This is a post in my 50 Nifty series, in which I’m reading through 50 books that embody each of the 50 United States. Find out why I’m doing this and which books I’m reading when (so you can read along) by checking out my first 50Nifty post, or else browse all 50Nifty posts by clicking here!
Little Town on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
As a girl who grew up in the Midwest, I’m surprised that these “Little House” book were not a bigger part of my childhood. I’m sure I read Little House on the Prairie at some point, but don’t remember the rest of the series. This selection was the 7th in the chain, and I wasn’t sure if I’d understand enough of the character relations/previous plot points to follow along, but there was enough background information to keep me informed.
I have to admit, though, that I did enjoy this book more than I was expecting to. Besides some awkward and some would say insensitive details from the time period, I was drawn to the tapestry of prairie (and in this installment, town-) life that Laura Ingalls Wilder wove about her past. (Many questions about this: how much is fiction and how much is based on things that actually happened to her? I’m sure it wouldn’t take long to find out, but I’m already late on this post so I’m going to skip it for now.)
Regardless, it was a great pick for the 50Nifty list, as it painted such a vivid picture of the homesteaders in the late 1800s in the Dakota Territory, as it was known then. It made me wish I’d read these books as a girl. Also, it inspired me to go out for a walk in the woods and notice little things I hadn’t seen before, so I consider that a positive thing!