Tuesday, October 5, 2021

"Little Town on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I remember really liking this book as a kid, mostly because it meant the Long Winter was over and I didn't have to worry about the Ingalls family anymore.  This is a very upbeat, hopeful book in which Laura turns from child to almost-an-adult.  I wish I had navigated that transition as gracefully as she does.

I hadn't remembered just how shy she is, and how much she wrote about being socially awkward, especially when she first began to make friends with other teen girls.  But no wonder I identified so strongly with her when I was growing up!  I've always had a little social anxiety (sometimes a lot), with the difficulties in making new friends and entering new situations that comes with that, and it was really neat as an adult to recognize that in Laura too.

Also, Almanzo Wilder is really sweet.  We kept cracking up over how Laura couldn't figure out why he wanted to walk her home.

Yes, this is the book where Pa and other men of the town dress in "blackface" and perform a minstrel show.  Because I was reading this aloud to my kids and husband while driving around on vacation, we were able to have a good discussion about how culture changes over time.  What was completely acceptable in one age may not be in another.  Discussions like that are such a cool side benefit of reading this series aloud.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG because I do think kids need an adult's guidance through that section so they understand that it's not okay for white people to pretend to be black people today.

This is my 28th book read and reviewed for my third Classics Club list.

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