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Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography (Little House) Paperback – January 2, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This straightforward chronology of Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) details her heritage and birth, her family's pioneering and her travels with her husband Almanzo and daughter Rose. Though he makes use of the author's private journals, Anderson provides little information on his subject's life and times that the reader wouldn't glean from the eloquent descriptions in the Little House series. Because it fleshes out some of the gaps in that series, this biography might interest history buffs, and Wilder devotees may snap this up. But by simply shadowing and underscoring her universally acclaimed writings, the book pales in comparison with Wilder's own versions of her adventures. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-- This biography of the quintessential pioneer girl who lived the ``Little House'' stories and later captured them for posterity in her books is substantial in length and content. Like the subject's enduring series, it not only chronicles growing up on the frontier, but also pictures a way of life that has long since vanished. Many more people and events from Wilder's childhood and mature years appear here than in other juvenile accounts. Quotations from her works are woven into the text. Anderson brings credentials to the work, yet falters when discussing Wilder's awards. He states that Little House in the Big Woods (1932) became a Newbery Honor Book, when, in fact, On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937, both HarperCollins) was the first of the series so named. Compounding the error, he describes an Honor Book as ``the most outstanding children's book of the year.'' These inaccuracies aside, Anderson's colorful and detailed biography should prove popular with ``Little House'' devotees and students reporting on notable women or authors. Two sections of black-and-white photographs are included. --Pat Katka, San Diego Public Library
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Little House
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (January 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060885521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060885526
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 81 people found the following review helpful By yarden on June 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
After reading through the entire LITTLE HOUSE series (again), I became interesting in learning more about Laura Ingalls Wilder. I began with this book, and read some additional books as well. I found that LAURA INGALLS WILDER: A BIOGRAPHY was very informative, but that it was written in a very positive light. It glossed over some traumatic moments in Laura's life, and made her look like a perfect person instead of a normal person with some faults.
This book is designed to fit in with the current LITTLE HOUSE paperback design, which is handy. It is an easy read (written for the 9-12 set), but will interest those who want to know more about "the real Laura." I would recommend it over the other biographies I have read about Laura Ingalls Wilder because it is written to be interesting, not to be historically detailed. However, Laura's life was painted a lot rosier than it was in real life.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Alice Bright on December 4, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Historian William Anderson did a great job with this little book in rounding out the life and times of the Ingalls family. He fills in the gaps with historic details for those parts of her life that Laura ommitted, for reasons of her own. The final chapters of the book are especially fascinating as we travel to Rocky Ridge Farm in Missouri to see how Laura, Almanzo and Rose lived after "West From Home." Also included is the fascinating story of how the "Little House" books came to be. Anderson also provides some embellishment from Laura herself on stories told in the "Little House" series. It's heartwarming to hear another version from Laura of Almanzo's surprise Christmas visit. This book is full of little tidbits just like that - which are irresistible to Little House fans!
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Anna M. Vandenhazel on December 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you've read the "Little House" books, you'll find that some things in the stories weren't quite the same in real life - for example, the Ingalls family's time spent in Burr Oak, Iowa, isn't mentioned in any of Laura's stories, nor the fact that they actually lived in the Big Woods twice in Laura's lifetime - the events of "Little House on the Prairie" actually took place when Laura was too young to remember, so of course she relied on her parents'memories of Indian Territory. Also of note are a couple of name changes - the "Oleson" family was actually the Owens family, and the quarrelsome people she stayed with on her first teaching job were named Bouchie, not Brewster. Many more surprises await you when you read the story, but I don't want to give everything away!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
William Anderson has written an interesting and enlightening book about one of America's best loved authors. Although I had read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, I had never really developed a sense for who she was until reading Anderson's biography. For anyone who loves history and the pioneer way of life this is an excellent book. For young readers, it is an education to a much simpler way of life, and the answer to what happened to Laura as an older adult.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This story is about a girl, Laura Ingalls wilder's life. Her life was fall of hardenss but she didn't get scared and strived harder after she had her many losses. This strive had brought her from farm woman to a famous writer. This story told me if you don't give up and strive more, everything will be done.

The reason I recommed this book is because it had told me a person's real life and it made me learn manythings that was helpful for my life. The main reason was that I like to read about biography books.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By V. VanCamp on October 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Anderson writes a wonderful and incredible book about Laura Ingalls Wilder. She is a fascinating person and this is a wonderful tribute to her and her life.
Anderson fills his book with facts about Laura's life that I have never read before. Laura chose not to write about every year in her life... this book covers some of them.
Excellent, terrific and informative book... wonderful addition to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House series. You will absolutely enjoy it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
The book goes beyond what is read in the Little House books, so it is very good for a book report. The book tells you about the years following the story in her last book. I think it is good for children because it has a few pictures, and the content is kid-frendly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rosa Cline on September 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
This was a really nice Biography of Laura and her families...and later in the book it almost is a biography of Rose. But with Laura and Rose being so close it would almost be hard to keep the two lives separate in telling of Laura's you had to mix some of Rose's in. It has some photos of the Ingallas and the Wilders and where they lived etc.

It was told with some actual quotes from Laura or Rose which made it nice. It was kind of story form but yet told almost as if the author was sitting beside you visiting with you.

This version didn't let on that the Wilder's had a very tough life, where as another book I read let me to believe their lives were very hard and Almonzo was ALWAYS sick. But he lived to be 90 and worked his farm almost up until his death. (As did Laura) It also told of her writing her stories and her interaction (when she was able) with children or adults in book signings etc. which again is different than I had read before as before they implied Laura hated to be out in public and didn't like children very much at all... but according to this biography she loved children and hated to not write them all back from the mail she received. Or she loved having visitors stop and she would entertain them with milk and cookies and often telling them her stories. I learnt quite a bit from this book
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Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography (Little House)
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