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On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House, No 4) Paperback – April 8, 2008
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From the Back Cover
The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as they leave their little house on the prairie and travel in their covered wagon to Minnesota. Here they settle in a little house made of sod beside the banks of beautiful Plum Creek. Soon Pa builds a wonderful new little house with real glass windows and a hinged door. Laura and her sister Mary go to school, help with the chores, and fish in the creek. At night everyone listens to the merry music of Pa's fiddle. Misfortunes come in the form of a grasshopper plague and a terrible blizzard, but the pioneer family works hard together to overcome these troubles.
And so continues Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.
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.
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Stories, they bring us back to when simpler times surely seemed
Like better times. We are looking forward to visiting the Wilder homestead this summer in Malone. NY. It’s just an hour and 30 minutes from our summer place and we couldn’t be more excited!! We feel quite fortunate to have had Laura’s life to reflect on and remind us of what’s truly important, family! Thank you to Laura and her heirs who keep her profound legacy alive for our children and grandchildren.
My grandparents owned farms and I recall many of the things described in these books. Though my children do not have these experiences, These books gives them some exposure to what life is like growing on a farm. Though a bit more romanticized than I remember...
I've been waiting for these to come out on kindle for awhile. The books separately are 8.99 as of now, and it's a little cheaper to buy this package of 5 books instead of doing it individually.
My biggest complaint about this set is the navigation. I can easily choose which book to read from the "go to" kindle menu. But, after choosing the book you want to read, you cannot further navigate into the book by the table of contents. I also bought one of the little house books not included in this set, and this problem does not occur, I'm able to navigate to different chapters if I choose. I wish I had bought these books individually to avoid this annoyance, even if it would've been a little more expensive. If you don't care about this issue I would purchase this as I have found no issues with the content.
The illustrations are all there as they are in the books, even the smaller illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.
Laura has to become Mary's eyes and see for her, describing in detail what she is seeing so that Mary, too, can "see." The perceptive reader understands how central this experience, this role, was in shaping the future author of this series of books which are enduring across generations of readers, young and old.
Much later in the book, in the chapter, "On the Pilgrim Way," a much beloved, Reverend Alden is visiting, passing through with a very young (boy preacher) Reverend Stuart, and has just said to Ma, "I am sorry indeed, Sister Ingalls, to see the affliction that has come to Mary."
The reply comes, "Yes, Brother Alden," Ma answered sadly, "Sometimes it is hard to be resigned to God's will. We all had the scarlet fever in our place on Plum Creek, and for a while it was hard to get along. But I'm thankful that all the children were spared to us. Mary is a great comfort to me, Brother Alden. She has never once repined."
Brother Alden extends encouragement and comfort, "Mary is a rare soul, and a lesson to all of us...We must remember that whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and a brave spirit will turn all our afflictions to good. I don't know whether you and Brother Ingalls know that there are colleges for the blind. There is one in Iowa."
The account continues, "Ma took tight hold of the edge of the dishpan. Her face startled Laura. Her gentle voice sounded choked and hungry. She asked, 'How much does it cost?'"
In this book, perhaps more than the other books in the series, the author develops the subtleties of what the Ingalls family is all about, the close interrelationships of its members, their self-sacrificing devotion to one another. With the news that there are colleges for the blind, Laura determines to work hard so that the family can afford to send Mary to one, a theme that carries throughout other books in the series.
The author does a nice job of developing the central characters, especially Mary, whose blindness does not in any manner stop her from being a valuable, contributing member of the family. For example, it is Mary who warms and entertains baby Grace on her lap in the rocking chair by the fire, a repeated sweet scene.
Mary is mentally sharp and keeps the free-spirited, free-wheeling Laura on her toes, particularly when it comes to being truthful and describing accurately what she (Laura) is seeing. When Laura tells her the road in front of them has disappeared, Mary objects, saying that is impossible. Laura struggles to explain. In the chapter, "The Shanty on the Claim," Laura describes the shanty, which is papered with black tar paper fastened with yellow lath strips as "tiger-striped." Mary corrects her and points out that tigers are yellow with black stripes.
Laura gets her first glimpse of her future husband Almanzo Wilder, who along with his older brother Royal, passes the Ingalls family, the Wilder boys standing in a wagon, driving a beautiful, matched set of horses. Laura's attention is consumed completely by the beautiful horses, and she seems to scarcely notice the young men.
We cover this series, as well as the prequel series (The Martha Years, The Charlotte Years, The Caroline Years) and the sequel series (The Rose Years) in our home school curriculum with my grandchildren, who are currently 11, 8 and 6. My grandson enjoys the books at least as much as my granddaughters.
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