade readers a glimpse into the life of America's pioneer families. And for some--like myself--this would be the start of a lifelong desire to learn more about the real life of Laura, her sisters Mary, Carrie, and Grace, and her parents Cha "Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs." This sentence opens Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the first in a series of children's books that gave middle grade readers a glimpse into the life of America's pioneer families. And for some--like myself--this would be the start of a lifelong desire to learn more about the real life of Laura, her sisters Mary, Carrie, and Grace, and her parents Charles and Caroline Ingalls. In a style similar to the Little House books, author Yona Zeldis McDonough has created a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder aimed toward middle grade readers that not only helps point out the fact and the fiction behind Wilder's classic children's books, but also celebrates the independent mind of the Quiner and Ingalls women along the way. McDonough's book opens not with Wilder, but with a brief prologue discussing the life of Caroline Lake Quiner, who would one day become Caroline Ingalls. This sets the tone for the rest of this biography, as it highlights how Caroline's mother, Charlotte, believed in higher education for girls; something Ma Ingalls also wanted for her daughters. Told in chronological order, Little Author in the Big Woods follows Wilder's life and the journeys she took not only with her family, but later with her husband Almanzo and daughter Rose. It talks about the hardships the Wilders faced as a young married couple and of their leaving De Smet, South Dakota to settle in Mansfield, Missouri. Readers learn about the building of the dream house on Rocky Ridge Farm and Wilder's early career writing for the Missouri Ruralist, before moving on to the creation of the Little House series. McDonough ends with an epilogue that discusses the longevity of Wilder's work and Michael Landon's classic television show, Little House on the Prairie, which is based upon the books. Readers are also treated to quotes from Laura Ingalls Wilder, details on some of the games that Laura played, crafts, and recipes. Also included is a list of other writings by Wilder and a list with some of the other books about her. While I have to admit I learned little new about Laura Ingalls Wilder as a result, I believe middle grade readers will enjoy getting to know more about her real life and the independent nature of the women in the Quiner, Ingalls, and Wilder families. With a similar writing style and design to the Little House series, readers will feel right at home with this book. Jennifer Thermes did an excellent job in capturing the essence of McDonough's book and Wilder's life with her beautiful illustrations. I'm thrilled to add Little Author in the Big Woods to my Laura Ingalls Wilder collection.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rosa Cline

