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The First Four Years (Little House) Paperback – August 9, 2005


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The First Four Years (Little House) + These Happy Golden Years (Little House) + Little Town on the Prairie (Little House)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1030L (What's this?)
  • Series: Little House
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (August 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006440031X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064400312
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Laura and Almanzo have married and begin their new life together. But just as they start to feel settled, Laura and Almanzo are challenged by storms, sickness, and providing for their new baby, Rose. Their pioneer lives have trained them well, however, and they’re determined to succeed.

Based on the real adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, THE FIRST FOUR YEARS is the 10th and final book in the award-winning Little House series. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 in the log cabin described in Little House in the Big Woods. She and her family traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest. Later, Laura and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, made their own covered-wagon trip with their daughter, Rose, to Mansfield, Missouri. There, believing in the importance of knowing where you began in order to appreciate how far you've come, Laura wrote about her childhood growing up on the American frontier. For millions of readers Laura lives on forever as the little pioneer girl in the beloved Little House books.



Garth Williams began his work on the pictures for the Little House books by meeting Laura Ingalls Wilder at her home in Missouri, and then he traveled to the sites of all the little houses. His charming art caused Laura to remark that she and her family "live again in these illustrations."


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Customer Reviews

Foremost, the book is too sad.
K. M. Chance
The four first years was the best book I had read from Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote, thats what I think.
Yadira
I did not like this book and it just does not feel like it belongs with the other books.
Dai-keag-ity

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 91 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a must for Laura diehards only. At any rate, perhaps those reading the stories to children younger than 8 or so should have second thoughts.

The book picks up just before the ending of "These Happy Golden Years," and describes Laura Ingalls' first four years married to her husband of over 60 years, Almanzo Wilder, who she here calls "Manly."

This is the only one of the original series which was not published during her lifetime, and not edited (some say co-written or ghost written) by her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, herself a best-selling author, and it shows.

The writing was not as bad as I was led to believe without Rose's hand, as the book was based on a diary Laura kept during her first married years. A close friend of Rose's, Roger Lea McBride, received this diary and saw to its publication after Rose's death. The book seems more like a story outline than a diary as such, and perhaps Laura intended it as a base for Rose to embellish, but this never happened.

I read this book in order with the others in the series with my 8-year-old daughter (we took an entire school year of evenings to finish). My daughter was annoyed by the fact that the descriptions of the events before Laura and Almanzo's wedding are not exactly like those in the earlier book, and she quickly picked up on the fact the book doesn't have the richness of description so important to enjoyment of the earlier works, especially for young girls.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1997
Format: Paperback
For those of you used to the sentimental (but still lovely) "Little House" books, from "Little House in the Big Woods" to "These Happy, Golden Years," you will find "The First Four Years" to have quite a different feel and tone. Whereas Laura wrote the first 8 books with major input from her journalist daughter Rose Wilder Lane, Laura wrote "The First Three Years and a Year of Grace" as a personal journal of sorts, separate from her major works which were written and published from 1932-1946. "The First Four Years" is more somber, a little heavier, and weighed with Laura and Manley's disapppointment over personal tradgedies such as losing every crop for 4 years due to drought or hail, losing their home to a fire, going into heavy debt, contracting a major illness that left Manley with a stroke and a disability, and finally losing a child just a few days old. This book was published in the 1970s, after the death of both Laura and Rose. A must-read for "Little House" fans, with the understanding that The Wilders had a hard life that Laura did not want to address much in her books. - Lori M. Sampso
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Chance on July 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Little House series is fantastic for readers of all ages. Laura Ingalls Wilder is a wonderful writer. It was her intention that the series end in the nice, neat little wrap-up she included in "These Happen Golden Years." However, this novel, "The First Four Years," was published after both Laura and her daughter Rose had died. And after reading the text, I can see why these pages were not really written to be published. Foremost, the book is too sad. None of the cheerful quips and passages that fill the other Little House books are included in this one. It is only a detailed account of all the incredible hardships the young couple faces. Second, the book contradicts parts of the other novels (in fact it starts with the same marriage proposal scene captured so sweetly in "Golden Years" only in this version, Laura initially says no because Almanzo is a farmer and she can't stand the idea of being a farmer's wife!) These are things to keep in mind before getting this book. Admittedly, it is interesting to know what happens next to Laura, but this book is not like the others. Be prepared.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I really agree with the other reviews. This book is different from the others.

There is an introduction in the beginning of the book (by the person who personally knew Rose Wilder Lane and wrote the Rose books)that tells us that this book is different from the first books. It's because Laura never intended to publish it. Or maybe she did, but didn't get to. But anyhow, she did not edit it to be published.

I read another review that said that the voice of the whole book is different. I totally agree with that statement! It's not like Laura!

I think it's a good idea to make this book part of the set, however, because people want to know what happens after Almanzo and Laura get married.

This is my advice: Read the other books first!

-Gracie G., age 11
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I love this book.Evan though I an only 10 my opinion is this book really and truly touches my heart.It brings bag good and sad memories.It is the last of her time.She and her husband Manly and Rose(her daughter)go through many hardships of their day.I love The First Four Years.I wish in a way I lived back then.I hope this review has helped you.
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