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80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 18, 2008
There is a reason that Rose Wilder Lane, once a hugely famous journalist and novelist, is now largely remembered as an afterthought when her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder is mentioned. After reading claims, that Rose took a more than 'editorial' part in her mother's Little House series, and then finding out that this was book was somewhat modeled after her grandparents, Charles and Caroline Ingalls, I had to read it. Luckily, this one is still often reprinted. Here are my thoughts, however educated or not so, they may be: I think this book was tremendously interesting. I startled time and again reading things like "Wild Plum Creek", and about the grasshopper plagues, so familiar from Laura's "On the Banks of Plum Creek". I was suprised (in almost a good way) to read about some of the harsher things that Molly (as she is called in this version) had to do to survive. We definately wouldn't read about some those gory aspects in a Little House book. I actual could have really liked this book if it weren't for the way it was written. Rose's plot line was great (the ending was too abrupt though). But there was absolutely no personalizing her characters here at all. This read like history...this happened and this happened. Oh, and they were madly in love. I never felt like they were madly in love, except for the fact that Rose tells me so in the book once in awhile. In Laura's stories I feel the love between Pa and Ma, in his 'twinkling' eyes as he looks on his first thoughts are usually things to do to make Ma happier wherever they settle. You can feel the love between parents and child(ren) in Laura's books as well. In the soft words, Pa and Ma speak to comfort the children. In the ways Pa and Ma think of their children as they try to soften the blows so frequently felt from the prairie.

There is none of that in Young Pioneers. This story is kind of bland. I think this should be an example pointing to the fact that Rose Wilder Lane perhaps (most certainly in fact) edited her mother's stories, and its never been a secret that she typed up Laura's handwritten manuscripts, but Rose Wilder Lane's writing style would have had to completely changed, to have had a serious authorship of the Little House books.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2013
You have to feel sorry for Rose Wilder Lane: at one point, SHE was the famous author in the family. In her lifetime, she wrote over 20 books, and countless magazine and newspaper articles. She wrote biographies of Henry Ford, Herbert Hoover, and Charlie Chaplin. She is considered one of the founders of the Libertarian movement.

Now? She's mainly relegated to being "the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder." She's a footnote in the sad chapter of "The First Four Years."

My daughter and I have been reading a series of books written about Rose, in the style of the Little House books, by her "adopted grandson" and heir, Roger Lea MacBride (although he died after a few books were written, and his own daughter finished them, from what I understand.) And of course, there is "A Wilder Rose", the new novel about the relationship between Laura and Rose. This is the first of her books that I have read.

You'll notice in the Amazon synopsis that the main characters are named Molly and David. I'm not sure when this was changed (probably when the title was - and it suddenly became a children's book, which I find very odd...) but originally the characters were named Charles and Caroline. Sound familiar? Let the Hurricane Roar was originally published as a magazine serial, and then as a novel, and borrowed heavily from the stories that she had grown up hearing from the Ingalls side of her family. There is a grasshopper plague, and blinding blizzards, and cattle frozen to the ground by their own breath. Anyone who has read the Little House books will be very aware of the similarities. It's been said that her mother gave her permission to use the stories, but I'm not certain if that's known for sure; although I suppose at the time she didn't ever expect to continue the Little House books (Little House in the Big Woods was also published in 1932) to the point where the similarities would be noticed.

But taking aside comparisons to her mother's books (in which, it has been alleged, Rose had more than an editorial hand - but don't get me started on that one), the story is interesting, but perhaps because it is such a short book (only around 150 pages in the version that I read) I never felt much of a connection to the characters. When a tragedy struck, as a reader I should have felt for them, or wondered what they would possibly do, but I just never did. I didn't dislike the book at all, but I just never was able to love it, either. I think if it had taken more time for character development it would be more compelling.

