By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Series: #5 in the Little House series
Publication Date: originally 1939, this edition 1971
The Short Version:
The Ingalls family moves yet again to South Dakota and become among the first to settle near what will become the town of DeSmet.
Why I Read It:
I started my re-read of this series thanks to a Read-along that seems to have fizzled out but I can’t leave it unfinished at this point.
The Ingalls family follows Pa’s job with the railroad to South Dakota. Elder sister Mary is now blind and Laura has been tasked by Pa to ‘be Mary’s eyes’ which gives Laura the voice of describing much of the scenery and action in this book.
Long lost relatives from the Big Wood reappear and help Pa secure a job with the railroad as a bookkeeper. When the railroad construction shuts down for the winter the family is offered the opportunity to use the surveyor’s house for the winter.
In the spring Pa makes the trip to file for their homestead claim. He builds a storefront building in the new town of DeSmet which the family stays in until they can begin building a home on their homestead.
Almanzo Wilder and his brother finally cross paths with the Ingalls family.
I am not going to worry about spoilers with this series.
As I’ve done with previous books in the series I’m just going to post a few random thoughts that ran through my head as I read this.
I am continually surprised at what things from the books have stuck with me over the years. As soon as I saw the drawing of Laura and the older girl at the railroad camp I remembered that her name was Lena. Why that character’s name stuck in my head from so many years ago I have no idea. Maybe it was because she was fun and interesting character.
No prairie fires this time but lots of potentially scary encounters with some scary folks.
Even though I remembered Lena I had totally forgotten about Mr. and Mrs. Boast. I really liked them.
Almanzo and his brother truly drive by the Ingalls family in this one and for some reason it made me laugh.
Pa didn’t annoy me as much this time around but perhaps that’s because they’re finally settling some place they’ll be for a while.
I’m still enjoying re-reading these. It’s a mix of bringing back happy memories of reading them as a child and seeing them from a much different perspective many years later.
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