The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

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It’s the end of February…and the end of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. I’ve tried to catch some of your reviews throughout the month.

I had been wanting to have some kind of give-away for those who have participated in the challenge, but wasn’t sure just what I wanted to do until I came across Laura’s Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson. I just got it last week and was able to read through it in an evening. It is set up just like a scrapbook,  with photos of the family, of some of the houses, a sample of Mary’s handwriting in a letter after she was blind, etc. It also has a condensed history of Laura.

To enter the giveaway, you must have participated in the challenge in some way and leave a comment telling us how you did so: either let us know in the comments what you read and your thoughts about it, or share a link back to your blog, whether you wrote a wrap-up post or want to link to your reviews of the books you read (it’s fine if you have multiple links in a comment here, but WordPress’s spam catcher will likely think it is spam. But I do check my spam folder every day and will fish it out if it lands there.) I’ll draw a name for a winner a week from today, Wednesday, March 7.

The books I finished are:

I Remember Laura by Stephen W. Hines, reviewed here, a collection or articles and interviews of people who actually knew Laura.

Little House in the Ozarks: the Rediscovered Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder, compiled and edited by Stephen Hines, a collection of newspaper columns and magazine articles she wrote before starting the Little House books, reviewed here.

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, reviewed here, the first book in the series.

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, reviewed here, their year in “Indian Country.”

Laura’s Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson, not reviewed.

The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure, Laura fan extraordinaire, reviewed here.

I just got The Little House Cookbook by Barbara Walker last week but have only had time to flip through it a bit. I’m a little over halfway through Saving Graces: the Inspirational Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder edited by Stephen Hines. I was disappointed that these are just columns from his previous book, but I guess for anyone who just wants an overview of this aspect of her life, it is nice to have them all in one place. I’ll have more to say about this book when I finish it.

My reading turned out to be a complementary mix of books by Laura and books about Laura, both old and new. A part of me really wants to keep going through the series, but I should probably save the rest of it for next year.

I have enjoyed immersing myself in Laura-related books this month. It gives a new insight to her. I should probably do this with other authors as well.

I shared in my review of The Wilder Life many new things I learned about Laura this month. There were several things I learned from I Remember Laura as well (among them, that Almanzo was 5’4″, Laura was even shorter, and they built their final home to their dimensions; that he preferred Laura on the other hand of a saw more than anyone else). That was interesting, but it was also cozy to reread the first two books in the Little House series. Each time through, at different ages and stages of life, I get different things or identify with different things from the book. I also learned of many Laura-related books I hadn’t known of before: I’ve gotten two already and am looking forward to exploring more next year.

Next year I’d also like to do something special on Laura’s birthday. I chose February for the challenge because Laura was born in February and then died in February a few days after her 90th birthday, but it didn’t even occur to me to mark that day especially until it arrived.

With this challenge just following Carrie‘s Lucy Maud Montgomery Challenge, one obvious difference between the two authors is that LMM is more more flowery in her descriptions. Laura tends to be more straightforward, yet her imagination isn’t less than LMM’s (she even had several magazine columns about fairies) — it’s just expressed differently. Perhaps the fact that she was writing primarily from real life made for a difference as well in her style.

I’ve always admired the sense of history, the strength of character, the love of family, the endurance of whatever life threw at them that comes through in Laura’s books.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you read and hearing your thoughts! Thanks so much for being a part of this challenge.

Update: The giveaway is now closed: congratulations to Kami! But feel free to continue to leave comments related to the challenge here if you’d like.

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17 thoughts on “The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

  1. I think the key for boys is introducing them young enough. Farmer Boy, esp will be appealing. 🙂

    I just added the heir part to my post. It IS important, and I thank you for pointing it out!

    I will look forward to this again next year! FYI, Harper Collins is great at providing review and giveaway copies. They might help you out a bit next year, if you are interested!

    I esp enjoyed knowing that Almanzo and Laura were so short…It makes sense that their home would reflect that!

  2. Woah! Almanzo was SHORT! (Just one inch taller than me!) I never realized that.

    I still haven’t gotten my copy of The Wilder Life back which was sad because I specifically requested that one for Christmas so I could read it during your challenge! I’ve avoided reading people’s reviews of it until I read it for myself but I’m looking forward to doing so!

    So glad you are hosting this challenge as it really has opened up a whole new reading world for us and challenged us to try something new as a read aloud! Thanks much! Here’s my post (and I would love to be entered into the giveaway.)

    http://www.readingtoknow.com/2012/02/little-house-in-big-woods-by-laura.html

  3. I enjoyed reading all your reviews. I didn’t realize that there were so many books written about Laura or by Laura. I wasn’t able to join in the reading this time but hopefully next time.
    Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful books with us!

  4. I loved this challenge! I didn’t get all the books read that I’d planned to, but I so enjoyed the ones I did read.

    My reviews:

    Little House in the Big Woods – http://bygrace3.blogspot.com/2012/02/book-review-little-house-in-big-woods.html

    Little House on the Prairie – http://bygrace3.blogspot.com/2012/02/book-review-little-house-on-prairie.html

    On The Way Home – http://bygrace3.blogspot.com/2012/02/book-review-on-way-home.html

    Thanks so much for hosting the challenge, Barbara! I can’t wait till next year!

  5. I just found this blog today, through a google search about Laura. I’m so sad I missed the Reading Challenge. Did you know that Beyondlittlehouse.com is going a read-along with These Happy Golden Years right now?

    • I’m sorry, too! I hope you’ll join us next year! No, I didn’t know about the read-along. I do want to read them in order, so I’ll pass this time, but thanks so much for telling me about it!

  6. Pingback: Laura Ingalls Wilder Wrap-Up « bekahcubed

  7. I smashed nearly everything into my wrap up post, so it’s a little long–but I don’t think overly so 🙂 I had a lot of fun re-reading Little House in the Big Woods and doing some activities to go along with what I’d read.

  8. Pingback: More thoughts about Laura « Stray Thoughts

  9. Pingback: The LIW Challenge Giveaway Winner! « Stray Thoughts

  10. Pingback: Book Review: Saving Graces: The Inspirational Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder « Stray Thoughts

  11. Pingback: Book Review: West From Home by Laura Ingalls Wilder. « Stray Thoughts

  12. Pingback: Book Review: Let the Hurricane Roar « Stray Thoughts

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