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On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House, No 4) Paperback – April 8, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 222 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.



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.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 720 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064400042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064400046
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a thirty one year old man, I don't suppose I'm the target audience for the "Little House on the Prairie" series. But after reading this book on a whim, I have to say that I'm hooked.

Laura Ingalls and her family eke out a difficult living on the plains of Minnesota during the time of pioneers and native americans. They are a tightknit family focused on doing the right thing, but their closeness and morality are severely challenged by the harshness of prairie life. They battle floods, drought, fires, blizzards, and insect infestations, all while trying to earn enough money to work toward a better life. Laura and her sister Mary have their first experiences with church and with school, and have to try to fit in as country bumpkins among more street-smart peers (most notably the obnoxious and relatively rich Nellie Oleson).

I found this book to be very charming. The unrelenting goodness of the entire Ingalls family is a bit tiresome at times, but the unflagging earnestness with which it is portrayed won me over, and I soon found myself completely invested in their happiness. The fact that they are happy with so little is refreshing, especially when viewed against the backdrop of modern times. The fact that it took place so long ago, and in such a harsh setting, actually made the good-hearted characters seem more believable.

But what really sells this book is the authentic portrayal of the way of life that the Ingalls' live. Living in a dugout by a creek, cutting the grass to make hay, and knitting clothes during long and dreary days; the book's colorful details make a practically-extinct lifestyle come alive. In particular, the way that the Ingalls must observe nature and learn to live within the context of it's rhythms and cycles was very interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is both joyful and heartbreaking. As a child I spent hours acting out the story with my dolls...the oxen, the horses named Sam and David, the little church in town, the nice girls and the snobby girls in school, the flags and rushes on the creek, the horrible grasshoppers and Pa's being away for so long while he went to find work....This is a very detailed, gripping story that really makes time fly. I loved it best of all the books in the series, and I really liked them all!
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Format: Paperback
In this next book in the landmark "Little House" series, the Ingalls family decide to leave their farm by Plum Creek to find a new homestead on the prairie. The grasshoppers and poor crops in Minnesota were a little too much for them. In addition, some bad times appear for the Ingalls family in the time period between this and the previous book in the series. The whole family had been stricken with scarlet fever and the oldest daughter, Mary, is now blind because of it. In addition, although it is never mentioned in the books, Laura had a little baby brother at this time (Charles Frederic, "Freddy") who died before his first birthday (1875-1876). And, a new baby sister has been added to the family, Grace Pearl Ingalls (1877-1941). Laura's father gets a job acting as a storekeeper for the Chicago and North Western Railroad who are laying tracks through the Dakota terretory. While working for them, he finds a new homestead on the prairie and brings the rest of his family out. There is concern as to whether he will be able to file his claim on time; but, he does. The Ingalls family are among the first to live near the new town of De Smet, South Dakota (although South Dakota doesn't become a state until 1889). The time frame of this book is 1879-1880 and Laura Elizabeth Ingalls is 12-13 years old. The book was a 1940 Newbery Honor Book (that is, a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best contribution to American children's literature. And, it deserved it! Near the end of the book, Laura gets her first glimpse at the boy who will later become her husband, Almanzo Wilder.
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Format: Paperback
Laura Ingalls Wilder described to us what we never would see--the building of railroads and towns right before her eyes. Her ability to describe makes you see the railroad being built in your own mind. This book really captures the emotions of growing up. From losing Jack, the brindle bulldog, to Mary's blindness to the hardships of no money. Laura struggles with the longing of wanting to keep going west but knows it can never happen. By being able to stay in the Surveyors House, they do not have to go back east but stay as far in the west as Laura feels she'll always be. The part where Carrie and Laura follow the moonbeam, while skating on the ice, made me appreciate the long cold winters here in the North. She appreciated all things wild and saw the beauty in the night. When they moved to the homestead, you could feel the heartache of knowing that was it for traveling in the wagon. You can feel the boredom in Laura while she is with Lena. Not that Lena was boring to Laura, but Laura saw Lena as someone who had so much freedom and would always be following the railroad while Laura would always be right where she is at. Little did Laura know that when she saw the beautiful brown Morgan horses, they and the young man driving them, would be her future.
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