A Little House Reader: A Collection of Writings

Overview

Laura Ingalls Wilder was a writer long before she ever recorded the adventures of her pioneer childhood in the beloved Little House books. As a young girl she wrote poetry, and after marrying Almanzo and moving to the Ozark Mountains, she became a journalist, publishing articles on farming and the life of a farmwife. This moving collection pieces together a unique medley of Laura's writings from the time before her Little House books. These writings, culled mostly from fragile and yellowed pieces of paper, offer ...

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Overview

Laura Ingalls Wilder was a writer long before she ever recorded the adventures of her pioneer childhood in the beloved Little House books. As a young girl she wrote poetry, and after marrying Almanzo and moving to the Ozark Mountains, she became a journalist, publishing articles on farming and the life of a farmwife. This moving collection pieces together a unique medley of Laura's writings from the time before her Little House books. These writings, culled mostly from fragile and yellowed pieces of paper, offer a window into Laura's day-to-day life and experiences, giving us a richer understanding of the woman and writer famed for her Little House books.

A collection of articles, essays, poems, and other writings which shows that the author known for her Little house books was a prolific and talented writer all her life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060586959
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/15/2005
  • Series: Little House Series
  • Pages: 196
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.76 (w) x 7.68 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 in the log cabin described in Little House in the Big Woods. She and her family traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest. Later, Laura and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, made their own covered-wagon trip with their daughter, Rose, to Mansfield, Missouri. There, believing in the importance of knowing where you began in order to appreciate how far you've come, Laura wrote about her childhood growing up on the American frontier. For millions of readers Laura lives on forever as the little pioneer girl in the beloved Little House books.

Dan Andreasen has illustrated many well-loved books for children, including River Boy: The Story of Mark Twain and Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, both by William Anderson, as well as many titles in the Little House series. He lives with his family in Medina, Ohio.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Mrs. A.J. Wilder
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 7, 1867
    2. Place of Birth:
      Pepin, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Death:
      February 10, 1957
    2. Place of Death:
      Mansfield, Missouri

Read an Excerpt

A Family of Writers



Tales of lonely cowboys reading Shakepeare around campfires andaccounts of pioneers transporting barrels of treasured books alongthe overland trails are not uncommon in the hisory of the westward movement The pioneers often clung to vestiges of their previous culture and education as they faced the uncertain challenges of the frontier.

Fortunately, the pioneers both read and wrote Their letters and jounials chronicle their trials and adventures, and offer a glimpse into what was an exciting and often dangerous life. "People kept journals then," remarked Rose Wilder Lane "Theirlives were so interesting to them, they got all they could out of every minute and then wrote it down to remember" Rose 's own family was no exception. Throughout the covered-wagon travels described in the Little House books, the Ingalls family read, wrote, and recorded what Laura once called the "fascination and terror" of pioneenring.

When Laura Ingalls Wilder became well known for her writings, she was asked to explain her skill and Went with words "The only reason I can think of for being able to write at all was that both Father and Mother were great readers and I read a lot at home with them." Laura's response was based on her memories ofthe many books the Ingallses owned. Despite their limited finances,the Ingalls family owned what amounted in the mid-nineteenthcentury to a small home library Works of Dickens, Shakespeare,Pope, Scott, Henry Ward Beecher, and other popular authors of the day fed the family'scraving for the printed word. Biographies and travel accounts instructed them about life beyond their frontier setting They eagerlyreceived newspapers and magazines of the day, including The St. Paul Pioneer Press; The Chicago InterOcean; The Youth's Companion, which was a magazine specifically for children and young adults, and a church paper, The Advance. After settling down in De Smet, they avidly read both weekly local papers, The De Smet News and Leader and The Kingsbury County News.

Laura family was a reading family, they were also a wnting family Often their own Iives provided the Ingalls family with a reason to write For many years, members of the Quiner and Ingalls clans participated in a circulating letter Each branch of the family added its own news and sent the letter ahead to the next recipient These letters continued for two generations, keeping the far-flung pioneering relatives abreast of each other's movements and lives.

Charles Phillip Ingalls

Laura's Pa, Charles Ingalls, was not only a skilled spinner of yarns, an aspect of his personality that Laura immortalized in her books, but he also wrote down peiiodic accounts of his life. He kept a weather diary, and he jotted down information and helpful fanning tips that he valued In a railroad leager from his days working as storekeeper for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, also known as the Dakota Central Railroad, he used blank pages to record highlights of the early beginnings o De Smet, the Dakota town in which he and his family finally settled, and about which Laura herself wrote in By the Shores of SilverLake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, and These Happy Golden Years. Grace discovered her father's account in 1930 and excitedly shared the news with her sisters.

The Settling Of De Smet

I, Charles P.Ingalls and family arrived at Silver Lake Sep. 9, 1879 and worked for A. L. Wells and Co selling goods to the graders on the Dakota Central Railroad. Worked until Dec. 1st, 1879. Then the graders quit work and left for the east and we moved into the Company's building for the winter.

When I and my family were left alone for the winter on the prairie without neighbors we used to say we neighbored with Nelson, who lived on the Jim River 37 miles to the West of us. Walter Ogden, a single man that was working for Henry Peck stayed with us taking care of teams belonging to Peck that were left here for the winter.

We used to keep a lamp burning in the window for fear that some one might try to cross the prairie from the Sioux River to the Jim River and that light brought in some to shelter that must otherwise have perished on the prairie. The coyotes used to come to the door and pick up the crumbs that were scattered.

