Little House on the Prairie (Little House Series: Classic Stories #3)

Little House on the Prairie (Little House Series: Classic Stories #3)

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Overview

Based on the real-life adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie is the third book in the award-winning Little House series, which has captivated generations of readers. This edition features the classic black-and-white artwork from Garth Williams.

Laura Ingalls and her family are heading to Kansas! Leaving behind their home in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, they travel by covered wagon until they find the perfect spot to build a little house on the prairie. Laura and her sister Mary love exploring the rolling hills around their new home, but the family must soon get to work, farming and hunting and gathering food for themselves and for their livestock. Just when the Ingalls family starts to settle into their new home, they find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict. Will they have to move again?

The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura’s real childhood as an American pioneer, and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier, and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064400022
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/08/2008
Series: Little House Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 23,330
Product dimensions: 0.00(w) x 0.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957) was born in a log cabin in the Wisconsin woods. With her family, she pioneered throughout America’s heartland during the 1870s and 1880s, finally settling in Dakota Territory. She married Almanzo Wilder in 1885; their only daughter, Rose, was born the following year. The Wilders moved to Rocky Ridge Farm at Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894, where they established a permanent home. After years of farming, Laura wrote the first of her beloved Little House books in 1932. The nine Little House books are international classics. Her writings live on into the twenty-first century as America’s quintessential pioneer story.


Garth Williams is the renowned illustrator of almost one hundred books for children, including the beloved Stuart Little by E. B. White, Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban, and the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

He was born in 1912 in New York City but raised in England. He founded an art school near London and served with the British Red Cross Civilian Defense during World War II. Williams worked as a portrait sculptor, art director, and magazine artist before doing his first book Stuart Little, thus beginning a long and lustrous career illustrating some of the best known children's books.

In addition to illustrating works by White and Wilder, he also illustrated George Selden’s The Cricket in Times Square and its sequels (Farrar Straus Giroux). He created the character and pictures for the first book in the Frances series by Russell Hoban (HarperCollins) and the first books in the Miss Bianca series by Margery Sharp (Little, Brown). He collaborated with Margaret Wise Brown on her Little Golden Books titles Home for a Bunny and Little Fur Family, among others, and with Jack Prelutsky on two poetry collections published by Greenwillow: Ride a Purple Pelican and Beneath a Blue Umbrella. He also wrote and illustrated seven books on his own, including Baby Farm Animals (Little Golden Books) and The Rabbits’ Wedding (HarperCollins).

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1867

Date of Death:

February 10, 1957

Place of Birth:

Pepin, Wisconsin

Place of Death:

Mansfield, Missouri

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A long time ago, when all the grandfathers and grandmothers of today were little boys and little girls or very small babies, or perhaps not even born, Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie left their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. They drove away and left it lonely and empty in the clearing among the big trees, and they never saw that little house again.They were going to the Indian country.

Pa said there were too many people in the Big Woods now. Quite often Laura heard the ringing thud of an ax which was not Pa's ax, or the echo of a shot that did not come from his gun. The path that went by the little house had become a road. Almost every day Laura and Mary stopped their playing and stared in surprise at a wagon slowly creaking by on that road.

Wild animals would not stay in a country where there were so many people. Pa did not like to stay, either. He liked a country where the wild animals lived without being afraid. He liked to see the little fawns and their mothers looking at him from the shadowy woods, and the fat, lazy bears eating berries in the wild-berry patches.

In the long winter evenings he talked to Ma about the Western country. In the West the land was level, and there were no trees. The grass grew thick and high. There the wild animals wandered and fed as though they were in a pasture that stretched much farther than a man could see, and there were no settlers. Only Indians lived there.

One day in the very last of the winter Pa said to Ma, "Seeing you don't object, I've decided to go see the West. I've had an offer for this place, and we can sell it now for as much as we're ever likely to get,enough to give us a start in a new country."

"Oh, Charles, must we go now?" Ma said. The weather was so cold and the snug house was so comfortable.

"If we are going this year, we must go now," said Pa. "We can't get across the Mississippi after the ice breaks."

So Pa sold the little house. He sold the cow and calf. He made hickory bows and fastened them upright to the wagon box. Ma helped him stretch white canvas over them.

In the thin dark before morning Ma gently shook Mary and Laura till they got up. In firelight and candlelight she washed and combed them and dressed them warmly. Over their long red-flannel underwear she put wool petticoats and wool dresses and long wool stockings. She put their coats on them, and their rabbit-skin hoods and their red yarn mittens.

