24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Wow! This one is terribly exciting!,
This review is from: The Long Winter (Little House) (Paperback)
I have embarked on the reading of the "Little House" book series, an historical account of the life of pioneer girl Laura Ingalls and her family. This is the 5th book in the series and it is by far the most exciting. Pa, Ma, Mary(who is now blind), Laura, Carrie and Grace get a new homestead but they must move into the town of DeSmet for the winter and they plan to build a house on their new land in the spring. Once settled in, Pa meets a mysterious old indian at the store who warns of a blizzard that will last seven months. And he is right. It comes in October and there is still blizzard in April. It is so cold where they live that there is ice in their bucket of water every morning so they must daily heat it on the stove in order to get water. To keep warm at night they put what is called a hot flatiron in their beds. I think they are pieces of the stove that go on burners. Like all the other books in this series, you learn interesting things: How do you get your horse out of a hole in the snow? How do you make a lamp out of a button and some grease? How do you ward off and treat frostbite? What do you do when all you have to eat for months is potatoes and just when you can't stand to eat one more potato you run out? Yes, they actually ran out of food! It happened twice in this book. You will learn what happens when a family runs out of food. You will learn what it is like to begin starving. You will see what 2 men did in their effort to save a whole town from starving. You will see how some people act when pushed to their very limits. The good and the bad come out in people. When Laura wakes up every morning, there is frost on the nails that hold their roof and walls together. The blizzard has howling, screaming winds with only one day break between 4 day long blizzards. The trains cannot run at all so no food or goods of any kind come into the town. When Christmas comes Laura makes presents for everyone in her family and she is the only one who doesn't get a present at all. But she never says this, you have to figure it out. The whole book covers just this one winter when Laura is thirteen years old.
There is one thing I always wanted to know that this book doesn't tell you either. How does Mary feel about becoming blind? She used to be "friend sisters" with Laura and they did everything together. Now Laura does these things with little Carrie who is now 10.
If you only plan to read one book in the "Little House" series, this one should be it. You'll be thankful for your furnace, your roof, and your food. You'll find out how easy you've got it, and how to be a hero. I'm not planning to read it again, I feel cold and hungry just thinking about it, it was too realistic. But I think it was really really good for the kids to see how good they have it.