Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 150th Birthday


One of my favorite pictures of Laura (right), because how fierce is that side eye?

It’s Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 150th birthday today. She and I don’t see eye to eye on everything (notably: she didn’t believe that the government should help out struggling folks during the Great Depression, as HER family didn’t have “handouts” available when she was growing up. Argh.), but the fact is, she defined my childhood. Her books were my childhood. Well, her books and the elaborate prairie-themed soap operas I put my American Girl dolls through.

I think my favorite of the series is By the Shores of Silver Lake, mostly because of the glorious train ride and the Surveyors’ House where the Ingalls family lived during their first winter in the yet-to-be-built De Smet. Her description of the surveyors’ well-stocked pantry is perfectly thrilling. If you’ve read it I know you’ll agree: perfectly thrilling.


My favorite LHOTP supplemental reads: Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Bibliography, A Little House Sampler, and the newly-released Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Another blog post I wrote about the Ingalls’ fabled run-in with “The Bloody Benders.”

“Finding America, Both Red and Blue, in the ‘Little House’ Books,” The New York Times

“Little Squatter on the Osage Diminished Reserve: Reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Kansas Indians,” The Great Plains Quarterly

“Laura Ingalls Wilder,” Library of Congress Blog

“Laura Ingalls Wilder,” Stuff You Missed in History Class (podcast)

What’s your favorite LHOTP book? Any supplemental reading/listening to add?

2 responses

  1. Like you, I grew up on Laura Ingalls Wilder. I never watched the tv show (even as a kid, I was a book purist), but I envy your epic American Girl Doll adventures. I haven’t read any of her books in forever, but I always remember the scene in Little House in the Big Woods where they slaughter a pig and use all the parts. I especially remember the kids playing games with the bladder… not sure why this sticks with me, but it does.

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