Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Growing Up in the Little House

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Growing Up in the Little House

Patricia Reilly Giff
For ages 7 to 11
Penguin, 1987   ISBN: 978-0140320749

When Laura Ingalls Wilder was a greying farmer’s wife living on her farm in Missouri, she looked back on her life and realized that she had had a most extraordinary series of adventures extending from the time when she was a very little girl, right until the time when she was quite grown up and a mother herself. She had seen and done things that were the stuff of history books and she felt strongly that it was important that the young people of today should know what life had been like in the past. She understood that she had a wonderful collection of stories to tell and at the very least she should write them down for her daughter Rose so that Rose would know all about the Ingalls family and what they did.

Laura sat down and wrote "The Little House in the Big Woods" and it was such a success that she was asked to write down more of her story. Laura thought about her life with her husband "Manly" and decided to write about his childhood and his upbringing on a thriving farm in New York State. "Farmer Boy" was also a great hit with Laura’s young readers so she went on to write about her adventures as a pioneer and a homesteader and later of her hard years as a farmer’s wife. In all Laura wrote nine books. After her death Rose edited and had published another book which described the trip that Laura, Manly and Rose made from the Dakota’s to their new home in Mansfield, Missouri.

This is a work rooted in devotion and be appreciation. Clearly Patricia Reilly Giff, an outstanding writer in her own right, has great admiration and respect for Laura Ingalls Wilder and she wanted to share her feelings and what she learned about this remarkable woman with her readers. We are given a wonderful ‘picture’ of Laura’s life, her work, and her exceptional spirit.