Everything from the little house was in the wagon, except the beds and tables and chairs. They did not need to take these, because Pa could always make new ones.

There was thin snow on the ground. The air was still and cold and dark. The bare trees stood up against the frosty stars. But in the east the sky was pale and through the gray woods came lanterns with wagons and horses, bringing Grandpa and Grandma and aunts and uncles and cousins.

Mary and Laura clung tight to their rag dolls and did not say anything. The cousins stood around and looked at them. Grandma and all the aunts hugged and kissed them and hugged and kissed them again, saying good-by.

Pa hung his gun to the wagon bows inside the canvas top, where he could reach it quickly from the seat. He hung his bullet-pouch and powder-horn beneath it. He laid the fiddle-box carefully between pillows, where jolting would not hurt the fiddle.

The uncles helped him hitch the horses to the wagon. All the cousins were told to kiss Mary and Laura, so they did. Pa picked up Mary and then Laura, and set them on the bed in the back of the wagon. He helped Ma climb up to the wagon-seat, and Grandma reached up and gave her Baby Carrie. Pa swung up and sat beside Ma, and Jack, the brindle bulldog, went under the wagon.

So they all went away from the little log house. The shutters were over the windows, so the little house could not see them go. It stayed there inside the log fence, behind the two big oak trees that in the summertime had made green roofs for Mary and Laura to play under. And that was the last of the little house.

Pa promised that when they came to the West, Laura should see a papoose."What is a papoose?" she asked him, and he said, "A papoose is a little, brown, Indian baby."

They drove a long way through the snowy woods, till they came to the town of Pepin. Mary and Laura had seen it once before, but it looked different now. The door of the store and the doors of all the houses were shut, the stumps were covered with snow, and no little children were playing outdoors. Big cords of wood stood among the stumps. Only two or three men in boots and fur caps and bright plaid coats were to be seen.

Ma and Laura and Mary ate bread and molasses in the wagon, and the horses ate corn from nose-bags, while inside the store Pa traded his furs for things they would need on the journey. They could not stay long in the town, because they must cross the lake that day.

The enormous lake stretched flat and smooth and white all the way to the edge of the gray sky. Wagon tracks went away across it, so far that you could not see where they went; they ended in nothing at all.

Pa drove the wagon out onto the ice, following those wagon tracks. The horses' hoofs clop-clopped with a dull sound, the wagon wheels went crunching. The town grew smaller and smaller behind, till even the tall store was only a dot. All around the wagon there was nothing but empty and silent space. Laura didn't like it. But Pa was on the wagon-seat and Jack was under the wagon; she knew that nothing could hurt her while Pa and Jack were there.

At last the wagon was pulling up a slope of earth again, and again there were trees. There was a little log house, too, among the trees. So Laura felt better.

Nobody lived in the little house; it was a place to camp in. It was a tiny house, and strange, with a big fireplace and rough bunks against all the walls. But it was warm when Pa had built a fire in the fireplace. That night Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie slept with Ma in a bed made on the floor before the fire, while Pa slept outside in the wagon, to guard it and the horses.

In the night a strange noise wakened Laura. It sounded like a shot, but it was sharper and longer than a shot. Again and again she heard it. Mary and Carrie were asleep, but Laura couldn't sleep until Ma's voice came softly through the dark. "Go to sleep, Laura," Ma said. "It's only the ice cracking."Next morning Pa said, "It's lucky we crossed yesterday, Caroline. Wouldn't wonder if the ice broke up today. We made a late crossing, and we're lucky it didn't start breaking up while we were out in the middle of it."

"I thought about that yesterday, Charles," Ma replied, gently.

Laura hadn't thought about it before, but now she thought what would have happened if the ice had cracked under the wagon wheels and they had all gone down into the cold water in the middle of that vast lake.

"You're frightening somebody, Charles," Ma said, and Pa caught Laura up in his safe, big hug.

"We're across the Mississippi!" he said, hugging her joyously. "How do you like that, little half-pint of sweet cider half drunk up? Do you like going out west where Indians live?"