    Once again Ms McDonough didn't let her readers down in this biography of Laura Wilder. Just like her other biographies she has written she does her research to make sure what she writes is as true as she can get it. There are many biographies on Ms Wilder but so many of the authors of those took their own opinions on the events that took place 100 years ago and wrote it as fact. Where as Ms McDonough took many of her sources and compiled them and wrote on only the things she knew were factual, w Once again Ms McDonough didn't let her readers down in this biography of Laura Wilder. Just like her other biographies she has written she does her research to make sure what she writes is as true as she can get it. There are many biographies on Ms Wilder but so many of the authors of those took their own opinions on the events that took place 100 years ago and wrote it as fact. Where as Ms McDonough took many of her sources and compiled them and wrote on only the things she knew were factual, which as a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder I appreciate. This gives the reader information they don't have to put the book down and say "I wonder if that was really true". Written in a way a youth would understand but not so simplistic that an adult (as myself) wouldn't enjoy. Also something I REALLY appreciated was the fact that she took the relationship between Caroline (Ma) and Laura and took off with it. Not much is really said about Ma as she was the more quieter of the parents. Seemed to be the stricter and 'in the shadow' parent. But in reality Laura loved her Mother more than life itself; Caroline influenced her and taught her many, many things and it shows in this book. In other books I've read it kind of implies that Laura loved her Pa much, much more than she did her mother and even gears us toward her holding hard feelings toward Caroline for some of the things Laura had to do in her life to help the family. But in reality Laura held no ill feelings toward either parent and she did what she did because her parents had instilled in her the importance of being a family. The illustrations in this book are wonderful to look at as well. The original Little House on the Prairie books were illustrated by a different illustrator other than Garth Williams. Those illustrations you don't very rarely ever see now. But Ms Thermes does a wonderful job at taking us back to that time and place of Laura Wilder and of the simplistic illustrations of books in the day when Laura was writing her books. And as always something I absolutely love about Ms McDonough's books (the three biographies of her's I've read anyhow) in the back she has a Bibliography of books and things she used in her research so the reader of her books can have access to those books on the same subject as well! In this book she also included several recipes of items that are mentioned many times in Laura's books like Johnnycake and homemade butter! There is a glossary of words that if you are homeschooling or simply just want to help expand your child's vocabulary you could use as a learning tool! Just an over all wonderful book! Any of Ms McDonough's biographies you pick up you will know are going to be great!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    Growing up in the Midwest in the 60s, the Little House books were practically required reading; girls read them again and again, boys heard them read aloud after lunch or the end of the day in class. This biography, directed at child readers, was short but sweet--and very interesting. I was amused by the normal first names followed by "fancy" middle names (Caroline Celestia--really?) the real Ma chose for her daughters. Hearing about the reality behind the stories makes for good reading. The aut Growing up in the Midwest in the 60s, the Little House books were practically required reading; girls read them again and again, boys heard them read aloud after lunch or the end of the day in class. This biography, directed at child readers, was short but sweet--and very interesting. I was amused by the normal first names followed by "fancy" middle names (Caroline Celestia--really?) the real Ma chose for her daughters. Hearing about the reality behind the stories makes for good reading. The author manages not to pour any more oil on the "Rose Wilder wrote the books" debate; if it is true that Laura's writing was good enough for magazines at the time, the books may have been a collaborative effort, but hardly "ghost written." We hear things that I'd never found in any other books about the Ingalls/Wilder family, such as what finally happened to "lazy lousy Liza Jane" and Laura's sojourn in Florida. One thing that interested me was the story of Laura's relationship with Ma. In the books Ma always seemed to me to be the strict disciplinarian, while Pa was more sympathetic to Laura's tomboy adventurous nature. I'll never forget the line in one book when Laura cries over some childhood trouble only to be scolded by Ma: "For shame, Laura! A big girl, three years old!" However in the biography Laura is described as adoring her ladylike mother. This may have more to do with the author's relationship with her own daughter, as attested by the florid dedication. A good read for both young and old who love "the Laura stories."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rob Chappell

    I bought my copy of this book at the Center for Children's Books (http://ccb.ischool.illinois.edu) during their annual book sale on Presidents' Day -- and what a find it was! Shortly afterward, I was sick at home with a 103-degree fever and a sinus/ear infection. During my convalescence, I dove into this book and didn't want to come back up for air! Laura Ingalls Wilder is a favorite author from my childhood days, and I have many fond memories of my late father reading her books to me at bedtime I bought my copy of this book at the Center for Children's Books (http://ccb.ischool.illinois.edu) during their annual book sale on Presidents' Day -- and what a find it was! Shortly afterward, I was sick at home with a 103-degree fever and a sinus/ear infection. During my convalescence, I dove into this book and didn't want to come back up for air! Laura Ingalls Wilder is a favorite author from my childhood days, and I have many fond memories of my late father reading her books to me at bedtime. Dad was a mega-fan of the pioneers who pushed back the frontiers of the American West, and through his reading of Laura's books, he imparted that same pioneering spirit to me. Anyway, this book -- a wonderful biography of Laura, written for children but accessible to readers of all ages -- is a real gem. Readers can get to know Laura and her family "behind the scenes" of the Little House books and learn about their challenging yet hopeful journey from the 1860s through the 1950s. A tremendous contribution to American historical and biographical literature for children and the young at heart, this book will stand the test of time as a classic in its own right. Appendices at the end of the book provide resources for additional exploration, plus some wise and witty quotes from Laura herself.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    This biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder reads like a novel about her life and family. Pen and ink illustrations are included throughout the text giving the bio a decidedly Little House books feel. The text gives readers a broad overview of Laura's life and does comment on the controversies surrounding the Little House books involving her daughter Rose. The drama is handled thoughtfully with evidence presented from both sides of the argument such that readers can form their own opinions. Back matte This biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder reads like a novel about her life and family. Pen and ink illustrations are included throughout the text giving the bio a decidedly Little House books feel. The text gives readers a broad overview of Laura's life and does comment on the controversies surrounding the Little House books involving her daughter Rose. The drama is handled thoughtfully with evidence presented from both sides of the argument such that readers can form their own opinions. Back matter is excellent and includes quotes, instructions for playing some of Laura's favorite games, steps for creating a corn husk doll, recipes, a list of the Little House books in order of publication, info on other writings by Laura, a glossary, and a list of sources used in writing this book. Recommended for grades 4-6, especially Little House fans.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bekka