Honestly, after reading this, I have a very hard time believing that Rose wrote her mother's books.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 1999
I went into reading this book not sure what to expect. It was reflective of the Little House books, but I was instantly hooked by the suspense of the plot and the events. Although this was meant for children, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am a huge fan of all the Little House books, and this one just earned a spot on my bookshelf.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 1999
Young Pioneers is a good book if you love reading about how our country became seltled in the west by the young, brave people like Molly and David. Rose Wilder Lane is a great author just like her mother Laura Ingalls Wilder. If you enjoy Laura's books, you will enjoy Rose's also. Young Pioneers is a great story about how life was like in the 1800s. I really enjoyed this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2003
Wonderful story, but much harsher and bleaker than her mother's own writings about settling in the West. A stunning work about a struggle for independence I couldn't even imagine.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2011
I have always loved the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and when I heard about this book, I wanted to read it. David and Molly in the story were modeled after Rose's grandparents, Charles and Caroline Ingalls. While the book is geared towards young folks, I did enjoy it quite a bit. While the "Little House" books are geared towards a younger set, "Young Pioneers" makes a nice addition to your bookshelves for your older children. I think the "Young Pioneers" is a bit more realistic when it comes to the hardships and dangers that the Pioneers faced, while the "Little House" books sugar coated them a bit because those books were more geared towards younger children. Also, Rose's writing style is different from those that her Mother penned. It's a bit more stark and not as descriptive.

If you've read the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, you will recognize that many of the settings and events in "Young Pioneers" are from Laura's book, "On the Banks of Plum Creek". For instance, David and Molly live in a dugout on the banks of Wild Plum Creek. They also lose their wheat crop through a swarm of grasshoppers. But, you also get a glance at what "Ma" and "Pa" were possibly like before Laura was born. The story starts with David and Molly's wedding. David is 18 and Molly is 16 when they set off on their adventure. From the "Little House" books, I never pictured them being that young. Granted, I know that this is a fictionalized account of Charles and Caroline's early years, but this fact was probably pretty accurate. After reading the book, think about many 16-18 year olds do you know that could survive life as a pioneer in today's age? I enjoyed the book quite a lot, but I did feel that the ending was a bit abrupt. I would have like to have had it go on a bit longer to have it feel a bit more complete. I don't think it has the same magic as the "Little House" books, but it was well written and enjoyable.

This book is appropriate for I'd think 6th grade and up. Nothing too violent, just the stark reality of life as a pioneer. Also, there is a mild curse word that is used once when David is upset toward the middle-end of the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2014
I do love the book for a young person. One thing I would like to bring to your attention is that the two books "Young Pioneers" and "Let the Hurricane Roar" purchased online from the Amazon site are the same book but they have different titles which is very misleading. I was purchasing the books to give to a young child for Christmas thinking they were two books of a series such as the "Little House" series. I hope "Free Land" is a different book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2015
I purchased Young Pioneers because it is required for a class that I am taking on Laura Ingalls Wilder. I would not have read it otherwise. I know now that Rose Wilder Lane used her mother's memoirs to grab memorable incidents and combine them in a sensationalistic manner. Knowing about RWLs psychological problems now, I can see that she fictionally put herself into scenarios of the pioneer story. It is not a story of young pioneers, it is a fantasy within one woman's tortured mind. I found it scary to look into RWLs mind. Also the writings of Wendy McElroy touting the libertarian agenda were rather shocking in that though RWL did espouse libertarian views the story is not primarily a political statement in fiction, but rather a frantic attempt to make money using her mother's material without her knowledge or permission. It is obvious that while RWL greatly assisted her mother LIW as an editor for the Little House books, Rose was not a good fiction writer or an ethical one either. Don't waste your money. Young Pioneers deserves to be forgotten.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2015
I was very excited to find a copy of this book in a used bookstore, under its original name, Let The Hurricane Roar. What a disappointment it was. It incorporates some of the best stories from Laura's books, but in a such a bland and boring way that you don't really care what happens to the characters. There is no character development whatsoever and the tales are told as just dry recitations. Boring, boring, boring. Don't waste your time (or your children's time) with this book. Read Laura's books instead.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2015
This story of two very young Americans humbled me and gave me hope that our pioneer spirits will be renewed. Their reality which required them To literally eek out a living from the ground and face hardships of Nature makes my life struggles pale in comparison. Every day was truly a life or death situation for them. The story is so well written and beautiful, and it captures the era. and the depth of the characters.
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