Laura said she liked it, and she asked if they were in the Indian country now. But they were not; they were in Minnesota. Little House on the Prairie. Copyright © by Laura Wilder. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Little House on the Prairie 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 94 reviews.
gallagherKH More than 1 year ago
This is a great series. A must-read for children of all ages. A classic series, that is unforgettable! I remember reading this series when I was about 8 or 9 years old.....I didnt put the books down until I was completley finished with the entire series and as soon as I was done reading them, I started all over again. Now that I am an adult, I am finding myself buying the series again and cant wait to open the first book, and continue reading until the 9th book is finished. Once I am done with that, I am going to start reading the series with my 8 year old twin daughters. Cant wait to get started!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book this sounds fake but it is true. The Ingalls family lived in the vast woods. One day Pa Ingalls decides to move becase he thinks it is too crowded. While they are moving they have to make a new house. They lived on the Prarie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Roughing it out on the wide open prairie. The title of the book is Little House on the Prairie, and the author is Laura Ingalls Wilder. There are many major characters in the book, Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura, and baby Carrie. Pa is also known as Charles he, is the father of the family and Ma also known as Caroline, is the mother. The oldest child is Mary, the second oldest is Laura and the youngest is baby Carrie. The family is heading south, during the colonial period. They end up staying on a dry prairie which just happens to have wolves near by. After they find out there are wolves they find out there are Indians near by also. Will the wolves attack or will the Indians invade, who knows? My first impression of this book was, ¿Oh it will be ok,¿ but, now that I have started reading the book, I think it is rather interesting. The book is exciting and wonderful. I liked the book because it is so lively and vibrant, with lots of details. For example, Laura Ingalls Wilder described the prairie to have tall, long, dry, grass. And a wide blue sky with no clouds in site, just a blazing sun over the prairie. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes the colonial period. The author uses great transitioning words, which makes the book flow really well. She has inspired me with her writing. For example she would not say the bird is blue. She would say the little bird is a shaded of blue, and in the far away distance you can hear the sweet song echoing over the hills and valleys. If you are into long detailed books this is not the book for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have no quibble with this classic book- I loved it as a child. I'm wondering about the cover. That's a photo of Mary Ingalls as an adult. She was only about 8 in "Little House on the Prairie." Why not stick with the Garth Williams illustration?
seoulful on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once more, Pa is restless--too many people, too few wild animals, too many tree stumps on their farm in Wisconsin he explains to Ma and Ma, who loves her hard--working, loving, talented husband reluctantly prepares for the move to the flat prairie of Kansas--Indian Country. We follow them on the difficult journey, learn about the mechanics of building a cabin and a well, share encounters with unfriendly Indians and dangerous animals. One of the best descriptions of life on the frontier available for children. This is my third reading--to a child and now two grandchildren--and it is still a pleasure.
Zommbie1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Growing up this was never really my favourite book and I think part of my problem was the attitude towards the Indians. This time reading it I did appreciate Pa¿s view that they should treat the Indians with respect.What I do like about this book is the quite contentedness with the every day. There is no need to be `entertained¿ something that I think is all to prevalent in today¿s society. I felt a great calm reading this book.I also love Garth Williams drawings in my copy. They are so beautifully done.Laura was a childhood heroine of mine. I wanted to be like her. She wasn¿t always good (neither was I). She had adventures (looking back now so did I). Thinking about my childhood heroines they were often like Laura. A bit of a free spirit. Not ladylike, wanting to be in the thick of things and very curious about everything. That was me.
LynleyS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don¿t think I¿m the sentimental type, so I was surprised to find the Laura Ingalls-Wilder miniseries, which aired on daytime television during one winter school holidays, quite moving.As a kid I read the first in the series, `Little House on the Prairie¿ and if I hadn¿t read so much Enid Blyton I might be a more rounded adult reader, and I might have even read the rest in the series. But I didn¿t. I do remember the image of the rag-doll made for one of the girls at Christmas time and compared what the girls had to my own over-privileged idea of Christmas festivities. I¿m sure it affected me; I was always very careful of my toys. I also grew up reading a whole heap of Mormon books which I asked for at a Church fair. I didn¿t even know they were religious in nature until I overheard Mum joking about my religious bent to one of her friends. I must have been about nine. I stopped reading them after that, but I think I might have been sullied, because I seem to have traditional Christian values despite the fact I¿m an atheist.I¿m sure the Little House series would have a similar effect on young readers. Apart from the underlying Christian tones, the books are full of action and full of the sorts of house-keeping detail that fascinates little girls. I used to play house, constructing floor plans around the base of oak trees with `walls¿ of fallen dried leaves. The idea of setting up a house from scratch on the Prairie of the frontier is satisfying. As a kid I didn¿t understand the bits about the Indians and the wild west and all that. I¿m sure American kids would have no such trouble, but to a kid growing up in New Zealand, a bit of explanation from an adult may be required. That¿s possibly what led to me not reading on. If I¿d understood a bit of the American history ¿ which is not on the NZ curriculum ¿ it might have helped.I¿ll certainly give these books to my own daughter to read, along with a good discussion on history and settlement and native people and making the most of what you¿ve got.
