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Little House in the Big Woods (1932)

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Little House Novels, Chronological Order (book 16)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,015277327 (4.13)267
A year in the life of two young girls growing up on the Wisconsin frontier, as they help their mother with the daily chores, enjoy their father's stories and singing, and share special occasions when they get together with relatives or neighbors.
1930s (7)

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» See also 267 mentions

English (265)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Greek (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (271)
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
Independent Reading Level: 4-6
Awards: N/A
  PaigeDavison | Apr 29, 2023 |
3.5* ( )
  LisaBergin | Apr 12, 2023 |
Things I remembered with love from reading this as a child: eating cracklings, making a balloon from a pig’s bladder.

Things I did not remember or even notice: there are a lot of guns and spankings. I told my friend this could be retitled “Guns n Spankings”. I used this as a point of discussion with my children to cover how disobedience could lead to extreme consequences in a time and place without easy access to doctors and communication. We also compared it to an Old Testament style vs NT as we were reading the Old Testament concurrently. It was interesting to reread as an adult.

My kids enjoyed this very much and I did too. I personally chose to edit out some language I did not want my children to adopt. It definitely held up vs some other books I’ve reread as an adult.

TLDR if you practice gentle parenting you might want to preread. If you are pro 2A in theory but did not grow up with guns you might also be surprised.

If you grew up never playing with a pig’s bladder balloon, what can I say? Samesies. ( )
  FamiliesUnitedLL | Mar 15, 2023 |
Re-reading Little House in the Big Woods this year brought back so many memories from my childhood. I used to read late at night when I was a kid, long after my parents had put us all to bed. It’s one of the reasons why I wear glasses now - I would spend hours reading by the light from the Jack-and-Jill bathroom between my room and my brothers’ room.

I loved reading this story again as an adult and found myself so intrigued by all of the ways the Ingalls family did things differently than we do in western society now. As someone who dreams of farming, enjoys gardening and growing food, and who loves to spend time in the kitchen processing and preserving a harvest, it was so fascinating to read about how Pa would smoke the meat they were putting up for winter or how the family got together to process their maple syrup for the year. It made me grateful for the convenience afforded to me today, but also made me yearn for a simpler way of living that involves a deeper connection to the land, a more grounded sense of place and a more holistic way of fostering community. I do look forward to reading the rest of the series again.

There are a couple of references in the book that are racist (primarily in song lyrics), which is why I did not give the story a full 5 star review. I would recommend having healthy conversations about this with your young ones who might read this book.
( )
  erindarlyn | Jan 21, 2023 |
27 copies
  PBEBOOKS | Jan 10, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Ingalls Wilderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, CherryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sewell, HelenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tenfjord, JoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westrup, Jadwiga P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, GarthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.
"Pa might hunt alone all day in the bitter cold, in the Big Woods covered with snow, and come home at night with nothing for Ma and Mary and Laura to eat."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

A year in the life of two young girls growing up on the Wisconsin frontier, as they help their mother with the daily chores, enjoy their father's stories and singing, and share special occasions when they get together with relatives or neighbors.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
The auto-biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, a girl growing up in the late 19th century in Wisconsin.
One of the things I really like about this book is that Laura is famous only for having written such a great description of her life and the world in which she grew up. She didn't grow up to be a famous inventor or politician or axe-murderer or anything else. She was just a kid, like any of her readers.
While I'm sure softening some of the hardships and glossing over some of the details, Ms Wilder neither sensationalizes nor romanticizes her life - moments of happiness, joy, sadness, fear and despair are all included.

This is a great book for talking about what life was like in that place and time.
Haiku summary
Small girl in the woods
Held safe from bears, snow, hunger
in family's arms.


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