On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Series: #4 in the Little House series
Publication Date: originally 1937, this edition 1971
The Short Version:
The Ingalls family moves to western Minnesota where their troubles include grasshoppers, cows through the roof and prairie fire (again).
Why I Read It:
I’m having both fun and a bit of modern perspective cringing as I revisit this series thanks to Lisa at Books. Lists. Life who organized the Little House Readalong.
When we last left the Ingalls family they had packed up and left the Indian territory after Pa’s expectations that it would be retroactively opened up for homesteading fell through.
This book opens with them arriving in Western Minnesota where they make a trade for a dugout style home in a creek bank and some promising land.
Of course, this is the Ingalls family so things don’t quite go as expected. A cow through the roof, grasshoppers, leeches, fires, etc. Plus there’s Nellie Oleson.
I am not going to worry about spoilers with this series.
As I started with the last book in the series I’m just going to post a few random thoughts that ran through my head as I read this
This one had fewer cringe inducing references to Indians as in Little House on the Prairie or bullying and violence as in Farmer Boy so that was a good thing.
On the other hand Nellie Oleson arrived on the scene so the Mean Girls thing is on.
There was another prairie fire. Also lots of spinning whirling fire stuff going on. Was Laura a closet pyromaniac?
It’s a good thing for the Ingalls family that easily obtained credit cards were not available at the time.
Yeah – leave for town with a storm on the way and let your parting comment to your kids be a story about children who froze to death in a blizzard. Tell me again why Pa is viewed as a paragon of parenting? Sheesh.
Sarcasm aside, it is enjoyable to experience this series again. Even though I’m reading them from a completely different time, place in my life and general perspective I’m remembering how much I loved these books. The things I loved are still there. Laura was basically a good and happy kid and her family loved each other through thick and thin. They had a hard life and my childhood was so amazingly different. I still love these books but it’s definitely different reading them as an adult.
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