gillis.sarah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd love anything that Laura Ingalls WIlder ever wrote.
goodnightmoon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How simple, and how perfect. Listening to this story, I just couldn't believe how effectively Wilder captured the sense of the times. It is almost too good to be true - I wonder how much is embellished. As a teacher, I will definitely use this book to teach wagons moving west, Indian relations, building a log cabin, etc. Such a clear insight into history.
quaintlittlehead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a classic of children's literature that has an unusual air of distinction about it in the present day and age. It is simultaneously incredibly simple to read in terms of its language use, and yet very complex in terms of the social situation it presents. This book continues the story of the Ingalls family as they move from Wisconsin to Indian Territory and start a new life there. In its depiction of pioneer life, it provides an unparalleled glimpse for young readers into a time in American history when things were very different. In terms of the family and their everyday tasks, the story is quaint, charming, and fun to read, with a dash of humour and love. In terms of the status of Native Americans in the area at the time, however, the story is forthright and hard to fully grasp from a modern point of view. The overall picture of Native Americans in the story is a relatively balanced one, with the family's fear of the local tribes pitted against a couple of instances in which Pa comes to believe that some of the natives are all right. However, the common saying that "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" is uttered by other characters in the story, and it is definitely apparent that feelings during this period were tense. It would be impossible to say for sure whether Wilder cleaned up her portrayal of her family, as they appear to take a kinder view of Native Americans than others in the story, but she does do modern readers a favour by offering an honest look into the difficulties of Anglo-Native relations at the time. The book deals openly with a very sensitive issue, which makes it an important contribution to youth literature. It might simply be wise, though, to guide young readers through their understanding of what is conveyed in this work and how it is appreciated from a modern perpspective, rather than letting children read this on their own and formulate their own ideas about the subject.
momma2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The second in this series was better than the first and the adventures across the on the prairie were captivating. We met Mr. Edwards in this book and I was delighted that the kids liked him as much as I remember liking him. I was pleased with how the book addresses what was happening with the Native Americans at that time, with compassion but also with a healthy dose of fear and apprehension that was probably quite typical at the time. We are excited to start the next book in this series.
EllieGiles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Laura Ingalls Wilder introduces us to the beloved Ingalls family. The family travels from their house in the Big Woods to find a new life in the Prairie. We see deeply into the lives of Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura, and their dog, Jack, as they travel in their covered wagon to find a new home.
ctpress on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Little House on the Prairie was a step up from Little House in the Big Woods - more is happening here, there¿s more tension, funny and exiting and dangerous episodes. Again I¿m fascinated with the detailed description of the pioneer life on the prairie - starting almost from scratch making a house, furniture, fishing, hunting, sowing etc. I¿m impressed with Charles¿ and Caroline¿s ingenuity and industriousness - I love Charles unwavering optimism and zeal in everything he does. The family¿s joy over the simplest pleasures, their contentment with little things - their close relationship with their neighbors - I love Mr. Edwards and his Christmas/Santa story.Settling down in the Indian territory wasn¿t however not the smartest move the family did. Their situation becomes more and more untenable and eventually they are forced to leave the prairie in fear the US Government will throw them out. The interactions with the Indians is interesting. The feelings goes from hostility and narrow-mindedness (The Scots), fear and displeasure (Caroline), curiosity and fascination (Laura) and caution and friendliness (Charles).Of course one has to bear in mind that the novel is a mixture of mainly nostalgic reflection on the past, history seen from the point of view of the settlers and fiction.
themiraclesnook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have to say I went back to my childhood with my latest read. I found this book at the local thrift store. This book was worth more than the 50 cents I paid for it. I read Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have to be honest the last time I read this it was with my mom when I was little. I have to say that I loved this book more now this time around than I did then. I found it hard to put down. I also heard Michael Landon¿s voice when I read the words of Pa. In this book Laura moves with her family to Indian Territory which is Independence Kansas. This book takes you through the struggle of pioneer life. I was reminded of how hard it was to live in that day and time. Laura is such a good story teller. I wish I could have met her and Mary. I enjoy the fact that Laura was so energetic and full of life as a child. Did you read this book as a child? Have you re- read it? If not it is truly is worth a re-read. I give this book 5 stars.
silversurfer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Laura's "voice" jumps out at every page. She makes you feel and experience Prairie life. Just terrific. Full of fun, humor, hardship, suspense and charm.