    Thanks to Edelweiss and Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers for early access to this title. I thought this was quite a well-done biography for children of one of the most beloved of all children's authors. I liked how Laura's life was covered fairly comprehensively, without dwelling on sad or disturbing details. I also liked how the author addressed the Laura/Rose collaboration, presenting the issue without diminishing the talents of either lady. The illustrations were also well-done, and Thanks to Edelweiss and Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers for early access to this title. I thought this was quite a well-done biography for children of one of the most beloved of all children's authors. I liked how Laura's life was covered fairly comprehensively, without dwelling on sad or disturbing details. I also liked how the author addressed the Laura/Rose collaboration, presenting the issue without diminishing the talents of either lady. The illustrations were also well-done, and I think matched the tone and depth of the book quite well. The additional materials at the back (games, recipes, glossary and further reading) were good inclusions to round out the book. This would be an excellent read for a child who loves the Little House books and wants to know more about their author.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    This short (152 pages, with notes) biography is a great overview of the author's life, and does a good job of addressing, in a simple way, some of the slight differences between what she actually did and how she chose to write about it. Even the rumors about Rose Wilder Lane's role in the books publication is briefly addressed. This is one author who has really fallen out of favor in my school, and since she was a favorite of mine, this is really a surprise. Maybe this book will entice readers t This short (152 pages, with notes) biography is a great overview of the author's life, and does a good job of addressing, in a simple way, some of the slight differences between what she actually did and how she chose to write about it. Even the rumors about Rose Wilder Lane's role in the books publication is briefly addressed. This is one author who has really fallen out of favor in my school, and since she was a favorite of mine, this is really a surprise. Maybe this book will entice readers to pick up the series. My one pet peeve about any biography is a lack of actual photographs when they exist-- the illustrations by Jennifer Thermes are eerily evocative of Garth Williams' work, but photos would have been much better. I know there is probably a permission/cost issue, but the book would have been so much better with them.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I really like Juvenile Biographies that don't read like Biographies. Make the person's life-facts exciting. That's what Juvenile Biographies are supposed to do. The book does describe the life of the pioneer author Laura. It treats it more like you're reading a fictitious book though, which for some reason, had a stronger appeal for me. The book also features several games, recipes and even how to make a cornhusk doll. Good read for after you read one of Laura's stories to talk about the woman b I really like Juvenile Biographies that don't read like Biographies. Make the person's life-facts exciting. That's what Juvenile Biographies are supposed to do. The book does describe the life of the pioneer author Laura. It treats it more like you're reading a fictitious book though, which for some reason, had a stronger appeal for me. The book also features several games, recipes and even how to make a cornhusk doll. Good read for after you read one of Laura's stories to talk about the woman behind the stories.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    Beautiful biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. As a fan of the Little House series since I was in 4th grade I was so excited when I heard about this book. I was not disappointed when reading this biography. Some gaps were filled and new things learned. I am excited to take it to school to share with my students.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    A clearly written, simple biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder aimed a children but suitable for any age individual who is a fan of Wilder's Little House books. The prose echoes that of Laura's books, with straightforward sentences and the illustrations are delightful reminders of Garth Williams' work. If you want to compare Laura's fictional life with her real one, this is an easy way to do so. A clearly written, simple biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder aimed a children but suitable for any age individual who is a fan of Wilder's Little House books. The prose echoes that of Laura's books, with straightforward sentences and the illustrations are delightful reminders of Garth Williams' work. If you want to compare Laura's fictional life with her real one, this is an easy way to do so.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    wonderful biography for children to read about Laura. I loved the writing style that the author used. I'm 41 and never read the little house books as a child, I was always more into fantasy and SciFi. I might give them a try now I that I'm older. wonderful biography for children to read about Laura. I loved the writing style that the author used. I'm 41 and never read the little house books as a child, I was always more into fantasy and SciFi. I might give them a try now I that I'm older.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    This is a fun biography of a most beloved American author, Laura Ingalls Wilder for young readers. Majority of her books actually came from her real life. But in this biography, you read about things you didn't know that the books didn't mention. This is a fun biography of a most beloved American author, Laura Ingalls Wilder for young readers. Majority of her books actually came from her real life. But in this biography, you read about things you didn't know that the books didn't mention.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Edwards

