On the Banks of the Bayou: (Little House Series: The Rose Years)

( 4 )


The Little House books have captivated generations of readers with their story of the little pioneer girl Laura Ingalls growing LIP on the American frontier. Now the Little House story continues with The Rose Years, books that tell the story of Laura and Almanzo Wilder's daughter, Rose.

The first six books in the series describe the Wilders' journey to Missouri, their first three years on Rocky Ridge Farm. and their move to the town of Mansfield. In this latest Rose Years title,...

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The Little House books have captivated generations of readers with their story of the little pioneer girl Laura Ingalls growing LIP on the American frontier. Now the Little House story continues with The Rose Years, books that tell the story of Laura and Almanzo Wilder's daughter, Rose.

The first six books in the series describe the Wilders' journey to Missouri, their first three years on Rocky Ridge Farm. and their move to the town of Mansfield. In this latest Rose Years title, a whole new world opens LIP for Rose when she leaves Rocky Ridge Farm and moves to Louisiana to live with her aunt Eliza Jane. Rose is sixteen now, and she thrives in a city brimming with excitement and adventure. Rose even finds herself becoming an independent young woman with her own ideas, ambitions, and dreams.

ON THE BANKS OF THE BAYOU continues the story that Laura Ingalls Wilder began more than sixty years ago — a story whose wonder and adventure have charmed millions of readers.

When Rose moves to Louisiana to live with her aunt Eliza Jane to finish high school, she is exposed to new cultures, politics, and ways of life.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Patricia Timbrook
An open-minded mountain girl who loves learning moves in with her activist Aunt Eliza Jane in Louisiana to stay for her senior year of high school. While there, heroine Rose Wilder is exposed to the new ideas and thinkers of the turn-of-the-century. She leaves behind some of her own insights for older and younger generations to consider. From the juxtaposition of settings, feelings, people and teen experiences, young adult readers should easily identify with this book because of the "Rose years" in themselves.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064405829
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Series: Little House Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 147,301
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Lea MacBride, a close friend of Rose Wilder Lane's, was the author of the Rose Years novels.

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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Read an Excerpt

Leaving Home

Rose gripped the. edge of her chair seat to steady herself. The train had only just begun chuffing away from the depot, so there wasn't any rocking of the car to make her dizzy. It was only her mind spinning.

Moments before, she had left behind the life she'd known as long as she could remember. She'd just had her last glimpse of her short plump mother, standing on the brick platform below the train window.

Mama's gentle face had craned up from under her hat. Her cheeks had shone with tears in the morning light. Her shimmering eyes had searched the windows to blow one more kiss. Her hand had held up her handkerchief, ready for one last wave.

Rose fought back a fresh wave of tears. A painful lump lodged in her throat. The pitifully yearning look on Mama's face broke her heart. Rose hadn't gotten to the window fast enough for Mama to see her one last time. Mama had looked for her, but Rose wasn't there.

Rose turned her face to the dust-streaked window and held her own handkerchief tight against her eyes. She was sixteen years old, a young lady and too old to be carrying on in public. A silent sob wracked her body so hard that she could feel the eyelets on her corset jabbing into her back.

She managed a few deep breaths, mopped her face, and slumped down in the plush chair seat, hoping no one had noticed her.

After two months of waiting for this day to come, suddenly nothing made sense. She fought a strong urge to run down the aisle and jump off the train before it got to moving too fast. She caught a final glimpse of the backyard of her house as the train pulled away from town. There was poor old Fido, asleepon his favorite patch of cool earth under the oak tree. A pair of Papa's overalls hung drying on the clothesline. The place looked so forlorn and lonely from the train. And then it was gone, and the telegraph poles whizzed past her window faster and faster.

Oh, how could she leave Mama and Papa alone like that, with boarders to feed and keep house for? How could she leave them to run the farm? Who would fetch the water? Who would milk the cow? Who would bring in the stove wood?

She had pestered Mama and Papa every day of the last two months, badgering them with questions and doubts.

"If you miss the work while you're away, we'll be pleased to hold it all for you until you get back," Papa had joked.

"Don't you worry about any of it," Mama had said. "It is only 'til next summer. Why, You'll be back home before you know it. We'll manage."

But these were the very first moments of the biggest adventure of Rose's life. Nine months stretched before her as vast as the sea. She must cross it alone, without Mama and Papa, far from all things familiar. The thought both terrified and exhilarated her.

The train lurched and picked up more speed. The car began to rock. Rose blinked away her tears and tidied her dress. It was a simple dark-blue figured gingham with a lace collar and cuffs. Rose had complained, and begged to wear her favorite white lawn, but Mama insisted she wear the blue one. Mama had said it was extravagant to wear white on a long train journey: "It soils so easily. Blue is more practical. It'll stay looking fresh 'til you get there."

Rose wrinkled her nose against the sharp smell of coal smoke drifting back from the locomotive. Maybe Mama was right, she thought, as she watched the gray tail of smoke writhing away across the fields. Through the soles of her new shoes she felt the rhythm of the wheels clattering over the rail joints.

For nine years--ever since her family had moved to Mansfield, Missouri, from De Smet, South Dakota--she had heard that sound. She heard it no matter where she was, or what she was doing. Many trains passed through Mansfield, and she could even tell from the sound when a train was an express and when it was a local.

The railroad had a language of its own: the clattering of wheels, the whistles, the thunder of steam escaping when the locomotive had stopped at the depot in town.

These sounds came to Rose at her desk at school while she listened to the droning of the teacher; in the henhouse as she fed the chickens their mash; in her bed at night as she drifted off to sleep. The steady drumming of the wheels against the rail joints was the heartbeat of her daily life.

For nine years the mournful whistle had called to her. Sometimes she imagined she was the only one to have heard it. She would often stop in the middle of hoeing the garden to listen to it echo through the hollows of the Ozark Mountains. The trains had sparked Rose's dreams about the great world beyond, the world the trains came from, and the places to which they rushed. The whistle beckoned to her, telling of bustling cities, of buildings tall enough to touch the clouds, of streets filled with laughter and parades and sophistications Rose could only imagine.

Now, finally, her day had come. She didn't have to wonder who was on the trains, and where they were going. She was one of those passengers herself. And she knew where she was going.

The sudden shriek of the locomotive's whistle made Rose flinch.

"Your first time on a train?" The conductor was smiling down at her from under his blue cap. He held her carpetbag in his hand.

"Oh!" Rose cried out. "I forgot!" In the confusion of departing, she had set her bag down on the vestibule floor and left it there.

On the Banks of the Bayou. Copyright © by Roger MacBride. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2014

    great series

    I enjoyed reading about Rose's life. I would recommend this series to anyone interested in the Ingalls/Wilder, "Little House" books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2008


    this was such a great book! every night before i go to bed my mom always reads me a few pages out the little house 'laura's' series and my moms mom read it to her when she was little too and we liked it so much that it was a huge disapointment when it was over but then my mom told me about these books, they were almmost as good as the other series. iwould recomend this book to any person that has a heart, a brain, and a soul. although little house was bettor this story is just as loveable and one of the best on this earth

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2004


    I liked this book better than the other Rose books except for Bachelor Girl. That was my favorite. I like it better because there are new carachters, the same old pepole can get dull. i like it also because Rose is grown up, and getting into more grown-up plots. The only part I didn't really like was when she went to go vist her friend on the bayou.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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