Little Town on the Prairie Background

Little Town on the Prairie Background

Little Town on the Prairie is one of the series of semi-autobiographical children's books written by beloved author Laura Ingalls Wilder. Born in a log cabin in 1867, Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family traveled in a covered wagon across the Midwest, and it is in this book that we find them settling in Dakota, some of the earliest settlers in the new town that is growing fast. The Ingalls family weathered the long, difficult winter of 1880-81 and now their farm is beginning to thrive and support them. Laura is on the cusp of adulthood and is forced to grow up more quickly out of financial necessity; in order to help her older sister, Mary, go to college, Laura takes a part-time job in town as an assistant seamstress, and eventually takes her teaching certificate before she turns sixteen and is offered a position as a teacher in a town that is a couple of hours away. Mary attends a college that is especially for the blind a d although she misses home she is thriving. The dynamic of the Ingalls family changes greatly in this book and as this part of their story closes there are only two children left at home. It is in this book also that Laura meets the man who will be her husband; initially it is not Almanzo Wilder who catches her eye but the beautiful horses that he drives, but Laura has definitely captured his attention and he begins to walk her home and meet her after church.

This book is a fascinating account of a tight-knit pioneer family as they work towards a new and better life, despite the cruelties of the weather and the challenges that life on the prairie brings. Laura Ingalls Wilder's series of novels have captivated children and adults for many generations. Ingalls Wilder eventually settled in Missouri with her husband and their daughter, Rose, and lived until the age of ninety.

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