(post by Virginia Allain)
Many of us grew up reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House series of books. Then a new generation discovered them when it became a popular television series. Last year, I read Pioneer Girl which gave insight into Laura’s autobiography. Each page was divided so that notes explaining incidents in her life were side-by-side with the memories at Laura wrote out by hand.
Later, those notes were polished and became the books that we all love. Now we can read what she originally wrote and have it explained in detail with lots of clarifying notes to accompany it.
That book is almost 500 pages. You can get it from Amazon (new or used or on Kindle) or borrow it from your public library). They underestimated the interest in it so the original printing was too small. Now, it is in its fifth printing.
Another Detailed Book for You
Recently, I discovered a Pulitzer-Prize winning biography, “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder“, which won a National Book Critics Circle award for biography, and a Heartland Prize from the Chicago Tribune. This one is 640 pages long though almost 100 of those pages are the footnotes added at the end.
What a labor of love this book is. It details the background on both the Ingalls family and the Wilders and explains the westward movement in the United States in the 1800s; its effect on the land, on the native people, and the lives of the two families.
It fills in all the bits that didn’t fit into Laura Ingalls Wilder’s stories and expands the reader’s knowledge of American history. Even though I studied Kansas history in grade school, there was a lot more to know.
Ask for it at your public library or click the link above to get a new or used copy from Amazon.
It inspires me to go back and read once more these classic Little House books.