Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review of #2 Little House on the prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder


Name of book: Little house on the prairie

Author Name: Laura Ingalls Wilder

ISBN: 0-06-440002-6

Publisher: Harper Trophy

Part of a Series: Little House series; Little House in the big woods prequel, Farmer Boy and On the Banks of Plum Creek, are sequels.

Type of book: Young adult, kid, prairie, 1871?-1872?

Year it was published: 1935

Summary:

The Big Woods was getting too crowded. So Pa sold the little log house and built a covered wagon. The family was moving to Indian Country! They traveled from Wisconsin to Oklahoma, and there, finally, Pa built the little house on the prairie. All year long, Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura and Baby Carrie put their hearts into the land and their safe little house. But the prairie belonged to the Indians, and in the end the government made them move on again.

Characters:

At the moment it's not evident how the characters have changed or grown. This book also marks the first appearance of Mr. Edwards who will be shown in different times helping Laura's Pa out. (By the Shores of Silver Lake I believe, not sure of other books.) The parents' personalities are more fleshed out though; Pa is portrayed as a humanist and open minded who cares about Native Americans. Ma is terrified of Native Americans and doesn't like them. (In all honesty, I hate the term 'Indians'. I can't distinguish if someone is talked about Native Americans or South Asians, thus I will use Native Americans instead, and if I will read about India, I will use term South Asians.) For now, Laura and Mary are neutral towards and are curious about Native Americans. (In First Four Years, Laura is fearful of them.)

Theme:

Although one is welcome to argue with me, the author, to an extent, tries to portray both sides, white and Native American fairly. In her book, there are good white people such as Pa, and good Native Americans such as the one who killed the panther and one who tries to stop Native Americans from massacring the villagers. This book also features an African American doctor oddly enough.

Plot:

For the most part, since it's episodic, it's not very important to have read Little House in the Big Woods before reading this book. Little House on the Prairie is kind of a self contained year or book without dependence from others. It is told in limited third point of view from Laura.

Author Information:

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder (February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957) was an American author who wrote the Little House series of books based on her childhood in a pioneer family.[1] Laura's daughter, Rose, inspired Laura to write her books. (from wikipedia)

Opinion:

I had to read this book when I was in fifth grade, and I was twelve. (Not a typical age I assure you.) Back then I thought the book was kind of boring. In all honesty, although teenagers are forced to read this book, I don't think the book is for them. This book strikes me as condescending towards children. (Children are to be seen and not heard, one must obey parents at all times, etc.) I'm positive that all of us would like to have kids like that, but in a way it seems almost fantasy like, and a number of times I rolled my eyes at Laura and Mary, knowing that it was impossible, and that kids would not be able to relate to the girls. While in some cases it is important to listen to parents, but in these days parents encourage individuality. Mary and Laura were forced to stifle theirs. Since I might write a story that takes place in the time period, (way different though,) this is a good book for historians.

Click here for discussion of Osage portrayal in this book.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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