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These Happy Golden Years (Little House Series: Classic Stories #8)
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These Happy Golden Years (Little House Series: Classic Stories #8)

4.8 39
by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as Laura grows up in the little town on the prairie. 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


The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as Laura grows up in the little town on the prairie. 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 roamntic conclusion of this Little House book.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This is one of the "Little House Books" written by Wilder about her life in the Big Woods. It is a wonderful time of courting by her future husband, Almanzo Wilder. It is also about how good life is with her family in the Midwest. The story draws one into it and makes the reader see how hard winters can be and how hard one had to work. Simple things like food and enjoying family and friends are very important. Later in the series Laura and her husband traveled by wagon with their daughter Rose to Missouri. The author has a way of taking us back in time and allowing the reader to be with her in telling about the past. Young girls love the books and read them over and over. The story stretches across age and interest. This one is special because it is a "Full-Color Collector's Edition." The color and the paper are of very fine quality. Garth Williams was always the right choice for doing those memorable illustrations. You have to love handling this beautiful book and reading, or re-reading, it. Best of all everyone can afford this paperback edition. 2004 (orig. 1943), Harper Trophy/HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 8 to 13.
—Naomi Butler
School Library Journal
Gr 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 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Little House Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Laura Leaves Home

Sunday afternoon was clear, and the snow-covered prairie sparkled in the sunshine. A little wind blew gently from the south, but it was so cold that the sled runners squeaked as they slid on the hard-packed snow. The horses' hoofs made a dull sound, clop, clop, clop. Pa did not say anything.

Sitting beside him on the board laid across the bobsled, Laura did not say anything, either. There was nothing to say. She was on her way to teach school.

Only yesterday she was a schoolgirl; now she was a schoolteacher. This had happened so suddenly. Laura could hardly stop expecting that tomorrow she would be going to school with little sister Carrie, and sitting in her seat with Ida Brown. But tomorrow she would be teaching school.

She did not really know how to do it. She never had taught school, and she was not sixteen years old yet. Even for fifteen, she was small; and now she felt very small.

The slightly rolling, snowy land lay empty all around. The high, thin sky was empty overhead. Laura did not look back, but she knew that the town was miles behind her now; it was only a small dark blot on the empty prairie's whiteness. In the warm sitting room there, Ma and Carrie and Grace were far away.

Brewster settlement was still miles ahead. It was twelve miles from town. Laura did not know what it was like. She did not know anyone there. She had seen Mr. Brewster only once, when he came to hire her to teach the school. He was thin and brown, like any homesteader; he did not have much to say for himself

Pa sat looking ahead into the distance while he held the reins in his mittened hands and now and thenchirruped to the horses. But he knew how Laura felt. At last he turned his face toward her and spoke, as if he were answering her dread of tomorrow.

"Well, Laura! You are a schoolteacher now! We knew you would be, didn't we? Though we didn't expect it so soon."

"Do you think I can, Pa?" Laura answered. "Suppose ... just suppose ... the children won't mind me when they see how little I am."

"Of course you can," Pa assured her. "You've never failed yet at anything you tried to do, have you?"

"Well, no," Laura admitted. "But I ... I never tried to teach school."

"You've tackled every job that ever came your way," Pa said. "You never shirked, and you always stuck to it till you did what you set out to do. Success gets to be a habit, like anything else a fellow keeps on doing."

Again there was a silence except for the squeaking of the sled runners and the clop-clop-clop of the horses' feet on the hard snow. Laura felt a little better. It was true; she always had kept on trying; she had always had to. Well, now she had to teach school.

"Remember that time on Plum Creek, Half-Pint?" Pa said. "Your Ma and I went to town, and a blizzard came up? And you got the whole woodpile into the house."

Laura laughed out loud, and Pa's laugh rang like great bells in the cold stillness. How little and scared and funny she had been, that day so long ago!

"That's the way to tackle things!" Pa said. "Have confidence in yourself, and you can lick anything. You have confidence in yourself, that's the only way to make other folks have confidence in you." He paused, and then said, "One thing you must guard against."

"What, Pa?" Laura asked.

"You are so quick, Flutterbudget. You are apt to act or speak first, and think afterward. Now you must do your thinking first and speak afterward. If you will remember to do that, you will not have any trouble."

"I will, Pa," Laura said earnestly.

It was really too cold to talk. Snug enough under the heavy blankets and quilts, they went on silently toward the south. The cold wind blew against their faces. A faint trace of sled runners stretched onward before them. There was nothing else to see but the endless, low white land and the huge pale sky, and the horses' blue shadows blotting the sparkle from the snow.

The wind kept Laura's thick black woolen veil rippling before her eyes. Her breath was frozen in a patch of frost in the veil, that kept slapping cold and damp against her mouth and nose.

