Laura and Nellie (Little House Chapter Book Series: The Laura Years #5)


When Nellie Olsen looks at Laura and Mary Ingalls, she says, "Country girls!" and wrinkles her nose. But Laura knows that being a country girl is something to be proud of!

Gentle adaptations of Laura Ingalls Wilder's original Little House books invite beginning chapter-book readers into the magical world of Little House.Gentle adaptations of Laura Ingalls Wilder's celebrated Little House books have been ...

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When Nellie Olsen looks at Laura and Mary Ingalls, she says, "Country girls!" and wrinkles her nose. But Laura knows that being a country girl is something to be proud of!

Gentle adaptations of Laura Ingalls Wilder's original Little House books invite beginning chapter-book readers into the magical world of Little House.Gentle adaptations of Laura Ingalls Wilder's celebrated Little House books have been gathered together here in two new titles in our Little House Chapter Books series.

In Laura & Nellie, Laura goes to school and meets her archrival, Nellie Oleson. Nellie is mean and spiteful to Laura, but Laura knows just how to handle her.

In Farmer Boy Days, the first Little House chapter book based on Farmer Boy, Almanzo Wilder helps Father take care of the farm animals, begins to train his two new calves, and knows for certain that he wants to be a farmer forever.

With simple text, entertaining stories, and Renée Graef's beautiful black-and-white artwork, Little House Chapter Books are the perfect way to introduce beginning chapter book readers to the world of Little House.

Author Biography: Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 in the log cabin described in Little House in the Big Woods. As her classic Little House books tell us, she and her family traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest. She and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, made their own covered-wagon trip with their daughter, Rose, to Mansfield, Missouri. There Laura wrote her story in the Little House books, and lived until she was ninety years old. For millions of readers, however, she lives forever as the little pioneer girl in the beloved Little Housebooks.

Laura tries to get even with Nellie, the meanest girl in school.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613082228
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Series: Little House Series: The Laura Years , #5
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder
Millions of readers have read -- and re-read -- the Little House on the Prairie books, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s charming, fascinating tales of her own girlhood spent in the American West. The series, which is both a document of frontier-town America in the 19th century and a beautifully told coming-of-age story, is beloved by readers everywhere for their universal truths about family, love, and endurance in the face of hardship.


"I wanted the children now to understand more about the beginnings of things, to know what is behind the things they see -- what it is that made America as they know it," Laura Ingalls Wilder once said. Wilder was born in 1867, more than 60 years before she began writing her autobiographical fiction, and had witnessed the transformation of the American frontier from a barely populated patchwork of homestead lots to a bustling society of towns, trains and telephones.

Early pictures of Laura Ingalls show a young woman in a buttoned, stiff-collared dress, but there's nothing prim or quaint about the childhood she memorialized in her Little House books. Along with the expected privations of prairie life, the Ingalls family faced droughts, fires, blizzards, bears and grasshopper plagues. Although she didn't graduate from high school, Wilder had enough schooling to get a teaching license, and took her first teaching job at the age of 15.

Later, Wilder and her husband settled on a farm in the Missouri Ozarks, where Wilder began writing about farm life for newspapers and magazines. She didn't try her hand at books until 1930, when she started chronicling her childhood at the urging of her daughter Rose. Her first effort at an autobiography, Pioneer Girl, failed to find a publisher, but it spurred a second effort, a set of eight "historical novels," as Wilder called them, based on her own life.

Little House in the Big Woods (1932) was an instant hit. It was followed by a new volume every two years or so, and the series' success snowballed until thousands of fans were waiting eagerly for each new installment. "Ms. Wilder has caught the very essence of pioneer life, the satisfaction of hard work, the thrill of accomplishment, safety and comfort made possible through resourcefulness and exertion," said the New York Times review of Little House on the Prairie (1935).

