Little Town on the Prairie, the 7th book of the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, takes place throughout Laura’s early teen years. The stories detail a more prosperous time for the Ingalls family as the girls are quickly maturing and active in school and social events. Changes for the family are abundant as they move back and forth between living in the shanty house on the claim throughout the warmer months and returning to stay in town during the winter. Mary moves away to go to college, and the town continues to become increasingly populated. Laura’s life takes on more grown-up themes as she works at her first job as a seamstress, receives her first calls from a young man, and eventually achieves her teacher’s certificate, and yet she is still the same spunky girl who enjoys playing outdoors and continues to detest Nellie Oleson.
Pros: It is a relief to finally see this hard-working family gaining in prosperity and settling into life comfortably. This book innocently teaches lessons in proper decorum, living with meekness, avoiding jealousy, and loving with generosity.
Cons: I did find that some parts of the story were a bit difficult for my children to understand and they could not related to Laura as well as they had in previous books. For example, when Almanzoasks if he can walk Laura home, my children were just as oblivious as Laura was to the meaning of this request!
Age Range: 4-12
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