Cover image for Little town on the prairie
Title:
Little town on the prairie
Author:
Wilder, Laura Ingalls, 1867-1957.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [1981]

©1981
Physical Description:
307 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
Pa's homestead thrives, Laura gets her first job in town, blackbirds eat the corn and oats crops, Mary goes to college, and Laura gets into trouble at school, but becomes a certified school teacher.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
850 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.4 9.0 327.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.2 14 Quiz: 06992 Guided reading level: Q.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780060264505

9780060264512

9780064400077
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Alden Ewell Free Library1Received on 6/11/08

Summary

Summary

Based on the real-life adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little Town on the Prairie is the seventh book in the award-winning Little House series, which has captivated generations of readers. This edition features the classic black-and-white artwork from Garth Williams.

In Little Town on the Prairie, the young town of De Smet has survived the long, harsh winter of 1880-1881. With the arrival of spring comes invitations to socials, parties, and "literaries." Laura, who is now fifteen years old, attends her first evening social.

In her spare time, she sews shirts to help earn money to send Mary to a college for the blind. Laura also receives her teaching certificate and can work at a school. And, best of all, Almanzo Wilder asks permission to being walking her home from church. Life in the little town certainly is exciting!

The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder's real childhood as an American pioneer and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.


Author Notes

Wilder was born near Pepin, Wisconsin; attended school in DeSmet, South Dakota; and became a teacher before she was 16, teaching for seven years in Dakota Territory schools. She and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, farmed near DeSmet for about nine years and then moved to Mansfield, Missouri, where they lived out the rest of their days.

Wilder did not write her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, about her early years in Wisconsin, until late in life, on the urging of her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. It was first published in 1932. She followed this with Farmer Boy (1933), a book about her husband's childhood in New York State. She then completed a series of books about her life as she and her family moved westward along the frontier. Little House on the Prairie (1935) records the family's move to Kansas. On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937) describes the family's move to Minnesota. By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939) records the family's move to South Dakota, as do the final three books in the series: The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie (1941), and These Happy Golden Years (1943), which ends with her marriage to Almanzo Wilder. Three of Wilder's books were published posthumously: On the Way Home, a diary of her trip to Mansfield; The First Four Years, an unfinished book about her first four years of marriage; and West from Home, letters she wrote on a visit to her daughter in San Francisco, none of them up to the quality of her earlier books.

At her best, Wilder employs a clear, simple style, a wealth of fascinating detail, and a straightforward narrative style. Her tales of a strong, traditional frontier family that endures the hardships of the late eighteenth century are seen through the eyes of a child, which endears them to young readers. Her work is possibly the best example of historical realistic fiction for children.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Excerpts