In 1954, the American Library Association established the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to honor the lifetime achievement of a children's author or illustrator; Wilder herself was the first recipient. After Wilder's death in 1957, historical societies sprang up to preserve what they could of her childhood homes, and her manuscripts and journals provided the material for several more books. A TV series based on the books, Little House on the Prairie, ran from 1974 to 1984 and renewed interest in Wilder's work and life. More recently, fictionalized biographies of her daughter, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother have appeared.

Wilder's books have now been translated into over 40 languages, and still provide an engrossing history lesson for young readers, as well as insight into the frontier values that Wilder once catalogued as "courage, self-reliance, independence, integrity and helpfulness" -- values, in her words, worth "as much today as they ever were to help us over the rough places."

Good To Know

Wilder's daughter, the writer Rose Wilder Lane, helped revise her mother's books; the collaboration was so extensive that one biographer proposed Rose was the "real" author of the Little House books. Most agree that Rose was, if not author or co-author, instrumental in suggesting the project to her mother and shaping it for publication.

After her books were published, fan mail for Wilder poured in; among more than a thousand cards and gifts she received for her birthday in 1951 was a cablegram of congratulations from General Douglas MacArthur.

Wilder, who had grown up making long journeys by covered wagon, took her first airplane ride at the age of 87, on a visit to Rose in Danbury, Connecticut.

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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

Chapter One

Country Girls

Laura Ingalls never forgot the first time she met Nellie Oleson. It was on Laura's first day of school, when she lived in Minnesota.

Laura and her big sister, Mary, and her sister, Carrie livedon a farm with their Ma and Pa and their bulldog, Jack. Living on a farm meant Laura was a country girl.

Laura loved being a country girl. She loved to run out of the house in the morning and see the dew sparkling on the prairie grass. She loved to wade in the creek where the minnows swam.

She loved to poke a stick at the old crab who lived in the creek and watch him come out snapping his sharp claws. She loved the good smells of hay and earth and wind.

Nellie Oleson was not a country girl. She was a town girl.

When Nellie Oleson first saw Laura, she wrinkled up her nose as though she smelled something bad. She didn't she was just being snooty.Nellie's I fatherowned a store, and Nellie thought that made her very important.

"Hmph!" sniffed Nellie Oleson, looking Laura and Mary up and down. She looked at their faded dresses and their long legs sticking out from under the hems. She looked at their braids, tied with thread.

"Country girls!" she said.

Laura didn't much like Nellie Oleson, if she did have, Pretty yellow curls even I tied with big blue ribbons. Nellie's dress store-bought. It was smooth and white, with light blue flowers all over. Nellie wore shiny black shoes, and her dress was as light and delicate as a spring day. She was pretty as a picture, except for that wrinkled-up nose.

Laura and Mary were barefoot. When the weather was warm, they always wentbarefoot.They loved the feel of the soft grass and warm dirt beneath their feet.Ma made all their clothes. She bought sturdy red calico for Laura's dresses, and sturdy blue calico for Mary's. Laura and Mary had never had a white dress like Nellie's.

But Laura and Mary were too busy that first day of school to worry much about Nellie Oleson. They had never been to school before, even though Laura was almost eight and Mary was going on nine. Until now, the places they had lived-in had been too far from any town for them to go to school.

They were excited to meet their teacher, Miss Beadle. She led them insidethe one-room schoolhouse and showed them where to sit.

Ma had given Laura and Mary a book to study from. But they did not have a slate.

"I will lend you mine," Teacher said.

"You cannot learn to write without a slate."

She lifted up the top of her desk and took out a piece of black board. That was the slate. There was a piece of chalk, too, to write on the slate with.

At noon, all the other children went home to eat.Laura and Mary's house on the farm was two and a half miles away. That was too long a walk to go home for dinner.So Laura and Mary took their dinner pail and sat in a shady spot against the in a schoolhouse.They ate their bread and butter and talked.

"I like school," Mary said.

"So do I," said Laura. "But I don't like that Nellie Oleson that called us country girls."

"We are country girls," Mary pointed out.

"Yes," Laura said proudly. "She needn't wrinkle her nose!"

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