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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last book in the series published before her death.
This book, which was a 1944 Newbery Honor Book (that is, a runner-up to the Medal winner), continues the autobiography of Mrs. Wilders (1867-1957) through the years 1883 to 1885 when the author was 15 to 18 years old. It begins immediately after the events described in "Little Town on the Prairie"; she immediately begins her career as a school teacher in a...
Published on June 30, 1999 by R. D. Allison (dallison@bioche...

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3.0 out of 5 stars Homespun Memories Prove Golden Treasures
Taken from one of the many songs which her father sang and played on his fiddle, the title of this 8th autobiographical book in the LlTTLE HOUSE series relates Laura's coming of age. This novel chronicles her life from the age of 15, when she assumes the dual roles of student as well as teacher, when she reaches 18--and graduates to become a married woman. More personally...
Published 18 months ago by Plume45


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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last book in the series published before her death., June 30, 1999
This review is from: These Happy Golden Years (Little House) (Paperback)
This book, which was a 1944 Newbery Honor Book (that is, a runner-up to the Medal winner), continues the autobiography of Mrs. Wilders (1867-1957) through the years 1883 to 1885 when the author was 15 to 18 years old. It begins immediately after the events described in "Little Town on the Prairie"; she immediately begins her career as a school teacher in a very small schoolhouse about twelve miles to the south of De Smet, South Dakota (although South Dakota doesn't become a state until 1889). Through experimentation, practice, and management, she becomes a good school teacher and is able to keep up with her own studies. And, at the same time, earn enough money to help keep her sister Mary in a college for the blind in Iowa. Almanzo Wilder (1857-1949) continues to court her and drives her home each weekend in a horse-drawn sleigh. As time goes by their friendship turns to love and they are married and Laura goes off to Almanzo's homestead to have her own little house on the prairie. Throughout the book, the author continues to include details of frontier/homesteader life that brings that part of our history to life and shows how people worked hard to overcome difficulties, never giving up. In my opinion, this is the best written of all of the books in the series. It also shows the love that Laura and Almanzo truly had for each other.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laura is Growing Up!, September 8, 2001
This review is from: These Happy Golden Years (Little House) (Paperback)
'These Happy Golden Years' is an excellent book. One of the best in the Little House series. Laura is growing up and life for her is getting very interesting.
The book starts off rough for Laura. In order to make money for Mary's schooling, Laura is going away from home for the first time to teach school. She is staying with a family that has a very bitter wife who is not exactly friendly!
When Laura finally returns home she is happy to go back to school, but she is eager to earn more money. So, she helps the town dressmaker on Saturdays.
Mary is coming home for summer and Laura is so excited! The only problem is that she is staying with the dressmaker and her daughter out on their claim. Will Laura be able to go home and see Mary!?
As the book progresses Almonzo Wilder becomes even more a part of Laura's life. It is so sweet to read these two getting closer and more interested. Laura even helps Almonzo break some horses!
This book is interesting and sweet and the ending is wonderful! Pick it up today!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring yet sad, January 14, 2001
By A Customer
I read this series in my early teens. I enjoyed the latter books more because as Laura ages the language advances, so I found the earlier books (especially Little House) boring (but appreciated later). However, the latter books are still my favorite. I found Happy Golden Years sad because at the time I thought that was all I would ever know about Laura's life, that the rest would be a mystery, but I later found The First Four Years and then biographies as well as her own writings depicting events in her adult life (I especially like Little House in the Ozarks). But even though I now know that Laura went on to have a long and happy life (not without hardship), the Happy Golden Years is still sad. This series focused on this wonderful tight-knit family that experienced joy as well as heartache, and now the family is breaking up. It started when Mary left for college in Little Town on the Prairie. She is missed but when she returns for a visit there's the beginning of the realization for Laura that this life she's had, this family she loves, will change and she will eventually leave. It's something she is not comfortable with- it is hard for her to imagine doing anything other than remaining single and staying with her family, teaching school, but as the book progresses so does her realization of change, which becomes acceptance and hope. I love the writing style- it is simple and honest like the lives of the characters. I couldn't help but feel the joy that Laura felt to be at home with her family, the dread with which she faced her first teaching assignment. The warmth on the weekends contrasting with the chill away from home at that horrible teaching assignment. And who is it that is responsible for giving her the respite from that awful place- Almanzo, who first comes to take her home but who ends up taking her away for good. She goes from not giving Almanzo much thought to missing him terribly when he goes East to visit family, so much so that her family, who were her greatest joy and comfort, are little consolation. It seems that most coming-of-age stories these days are cynical and family is usually considered a burden to free oneself from, but this story is not like that at all. I found this book inspiring. Laura is able to have an independent mind and spirit and stay devoted to what matters in her life: family, faith, a strong work ethic, perseverence. The book Little House in the Ozarks is a compilation of articles Laura wrote for a newspaper column, and I see that the qualities of independence, perseverence, and devotion endured throughout her life, so I am reassured that Happy Golden Years was not the end, but in a way it was, and that's why this book is sad.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Golden Years are passing by, these happy golden years.", January 8, 2006
This review is from: These Happy Golden Years (Little House) (Paperback)
Did your dad ever say something that stuck with you? Laura remembers her pa always singing and playing with his fiddle, "Golden Years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder was a pioneer girl who really wanted to give you a taste of her life and express everything she went through. She wrote the Little House book series, and one of the books is These Happy Golden Years. It is filled pictures that you can see from Laura's point of view. She uses real quotes that both she and other people said, and because of her family's close bond, they shared a lot of cherished memories. At different times throughout the story you will feel happy when Laura and Almanzo Wilder start courting, sad when they are apart so often, mad at Nellie when she acts cruel to Laura, optimistic when things go wrong, but everyone has high hopes, and many more. Laura was a girl growing up in the 1800's and starts developing from a young lady into a woman. She realizes that growing up is not always easy, it takes work, and life changes just as people do. Laura will soon find out that anything is possible no matter what, if you just keep trying. In the end you will see where Laura and Almanzo took their relationship.

