Little House in the Big Woods
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
First published 1932
Read for the Books That Made Me Love Reading Challenge
Laura Ingalls's story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack.
Pioneer life is sometimes hard, since the family must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her folks celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa's fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.
And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.
I knew when I signed up for the Books That Made Me Love Reading Challenge that I would be reading some of the Little House books, and I might as well start with the first one. I owned this entire series when I was a child and loved reading them over and over. I was devastated when my books were destroyed even though I was already grown at the time.
This book, as well as the others in the series, gives you a glimpse into a time that was more simple but a lot more difficult. Family was always more of a priority than it sometimes seems to be to most people today. Laura's favorite times were spent listening to her father tell stories or play his violin. Life was very hard and much different from the way we live today. The majority of their time was spent hunting, doing the wash, baking, making clothes, and other things that were needed just to survive, and the children had to improvise for toys by using the pig's bladder as a balloon, a corncob as a doll, and making paper dolls.
Upon reading this again, my thoughts centered around how this is such a different kind of book than what I read today and the kinds of books that are most popular now. However, I still think this is such a classic, iconic book that all little girls should read.