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By the Shores of Silver Lake

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Little House: The Laura Years (3), Little House Novels, Chronological Order (book 20)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,21766771 (4.05)148
Ma and the girls follow Pa west by train where they make their home at a rough railroad camp and plan for their own homestead.

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» See also 148 mentions

English (61)  French (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
  WBCLIB | Feb 27, 2023 |
In this book, the surprising thing is how matter-of-factly Mary's blindness is treated. There is no sorrow or concern about it, it is just plainly stated that now, after suffering from scarlet fever, she is blind. Laura acts as her "eyes", describing the scenery as they move once again across the country to the Dakota Territories to follow Pa Ingalls and his dream of getting a homestead. Among other things, Laura is resigned to becoming a teacher in Mary's stead. She doesn't want to, since she has no inclination towards that profession, but accepts that she must. There is also excitement when baby Grace gets lost in the fields. ( )
  Marse | Oct 17, 2022 |
These are all starting to merge a bit. Laura, forever trying to get out of wearing her bonnet and wanting to be out on the prairie. Pa, always on with some new place to live that will be the right place this time.

What actually stands out about this one?

A surprising amount happens between the end of the last book and the start of this one. Everyone has had scarlet fever. Mary has gone blind! And an entire new baby has turned up mostly unremarked on.

There are a lot more people in this book. Some of them are even characters from previous books, managing to cross paths with the Ingalls again.

They go on a train! And Pa gets work helping out with the railroad! It felt like such an anachronism, after all the minimalist wilderness life, to have a train, and pay disputes, but I guess it isn’t, and all these things just live together.

Their luck hasn’t really changed. Pa just manages to get their claim in because his friend distracts someone into a fist fight. They get buried in snow while they sleep one night, Pa nearly gets lynched by an angry mob of railway workers, who don’t like being paid two weeks in arrears. Their final claim turns out to be full of mosquitos (well, it is next to a swamp.)

The description of the giant wolf in the moonlight, and the chapter about building the railway with everyone working like a machine are both stunningly good. ( )
  atreic | Aug 4, 2022 |
I’m re-reading this series as a bedtime read aloud with my son. I didn’t remember this book very well and it wasn’t my favorite. But I still enjoyed the descriptions of family life especially once the railroad crews had left. I find it so interesting how the narration is more grownup as Laura grows up through the books. ( )
  skayw | Mar 20, 2022 |
Listened to the audiobook performed by Cherry Jones. She was great, doing voices of all the characters and even singing in their voices. The book gave very interesting information and details about the cultivation of Dakota Territory: wild buffaloes no longer around, people building the railroad (and stealing horses from one another, and fighting over terms of payment), filing homestead claims (and coming out to the claim in the middle of winter, with no plan on where to live or eat on the way), settling on the claims (and being wary of people who come to your claim and shoot you to death, in order to snatch your claim)....Makes me want to visit De Smet and see the place! ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Ingalls Wilderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cazier, CatherineTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, CherryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orsot, CatherineTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, GarthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Laura was washing the dishes one morning when old Jack, lying in the sunshine on hthe doorstep, growled to tell her that someone was coming.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
ISBN 0064400034 is for Farmer Boy by Laura Wilder Ingalls.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Ma and the girls follow Pa west by train where they make their home at a rough railroad camp and plan for their own homestead.

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Book description
Laura Ingalls and her family move to the unsettled wilderness of the Dakota Territory, where they become the first settlers in the brand-new town of DeSmet.

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Average: (4.05)
1 4
1.5 2
2 30
2.5 10
3 236
3.5 39
4 422
4.5 34
5 386

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