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These Happy Golden Years (Little House) Paperback – May 11, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6–Children will enjoy hearing Tony Award-winning narrator Cherry Jones read Laura Ingalls Wilder's stories about her family and her life on the prairie almost 125 years ago in this eighth book in the Laura Years series. Laura is 16 years old, teaching school, and working at local stores to make extra money to help her family send her blind sister to school. She and her girlfriends enjoy sleigh rides, buggy rides, and singing school. But will she decide the time is right to settle down in her own little house with Almanzo Wilder, who courts her throughout the book? This sweet tale about teenage life, first love, and new responsibilities has stood the test of time. The narration is pitch-perfect, and the music provided by Paul Woodiel brings Pa's fiddle to life. An excellent choice for school and public library collections.–Casey Rondini, Hartford Public Library, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

For the first time in the history of the Little House books, this new edition features Garth Williams’ interior art in vibrant, full color, as well as a beautifully redesigned cover.

Fifteen-year-old Laura lives apart from her family for the first time, teaching school in a claim shanty twelve miles from home. She is very homesick, but keeps at it so that she can help pay for her sister Mary's tuition at the college for the blind. During school vacations Laura has fun with her singing lessons, going on sleigh rides, and best of all, helping Almanzo Wilder drive his new buggy. Friendship soon turns to love for Laura and Almanzo in the romantic conclusion of this Little House book.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 840 (What's this?)
  • Series: Little House (Book 8)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (May 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060581875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060581879
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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By A Customer on January 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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.Read more ›
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Format: 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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