I am thoroughly enjoying this chance to re-read some of the books I enjoyed as a child. Most of us who are adult book lovers got our start as children. We can all give lists of those favorites. And then, if we have children of our own, we get to share those favorites with our children. For me, it’s now the grandchildren. How great is that?!
The Little House books have been around since the 1930s. They portray a life that only a few people now remember. But, thanks to the popular TV series and re-runs, the books are still popular. Recently while visiting with my mother (88 years young) we discovered an old complete set of the books and started in reading them. Out of all of the books this one, On The Banks of Plum Creek, stands out as a favorite from childhood. Here’s my review:
On The Banks of Plum Creek
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Harper and Row, 1937
Summary: This book features Laura Ingalls in Minnesota when she is seven to eight years old. The book opens with the whole family moving to a beautiful place on the prairie. Unfortunately, there is no house. There is, however, a “dugout” – a house dug into the ground and fortified with sod.
Pa is determined that he will have an amazing harvest of wheat and oats that will bring riches to them all. So he buys supplies on credit to build a nice two-story house. I don’t want to spoil it for you except to say that it does turn out fine. But getting there is tough what with the grasshoppers and the ice and snow storms and other calamities. This is the first book to introduce Nellie and her brother. They play a very minor role, unlike the TV series.
My opinion: It was still a fun read as an adult. I like that the author doesn’t talk down to the reader. She tells of everyday experiences as if they were adventures. For example the task of walking a mile into town with her sister when there was no road. Or the time the roof fell in on the dugout. Or how they picked the plums off the trees by the creek. Although there are a few good drawings to illustrate the story, it’s still a great read for using your imagination. I recommend it for children eight-years of age or older. It would make for a great read-aloud book for the whole family.
If you are interested in re-reading your childhood favorites, visit here to learn more about the challenge.