Author Laura Ingalls Wilder
Series: Little House #2
Publication Date April 8, 2008
A family travels from the big woods of Wisconsin to a new home on the prairie, where they build a house, meet neighboring Indians, build a well, and fight a fire. Includes a detailed account of how the novel was written and published.
I recently brushed off the dust and read it for the first time in over fifteen years.
When I first read Little House on the Prairie I was overwhelmed by the coolness of Laura playing in the tall prairie grass with her sunbonnet swinging down her back, with a vigilant look-out for Indians after chore time. Now, after passing 8th grade history and learning of Indians being “pushed out” of their homeland (and let’s face it, they did call shotgun first…) Charles “Pa” Ingalls sense of entitlement over his land (despite being on reservation territory) annoyed me and lost a little respect for him even with his strong work ethic and trust in the Osage tribe.
Racism and prejudice was also lightly touched on in this book, Ma while perhaps worried for her family’s safety proclaims “I don’t like Indians” washing her hands of the subject. Ma, the June Cleaver of her time doesn’t like someone? How can this be? I have always been disgusted by prejudice and racism so was a little disappointed in Ma. But on the other side of the coin, I realize this was a different era and was probably (if unfortunate) an accurate depiction of the time.
When I was younger, I thought the farm animals were awesome, as was building the house,well, Indians and even fever ‘n’ ague. Now, fifteen years later I was a little less wowed. I still love the Little House books, but found this book more eye-opening than I did at the age of eight.