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Little Town on the Prairie (Little House) Paperback – October 17, 1971

4.6 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The long winter is finally over, and with spring comes a new job for Laura, town parties, and more time to spend with Almanzo Wilder. When Laura finds out Ma and Pa are struggling to save money for Mary to go to college, Laura knows she must help, even if it means sacrificing her own dreams.
Based on the real adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, LITTLE TOWN ON THE PRAIRIE is the seventh book in the award-winning Little House series.

About the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957) was born in a log cabin in the Wisconsin woods. With her family, she pioneered throughout America’s heartland during the 1870s and 1880s, finally settling in Dakota Territory. She married Almanzo Wilder in 1885; their only daughter, Rose, was born the following year. The Wilders moved to Rocky Ridge Farm at Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894, where they established a permanent home. After years of farming, Laura wrote the first of her beloved Little House books in 1932. The nine Little House books are international classics. Her writings live on into the twenty-first century as America’s quintessential pioneer story.

Garth Williams's classic illustrations for the Little House books caused Laura to remark that she "and her folks live again in these pictures." Garth Williams also illustrated Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and almost one hundred other books.


Product Details

  • Series: Little House
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (October 17, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064400077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064400077
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in the Wisconsin woods in 1867. She wrote the Little House books based on her own experiences growing up on the Western frontier. Just like the characters in her stories, Laura and her family traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest and experienced many of the same adventures. She finally settled down in Mansfield, Missouri with her husband, Almanzo, where she lived until her death in 1957.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First let me say that I read this in the full-color collector's edition, and it was lovely. Thick, glossy pages that could withstand much "love" and Garth Williams' lovely drawings enhanced with color. Very nice.

In Little Town on the Prairie, Laura is about 15 and the Ingalls family spends most of the narrative in the town of DeSmet, South Dakota. Laura has adapted to town life (compare her discomfort at being surrounded by strangers in By the Shores of Silver Lake) and is experiencing life as a young lady in frontier society in the 1880's. The period detail is rich and rewarding in this book, and in its own way, Little Town shows Laura struggling with the need to "fit in" with her peers, just as every teenager experiences today. For Laura, it's having a chance to select her own printed "name cards" and exchange them with her friends. ($0.25 for a dozen cards, a princely sum by Ingalls' standards). She also experiences a bit of evil glee at seeing the tables turned on Nellie Oleson, who is now the poor country girl. On the other hand, we see Laura work steadfastly at a hated job of sewing sleeves on men's shirts, because of her dedication to giving Mary a chance to attend college for the blind. She also dedicates herself to studying for a teacher's license so she can further supplement the family's income, and at the end of the book achieves her goal, via a lie of omission (something that Ma surely would have disapproved!).

In a remarkable section, Laura describes sewing an elegant winter dress for Mary to wear at college, and then casually tosses in that they made a hat to go with it! How on earth does one make a hat, and isn't it remarkable that Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't think hat-making merited any special mention?
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By V. VanCamp on September 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
The town of De Smet is filled with relief! The long horrible winter is finally over. Everyone is so happy to be able to have fun outside and to eat real meals again!
The Ingalls family is back out on the claim and Laura is thrilled! She loves to run through the grass and help Pa with the chores.
The book starts with Laura accepting a job in town. She is uncertain about how she will handle being cooped up inside all day, but she is eager to earn money for Mary's schooling.
Fourth of July comes and Pa takes Laura and Carrie into town for the celebration. The town is bursting with activity. The girls are nervous about being in such a crowd, but they are excited to drink fresh cool lemonade and to watch the horse races.
All too soon it is time for Mary to attend college. They all know how wonderful it will be for her and how happy she will be to be learning and growing in a world that teaches her how to live blind. All of these good things do not diminish the aches in their hearts as they bid sweet, gentle, thoughtful Mary good-bye.
When Laura and Carrie start school again, they are dismayed to see Nellie Olson appear! They do not want to have to deal with her again. True to form, Nellie causes trouble, which makes this section of the book very entertaining. Laura is such a spitfire that it is fun to read of her adventures.
This winter in town is a far cry from their last winter. This winter brings laughter and gaiety in the form of name cards, literaries, a birthday party and rides with Almonzo with his beautiful Morgan horses.
'Little Town on the Prairie' is a delightful book. It is interesting, entertaining and often funny. You will enjoy it! I enthusiastically recommend you add it to your collection!
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Format: Paperback
Twenty four years ago, I was a ten year old girl who saved every last penny to save $35.00 to buy the Little House on The Prairie boxed set by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was my love of the TV show that started the savings venture...I heard it was based on a true story and I needed to know all the details. What happened when I received those books, and read them one after another that year changed me into a fan of the show, into a full fledge Laura Ingalls Wilder enthusiast. Why? Because of the simple beauty of the pioneer tales within. Stories that show that even when things are worse than you or I can imagine, family and faith still bring hope and contentment. Little Town on the Prairie is one of my two favorite stories. Even as a ten year old I loved watching Laura turn into a lady in this story. Its been several years since I read this one, and taking a break from my regular readings seemed a good idea. I noticed that I picked up new little things this time around. I can read different things into that meeting with Almonzo where he and Laura change cards, I can feel the shame and tension in the school house scene where Laura defends Carrie to Ms. Wilder (I think I felt this horror anew from a parents perspective) and I also noticed Ma's prejudices against the Indians more keenly as well. There was a scene I even felt uncomfortable with. In a social gathering at the school, some of the town's men dressed in black paint and acted like "darkies" to the amusement of the audience. I think Laura herself, would flinch from that in this day and age. But again, it only emphasizes the times the Ingalls family were living in, and how far this country has come. The country has made mistakes along the way (slavery and the Trail of Tears, for example).Read more ›
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