About the last day of December on a bitter cold night, I think it was the coldest night during the winter, some one called out at the door. Upon going to the door what was my surprise to see a woman on horseback but upon looking a second time I saw a man also, it was R. A. Boast and wife that had come to stay and you may be sure we felt as though we had got back to civilization again. They moved into a small house that had been put up for an office by an enterprising man.

About the first of February travel commenced between the Sioux and the Jim Rivers, then we had company in plenty. Some nights there was so many that they covered the floor as thick as they could lay down.

The first of March 1880, I commenced to build a house on the towncite of De Smet. A man by the name of Bierdsly commenced a hotel about the same time. E. M. Harthorn began the erection of a store a few days after. V. V. Barnes came about the 12th of March 1880 with some lumber for a shanty on his claim 1/2mile west of De Smet. He put up his shanty and went to bed in it. He had blankets with him and a thermometer which he hung up by the head of his bed. In the morning when he awoke and looked at the thermometer it was 12 degrees below zero. I well remember seeing him coming across the prairie towards the house and you may be sure he did not come slow.

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First Chapter

A Little House Reader
A Collection of Writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder

A Family of Writers



Tales of lonely cowboys reading Shakepeare around campfires andaccounts of pioneers transporting barrels of treasured books alongthe overland trails are not uncommon in the hisory of the westward movement The pioneers often clung to vestiges of their previous culture and education as they faced the uncertain challenges of the frontier.

Fortunately, the pioneers both read and wrote Their letters and jounials chronicle their trials and adventures, and offer a glimpse into what was an exciting and often dangerous life. "People kept journals then," remarked Rose Wilder Lane "Theirlives were so interesting to them, they got all they could out of every minute and then wrote it down to remember" Rose 's own family was no exception. Throughout the covered-wagon travels described in the Little House books, the Ingalls family read, wrote, and recorded what Laura once called the "fascination and terror" of pioneenring.

When Laura Ingalls Wilder became well known for her writings, she was asked to explain her skill and Went with words "The only reason I can think of for being able to write at all was that both Father and Mother were great readers and I read a lot at home with them." Laura's response was based on her memories ofthe many books the Ingallses owned. Despite their limited finances,the Ingalls family owned what amounted in the mid-nineteenthcentury to a small home library Works of Dickens, Shakespeare,Pope, Scott, Henry Ward Beecher, and other popular authors of the day fed the family'scraving for the printed word. Biographies and travel accounts instructed them about life beyond their frontier setting They eagerly received newspapers and magazines of the day, including The St. Paul Pioneer Press; The Chicago InterOcean; The Youth's Companion, which was a magazine specifically for children and young adults, and a church paper, The Advance. After settling down in De Smet, they avidly read both weekly local papers, The De Smet News and Leader and The Kingsbury County News.

Laura family was a reading family, they were also a wnting family Often their own Iives provided the Ingalls family with a reason to write For many years, members of the Quiner and Ingalls clans participated in a circulating letter Each branch of the family added its own news and sent the letter ahead to the next recipient These letters continued for two generations, keeping the far-flung pioneering relatives abreast of each other's movements and lives.

Charles Phillip Ingalls

Laura's Pa, Charles Ingalls, was not only a skilled spinner of yarns, an aspect of his personality that Laura immortalized in her books, but he also wrote down peiiodic accounts of his life. He kept a weather diary, and he jotted down information and helpful fanning tips that he valued In a railroad leager from his days working as storekeeper for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, also known as the Dakota Central Railroad, he used blank pages to record highlights of the early beginnings o De Smet, the Dakota town in which he and his family finally settled, and about which Laura herself wrote in By the Shores of SilverLake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, and These Happy Golden Years. Grace discovered her father's account in 1930 and excitedly shared the news with her sisters.

The Settling Of De Smet

I, Charles P.Ingalls and family arrived at Silver Lake Sep. 9, 1879 and worked for A. L. Wells and Co selling goods to the graders on the Dakota Central Railroad. Worked until Dec. 1st, 1879. Then the graders quit work and left for the east and we moved into the Company's building for the winter.

When I and my family were left alone for the winter on the prairie without neighbors we used to say we neighbored with Nelson, who lived on the Jim River 37 miles to the West of us. Walter Ogden, a single man that was working for Henry Peck stayed with us taking care of teams belonging to Peck that were left here for the winter.

We used to keep a lamp burning in the window for fear that some one might try to cross the prairie from the Sioux River to the Jim River and that light brought in some to shelter that must otherwise have perished on the prairie. The coyotes used to come to the door and pick up the crumbs that were scattered.

About the last day of December on a bitter cold night, I think it was the coldest night during the winter, some one called out at the door. Upon going to the door what was my surprise to see a woman on horseback but upon looking a second time I saw a man also, it was R. A. Boast and wife that had come to stay and you may be sure we felt as though we had got back to civilization again. They moved into a small house that had been put up for an office by an enterprising man.

About the first of February travel commenced between the Sioux and the Jim Rivers, then we had company in plenty. Some nights there was so many that they covered the floor as thick as they could lay down.

The first of March 1880, I commenced to build a house on the towncite of De Smet. A man by the name of Bierdsly commenced a hotel about the same time. E. M. Harthorn began the erection of a store a few days after. V. V. Barnes came about the 12th of March 1880 with some lumber for a shanty on his claim 1/2mile west of De Smet. He put up his shanty and went to bed in it. He had blankets with him and a thermometer which he hung up by the head of his bed. In the morning when he awoke and looked at the thermometer it was 12 degrees below zero. I well remember seeing him coming across the prairie towards the house and you may be sure he did not come slow.

A Little House Reader
A Collection of Writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder
. Copyright © by Laura Wilder. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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