    As I child I loved these books - this is a great biography to give to kids who have read the Little House series and want to know more about it's author. Brought back great memories! As I child I loved these books - this is a great biography to give to kids who have read the Little House series and want to know more about it's author. Brought back great memories!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Librariansteph

    Fans of the "Little House" book will be drawn to this biography. (read via e-ARC from NetGalley) Fans of the "Little House" book will be drawn to this biography. (read via e-ARC from NetGalley)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Learned some great facts about her - I had no idea just how smart and independent she was. Excellent for upper elementary!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    It had great info but it seemed to be redundant after just reading the LIttle House books :-( Also I was hoping this was a picture book...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    What can I say? This is a wonderful companion to the "Little House" books and can even serve as a great introduction to the entire series. I definitely recommend! What can I say? This is a wonderful companion to the "Little House" books and can even serve as a great introduction to the entire series. I definitely recommend!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angela Krajcar

    Loved it. I've never read the little house books (shocker I know!) definitely want to add them to my long list of things I should have read as a child! Loved it. I've never read the little house books (shocker I know!) definitely want to add them to my long list of things I should have read as a child!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Very good childrens biography of Laura and her family. Kind of written in the same style as the Little House boks.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Yusko

    Young, maybe 3-6th grades. But a good bio for fans of the series. Good back matter. Lower level readers could finish this bio easily.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rosa Cline

    4 star

  30. 4 out of 5

    Krystal Ortiz

    This biography was an informative and delightful read. I grew up reading the Little House books and watching the TV show when I was home sick from school. I knew that the books and series were based on the real life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I knew very little about how much truth there was in them. When I was browsing the e-books at my library for a children's biography and came across this one, I knew instantly that I had to read it. The biography begins with a prologue that is talking abou This biography was an informative and delightful read. I grew up reading the Little House books and watching the TV show when I was home sick from school. I knew that the books and series were based on the real life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I knew very little about how much truth there was in them. When I was browsing the e-books at my library for a children's biography and came across this one, I knew instantly that I had to read it. The biography begins with a prologue that is talking about Laura's mother. It briefly details her childhood and upbringing, and how important education and reading was to her, even as a farmer's wife. This is what she instilled in Laura and her sisters as well. The biography follows Laura's whole life, from her early childhood and moving from farm to farm. It gives good details about the weather and the harsh conditions of nature that farmers had to contend with, and also the historical background in which Laura grew up, with homesteading, Native American land concerns and the westward expansion. Laura's life is told in details that children can easily follow and understand, as well as funny little stories from her life like the time her dad found a mouse in his hair! The biography continues on to follow Laura through her years finishing school and then getting married and starting a family. It was interesting that the writings which she is best known for did not come about until the later part of her life. Her daughter, Rose, inspired her to write more, as she was already writing articles for magazines, and thus came the Little House books, which detailed all of her lifelong journeys and adventures. The book ends with her passing, shortly after her 90th birthday and still reaping the success of her books. In a nice touch, the book ends with recipes and games that are mentioned in the biography and that Laura writes about in her books. The details in the biography bring Laura back to life in the reader's mind, and the simple hand drawn illustrations that are included also enhance some of the details in the book. This book is a great example of a children's biography, and would fit in great at an elementary school or middle school library, mostly for upper grade children, grades 3-5 but I would argue it could also be useful for lower middle schoolers, grades 6-7. It also paints a nice picture of the history of the time and could be used for the purpose of teaching what life was like for farm children during these time periods. I would definitely recommend this book for school usage; it made me very nostalgic to go back and re-read and re-watch some of my childhood favorites!

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