Do you like adventuresome books? Books with action? Books filled with emotion? If you answered "yes" to these questions I would recommend this book to you. I also think you would enjoy it, if you like other books wrote by Laura, books by T.L. Tedrow, and memoirs. I enjoyed this book a great deal, when I read it in a week, and I think you will too. Just remember anything is possible no matter what if you keep on trying.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Novel Late In The Little House Series, September 28, 2005
By 
This review is from: These Happy Golden Years (Little House) (Paperback)
This book is mainly concerned with the courtship and marriage of Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls. The town of DeSmet has boomed and grown and slowed down by this time and life has found comfortable rhythms. Pa is a prosperous farmer and townsman, Laura is a teacher, and Almanzo is a respected businessman who also farms a holding on the town's edge. One can tell this novel meant a lot personally to Laura and that she enjoyed re-visiting these "happy, golden years" in her own life and sharing them with us. One of the three or four best of all the Little House novels.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True American Literary Treasure (HONESTLY!!!), October 15, 2006
A Kid's Review
"These Happy Golden Years" is one of the best books I have ever come across. (And I have come across a lot, so don't doubt my taste!) Everything is detailed in an interesting sort of way, and the emotions and lovering part is kept well under control so it's not an immensely disgusting romance novel but not exactly a plain sensible book either. Laura Ingalls Wilder allowed the sequence to be somewhat unpredictable but it exemplifies a good plot that a true book-lover would cherish.

The plot is about fifteen-year-old Laura, now leaving home to teach school. It is a rather big challenge as the weeks drag by, but she learns to deal with unruly Clarence, pouty Martha, shy Charles, and the little ones, Ruby and another boy whose name I cannot remember. And at her boardinghouse, she has to learn how to cope with fussy and quarelly Mrs. Brewster, and spoiled baby Johnny. But the highlight of this part is every Friday Almanzo Wilder comes to pick her up to go home and back again on Sunday. When the term is finished, something has happened and soon Laura finds herself subconsciously in love with handsome Almanzo, and he with her. Of course, they don't just go ahead and marry, because a long-time rival of Laura's, Nellie Oleson, is also after Almanzo, and Laura's older snotty sister Mary is taking all her teaching money to go to college and Pa's claim must be fixed up before the winter. But these things soon pass, and Laura learns the joy of early womanhood as she and Ma make dresses, Laura learns how to deal with money, and realizes Almanzo is really the guy for her. And soon they are engaged. And that is just the beginning of a whole new chapter of Laura's life as a pioneer of America.

This heartwarming little book provides all the things you could want, some romance, a girl's troubles and hopes, and most of all, a glimpse to the daily life which we now look back to as precious American history.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's scary!, December 21, 2001
This review is from: These Happy Golden Years (Little House) (Paperback)
Laura is teaching school and it's scary. But, every Friday Almanzo Wilder comes to take her home for the weekend. Laura sticks out the rest of the term. Almanzo then takes her courting ever though she told her she will no longer go with him when the school is out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Marvelous!, June 19, 2000
This review is from: These Happy Golden Years (Little House) (Paperback)
These Happy Golden Years is truly, and simply magnificent. Laura is now a full-fledged woman, complete with her own opinions and ideas. There are many things that she does, though she doesn't want to, and shows that she's a very capable and independent young woman. Little does Laura know that her life is about to change totally...Enjoy the wonderful These Happy Golden Years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Happy Golden Years, November 16, 2010
By 
I think this might be my favorite book of the Little House on the Prairie series. For those of you that haven't read the series, it is author Laura Ingalls Wilder's telling of her childhood and growing up as a pioneer. With her Ma, Pa, and sisters they travel and live from the big woods of Wisconsin, to Indian Territory, on to Minnesota, and then finally settle in the west in the town of DeSmet. They have many hardships, but ultimately pull together as a family and enjoy life.