At last she saw a house ahead. Very small at first, it grew larger as they came nearer to it. Half a mile away there was another, smaller one, and far beyond it, another. Then still another appeared. Four houses; that was all. They were far apart and small on the white prairie.

Pa pulled up the horses. Mr. Brewster's house looked like two claim shanties put together to make a peaked roof. Its tar-paper roof was bare, and melted snow had run into big icicles that hung from the eaves in blobby columns larger around than Laura's arms. They looked like huge, jagged teeth. Some bit into the snow, and some were broken off. The broken chunks of ice lay frozen into the dirty snow around the door, where dishwater had been thrown. There was no curtain at the window, but smoke blew from the stovepipe that was anchored to the roof with wires.

Mr. Brewster opened the door. A child was squalling in the house, and he spoke loudly to be heard. "Come in, Ingalls! Come in and warm yourself."

"Thank you," Pa replied. "But it's a long twelve miles home and I better be going."

Laura slid out from under the blankets quickly, not to let the cold in. Pa handed her Ma's satchel, that held her change of underclothes, her other dress, and her schoolbooks.

"Good-by, Pa," she said.

Meet the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957) was born in a log cabin in the Wisconsin woods. With her family, she pioneered throughout America’s heartland during the 1870s and 1880s, finally settling in Dakota Territory. She married Almanzo Wilder in 1885; their only daughter, Rose, was born the following year. The Wilders moved to Rocky Ridge Farm at Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894, where they established a permanent home. After years of farming, Laura wrote the first of her beloved Little House books in 1932. The nine Little House books are international classics. Her writings live on into the twenty-first century as America’s quintessential pioneer story.

Garth Williams's classic illustrations for the Little House books caused Laura to remark that she "and her folks live again in these pictures." Garth Williams also illustrated Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and almost one hundred other books.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 7, 1867
Date of Death:
February 10, 1957
Place of Birth:
Pepin, Wisconsin
Place of Death:
Mansfield, Missouri

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These Happy Golden Years 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I adore this book! You should definately read this if you have the chance. Laura and Almanzo are falling in love, and he always takes Laura on those sweet little buggy rides. BTW Miss Annoying Nellie comes along, it's short, but it's enough to get you ready to show Nellie who's boss! Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book and shows that true love is not always clear.
Gypsymom4 More than 1 year ago
My 11 year old daughter needed this - it was the only book missing from our Little House on the Prairie collection. She loved this anniversary edition with the full color pictures, thicker paper pages and was so excited to add this to our collection. Great book!
lovelittlehouseseries More than 1 year ago
I Like the Little house series, I think they are clean and good. The Illustrations are very good, and the way Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote this was very nice. I have read the the nine books and i have read them over and over. About the Book: The book is very nice and shows how hard Laura worked. I like the book more in the middle because Almanzo and Laura are more dating. It shows how the weddings weren't this big things. Laura didn't even have a wedding dress. Then after there wedding they went home and Laura started Cooking like it was no big deal. The book is really good and i would recommended it too children of Any Age.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome! To the reviewer that replied that their love kind of distanced itself after they engaged i need 2 point out something. Once you're engaged to a guy do U really spend tht much time talking away rather than spending your moments together thinking about your future or perhaps romancing. we all know through Wilder's details that she cherished every moment w/ her future hubby. this is an awesome book 4 all ages that need 2 remember what real love was about in the past for UR family & a guy rather then todays version of love where most guys aren't gentlemen & most people ignore their families when they call. You've just got to love Laura's books! I loved them!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this book is romantic, it is written for all ages, even for people who aren't romantic at all! I thought that was a cool part of the book. It was a sweet, touching book of all times!
Guest More than 1 year ago
some of the earlier books are a little to childish for older readers, but this book is the best of her series. Very entertaing and pleasure able. could read over and over. Ending could have been a little more interesting. The strange thing is that after Laura and Almonzo are engaged, they don't talk much? Or is it that she did't record the conversations?
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was my favorite book of all of them. i loved it. i cant say it enough . I LOVED IT. ok i truly loved. at the end- this might sound babish- but i cried. laura was leaving home and mary was gone oh how much sadness she much have felt i really felt sorry for her. now i cant pick the book and and look at the cover with out crying. im going to write my favorite part of the book. golden years are passing by these happy golden years
Guest More than 1 year ago
Laura has caught the eye of Almanzo Wilder. She and Almanzo go for buggy rides and he brings her home every Friday after the school, she is teaching, is out. Almanzo asks her a certain question which your gonna have to read the book to find out!!( hint: a ring)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really love the books so fasinating
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all Laura Ingalls books!! Icould read the last 4 books over and over!!!!! Just AMAZING!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a "love"ly book... great for guys!!!! Total JK. But, no total JK
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