Excerpts

Little Town on the Prairie Chapter One Springtime On The Claim After the October Blizzard last fall, they had all moved to town and for a little while Laura had gone to school there. Then the storms had stopped school, and all through that long winter the blizzards had howled between the houses, shutting them off from each other so that day after day and night after night not a voice could be heard and not a light could be seen through the whirling snow. All winter long, they had been crowded in the little kitchen, cold and hungry and working hard in the dark and the cold to twist enough hay to keep the fire going and to grind wheat in the coffee mill for the day's bread. All that long, long winter, the only hope had been that sometime winter must end, sometime blizzards must stop, the sun would shine warm again and they could all get away from the town and go back to the homestead claim. Now it was springtime. The Dakota prairie lay so warm and bright under the shining sun that it did not seem possible that it had ever been swept by the winds and snows of that hard winter. How wonderful it was, to be on the claim again! Laura wanted nothing more than just being outdoors. She felt she never could get enough sunshine soaked into her bones. In the dawns when she went to the well at the edge of the slough to fetch the morning pail of fresh water, the sun was rising in a glory of colors. Meadow larks were flying, singing, up from the dew-wet grass. Jack rabbits hopped beside the path, their bright eyes watching and their long ears twitching as they daintily nibbled their breakfast of tender grass tips. Laura was in the shanty only long enough to set down the water and snatch the milk pail. She ran out to the slope where Ellen, the cow, was cropping the sweet young grass. Quietly Ellen stood chewing her cud while Laura milked. Warm and sweet, the scent of new milk came up from the streams hissing into the rising foam, and it mixed with the scents of springtime. Laura's bare feet were wet and cool in the dewy grass, the sunshine was warm on her neck, and Ellen's flank was warmer against her cheek. On its own little picket rope, Ellen's baby calf bawled anxiously, and Ellen answered with a soothing moo. When Laura had stripped the last creamy drops of milk, she lugged the pail to the shanty. Ma poured some of the warm new milk into the calf's pail. The rest she strained through a clean white cloth into tin milk pans, and Laura carefully carried them down cellar while Ma skimmed thick cream from last night's milk. Then she poured the skimmed milk into the calf's pail, and Laura carried it to the hungry calf. Teaching the calf to drink was not easy, but always interesting. The wobbly-legged baby calf had been born believing that it must butt hard with its little red poll, to get milk. So when it smelled the milk in the pail, it tried to butt the pail. Laura must keep it from spilling the milk, if she could, and she had to teach it how to drink, because it didn't know. She dipped her fingers into the milk and let the calf's rough tongue suck them, and gently she led its nose down to the milk in the pail. The calf suddenly snorted milk into its nose, sneezed it out with a whoosh that splashed milk out of the pail, and then with all its might it butted into the milk. It butted so hard that Laura almost lost hold of the pail. A wave of milk went over the calf's head and a splash wet the front of Laura's dress. So, patiently she began again, dipping her fingers for the calf to suck, trying to keep the milk in the pail and to teach the calf to drink it. In the end, some of the milk was inside the calf. Then Laura pulled up the picket pins. One by one, she led Ellen, the baby calf and the yearling calf to fresh places in the soft, cool grass. She drove the iron pins deep into the ground. The sun was fully up now, the whole sky was blue, and the whole earth was waves of grass flowing in the wind. And Ma was calling. "Hurry, Laura! Breakfast's waiting!" In the shanty, Laura quickly washed her face and hands at the washbasin. She threw out the water in a sparkling curve falling on grass where the sun would swiftly dry it. She ran the comb through her hair, over her head to the dangling braid. There was never time before breakfast to undo the long braid, brush her hair properly, and plait it again. She would do that after the morning's work was done. Sitting in her place beside Mary, she looked across the clean, red-checked tablecloth and the glinting dishes at little sister Carrie and baby sister Grace, with their soap-shining morning faces and bright eyes. She looked at Pa and Ma so cheerful and smiling. She felt the sweet morning wind from the wide-open door and window, and she gave a little sigh. Pa looked at her. He knew how she felt. "I think, myself, it's pretty nice," he said. "It's a beautiful morning," Ma agreed. Then after breakfast Pa hitched up the horses, Sam and David, and drove them out on the prairie east of the shanty, where he was breaking ground for sod corn. Ma took charge of the day's work for the rest of them, and best of all Laura liked the days when she said, "I must work in the garden." Mary eagerly offered to do all the housework, so that Laura could help Ma. Mary was blind. Even in the days before scarlet fever had taken the sight from her clear blue eyes, she had never liked to work outdoors in the sun and wind. Little Town on the Prairie . Copyright © by Laura Wilder. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Surprisep. 1
Springtime on the Claimp. 3
The Necessary Catp. 19
The Happy Daysp. 27
Working in Townp. 35
The Month of Rosesp. 47
Nine Dollarsp. 56
Fourth of Julyp. 63
Blackbirdsp. 86
Mary Goes to Collegep. 108
Miss Wilder Teaches Schoolp. 124
Snug for Winterp. 137
School Daysp. 145
Sent Home from Schoolp. 151
The School Board's Visitp. 166
Name Cardsp. 185
The Sociablep. 201
Literariesp. 210
The Whirl of Gaietyp. 221
The Birthday Partyp. 240
The Madcap Daysp. 252
Unexpected in Aprilp. 263
Schooltime Begins Againp. 267
The School Exhibitionp. 283
Unexpected in Decemberp. 298