This book starts with Laura having just gotten her teaching certificate and teaching her first term of school. The people she stays with are miserable and at some points Laura fears for her safety, however, she finds relaxation in her weekends with the handsome Almanzo Wilder comes to get her to take her back to her family over the weekend. Each week she looks forward to his arrival despite not being sure how she feels about him. When that school term ends she looks forward to being back with her family and to her surprise, finds that she still enjoys going riding with Almanzo and they grow closer. She teaches two more full terms of school and all the while wonders where her relationship with Almanzo is headed. She loves his horses, but she must ask herself if she loves him as well.

I always call the people in these books characters as they seem to be somewhat embellished. Noone can be that perfect and cheerful all the time. Laura does describe her family well and even her sisters get a larger part in this book and more description. Of course Almanzo also takes center stage as he starts courting her and while not much is said, I always enjoy reading about their relationship. There probably could have been more description about their relationship as we never see the transition of Laura enjoying being with him to actually loving him, but I suppose its always fun to picture the back story in your head.

Wilder does a great job of providing expansive descriptions of pioneer life yet still making the book easy for children to read. It would have been nice to make this book longer, as there were a lot of events fit into the pages that could have been marvelous with expansion, however, the book was still greatly interesting. She especially explained the intricacies of women's dress in this book and I could only read with part horror and gladness that its not required to have petticoats, corsets, and other constricting clothing anymore. I do often wonder how a bikini would have been met in those times (well I know but I'd still like to see the reaction).

While this book marks the end of Laura's childhood I do enjoy reading about her as an adult. The book is wonderful and softly romantic and I feel that it appeals more to the adult side of readers than kids, but still remains appropriate for any age. Its such a wonderful series that everyone should have the chance to read.

These Happy Golden Years
Copyright 1943
289 pages
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Ms. Ingalls-Wilder!, March 17, 2008
By 
Erika Sorocco (Southern California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Now fifteen-years-old, Laura Ingalls can't help but crave getting a job in order to help her family. Ever since her first taste of earning her own money, she is determined to find another position that complements her skills. Besides, with Mary away at college, as much as Laura misses the companionship of her beloved sister, she can't help but feel compelled to assist her family in keeping Mary in a place where she is learning, and happier than ever. To do that, however, she'll have to do what she can to find the perfect job. Now that she has her teaching certificate, she'll be able to do just that.

It seems like only yesterday that Laura Ingalls was racing around the schoolyard with the boys, playing ball and sharing secrets with her friends; now she is basically all grown up, and beginning her career as a schoolteacher. But being a teacher isn't as easy as Laura hoped it would be - especially when many of the students are older than she is. And, to add insult to injury, she's forced to contend with boarding with a couple who spends the late nights hurling insults at one another, and living in miserable conditions. The only consolation is that Almanzo Wilder drives in to town each and ever Friday, to pick her up and bring her to her folks house for the weekend, before she must start another grueling week. It is during these long rides that Laura begins to spend more and more time with the older man. But it also makes her question why he is so willing to drive the twelve miles to her aid each week. Laura is unsure of his motives. She is also too tired and busy to spend much time thinking about them. Instead, she thinks of the paycheck that will soon come her way; and the beauty and splendor of the items she can buy for her family as time goes by.

With each and every book in the LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE series, I have seen Laura get older and older. I have also grown to love her as much as an old friend. Laura is such a responsible, mature individual - quite different from the little rascal she was during her younger years. She seems so caring, and eager to assist her family, and see that her sister gets the education she has always craved. It is so refreshing to see a character who puts others ahead of herself. Like in LITTLE TOWN ON THE PRAIRIE, the reader has the opportunity to learn more about Almanzo Wilder; however, the more you learn, the more you see just how much older he is than Laura, and how strangely the relationship between the two of them develops. Another winner from Ms. Ingalls-Wilder!

Erika Sorocco
Freelance Reviewer
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These Happy Golden Years (Little House)
These Happy Golden Years (Little House) by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Paperback - April 8, 2008)
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