Farmer Boy Goes West

Overview

Little House

Big Adventure

Almanzo Wilder is going west! He and his family are moving all the way from their cozy farm in Malone, New York, to the bustling town of Spring Valley, Minnesota. Almanzo can’t wait to explore, but life in Spring Valley isn’t what he expected. The Wilders have to stay with relatives in a small, cramped house where Almanzo’s aunt Martha is cold and unfriendly. Almanzo longs for the freedom he had back home, and he ...

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Overview

Little House

Big Adventure

Almanzo Wilder is going west! He and his family are moving all the way from their cozy farm in Malone, New York, to the bustling town of Spring Valley, Minnesota. Almanzo can’t wait to explore, but life in Spring Valley isn’t what he expected. The Wilders have to stay with relatives in a small, cramped house where Almanzo’s aunt Martha is cold and unfriendly. Almanzo longs for the freedom he had back home, and he especially misses his horse, Starlight. Even as he makes new friends at school and helps his father pick a plot of land for the family to settle on, Almanzo can’t help but wonder: Is Minnesota the right place for the Wilders? Or do they belong in New York?

First introduced in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic Little House book Farmer Boy, Almanzo Wilder’s adventures continue in Farmer Boy Goes West.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sue Poduska
In the tradition of fan fiction, this is a continuation of the "Little House on the Prairie" saga, following Almanzo Wilder as a teenager being introduced to the West. The author gives a good venue for the reader of today to learn about everyday life of a hundred years ago. The reader should realize, however, that this is not a true depiction of Almanzo's life, even though he was a real person. Also, the style and voice are not true to the original "Little House" book series but are more reminiscent of the television series. Part of the Wilder family travels from New York state to Minnesota to check out the living conditions and visit more family. They end up buying farmland and staying nearly two years before returning to New York to sell the farm there. Throughout the novel, the author shows Almanzo's love for his family, for farming, and for horses. All that said, the story and characters are very enjoyable and should draw in a lot of young readers. Many children will love this sweet story. Reviewer: Sue Poduska
Kirkus Reviews
The overextended Little House franchise at least takes a step toward gender balance with this carefully wrought sequel to Farmer Boy (1933). Compressing time span and age differences but otherwise sticking closely to the historical record, Williams (a pseudonym for Tui Sutherland) sends teenage Almanzo Wilder and part of his family from their comfortable New York farm to a new start in Minnesota's Spring Valley. Cast without nuances as a sturdy, reliable lad who loves his family, horses, farming and food (usually in that order) much more than going to school or even being indoors, Almanzo doesn't so much develop as have experiences that explain his later character in the original series--getting over being shy around girls, for instance, by suffering an infatuation with a dazzling classmate that ends precipitately when he discovers that she doesn't like horses. Likewise, a cozy Christmas, a suspenseful box social, a relative's (offstage) death and other events recall or presage incidents and situations in the canonical volumes. Along with physical olden-days details, the author tucks in attitudes that modern readers will (one hopes) find quaint, such as a visitor's condescending reference to idol worship in India and a line about how "girls have to wait for boys to be brave" from Almanzo's older sister Alice. Safe, comfortable, respectful of its progenitors and wholesome as all get out. (afterword) (Historical fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061242519
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/14/2012
  • Series: Little House Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 641,761
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Heather Williams is the pen name for Tui Sutherland, author of several children’s books, including Nellie Oleson Meets Laura Ingalls, Who Was Harry Houdini? and the Pet Trouble series. She is also one of four authors working on the bestselling Warriors and Seekers books under the name Erin Hunter. In 2009, she was a two-night champion on Jeopardy!, which is not something she could have done in Almanzo’s day! She currently lives in Boston with her family.

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