skeeterbo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I only liked it a little bit because it had hunting in it. I didn't like it because it didn't have much action.
ovistine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another excellent rendition of one of the "Little House" books by Cherry Jones. This one recounts the Ingalls family's trip to the prairie and the building of a house there. Unfortunately, all isn't perfect -- there are "wild Indians" and some issues with territory -- but overall it's clear that Laura loves life on the frontier.
selfcallednowhere on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another strong outing. Not my favourite of the series, but I'm glad it's so popular.
amerynth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although "Little House of the Prairie" is probably the most familiar of the Laura Ingalls Wilder's books (since much of it has been incorporated into the television show and TV movies,) it is still a very enjoyable read. Hardships abuond as the family leaves Wisconsin and builds a new home in Kansas-- where panthers, Native Americans and chimney fires create challenges for them. There is no better look at the lives of early American settlers than Wilder's series of books.
emithomp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Overall, I think this is an exciting story that draws the reader in. Wilder can make a description engaging with simple vocabulary that most children can understand. Most of the story is comprised of retelling of how the days went by. The family was literally out in the middle of nowhere, and yet they were always busy. Modern children can be fascinated by what life was like before cell phones and even television. I found myself especially amazed by the chapter detailing Pa building a log cabin and a barn almost single-handedly with nothing but a hatchet and a spade. However, it must be said that there are a number of unpleasant racial elements to the book. It's a memoir of the time when Manifest Destiny was king, and the "white folks" believed it was their right to farm wherever they pleased. As Pa says on page 237, "When white settlers come into a country, the Indians have to move on." The American Indians are described as smelly (because they wear skunk skins) and scary. However, to a small child who had only heard stories, of course a new kind of person would be frightening. Lack of a common language only compounds the problem. On the other hand, the entire family is saved from malaria by Dr. Tan, an African American who works with the Indians. "He was so very black. (Laura) would have been afraid of him if she had not liked him so much." (191) The story is told from the point of view of a small child who has spent most of her life with a very small selection of people. Of course she's frightened of new things, but she shows the ability to learn. Because of the elements that stress white society over others, I would not recommend this book for children younger than eight. However, it could be used as a valuable teaching tool for older children as they study this period of American history. The book does not apologize for its opinions, it simply states how things were, and that can lead to fascinating conversations. Above all, Wlider's style makes the reader want to see what happens next. When Ma says there's "a whole year gone," (321) it is just as surprising to us as to her. The book could go on forever, and no one would mind. The characters and setting fascinate enough to make up for her shortcomings.
sjmccreary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't believe I've lived my entire life without reading this book. A charming story - autobiographical - about a young girl whose family decides to leave Wisconsin and move by covered wagon to the Indian Territory where it is less crowded. They settle on the Verdigris River, 40 miles from Independence, Kansas in the southeastern corner of the state. It explains how Mr Ingalls built their cabin, the fireplace, the furniture and the stable for the animals. It told about the neighbors who lived near them and came to help when it was needed. It also described a prairie grass fire and how the family worked to save their home from the flames. The references to the Indians, though, were a little disturbing. One of the neighbors states that "the only good Indian is a dead Indian". Although Mr Ingalls chides him for that comment, he is of the opinion that since the white settlers have come, it is time for the government to move the Indians farther west. The book was first published in about 1935, so I suppose it would express views of another generation. I had an illustrated edition, and enjoyed it very much.
sparklegirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really like this book, it is about Laura ingalls as she travels across the prairie.
Crewman_Number_6 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful adventure. I was constantly wondering what would happen next to the Ingalls family. This book is a wonderful and acurate depiction of frontier life.
simss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a family who moves from Wisconsin to Kansas and they build a house on the prairie.My personal experience I have moved all my life because my dad is in the military I have been in over 7 states. and my dad gets stationed here for good.Classroom extensions are have students tell about places they have moved to and things that they have seen.
mj113469 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This a story about a families trip from Wisconsin to Kansas. The story takes place during the 1800¿s, when people were exploring new land and were moving out of the towns into Indian country. The trip was hard for everyone in Laura¿s¿ family because of the bad terrain the family had to cross. The book tells the story about the thought times they encountered while trying to get to Kansas. When they reached Kansas Laura¿s Pa stopped in a spot and said that he would build a cabin right there. I enjoyed this book because I used to watch the show when I was a younger. This book started making me think of how much simpler times must have been back then. This book teaches you how things were back then but makes it very interesting. One could have the students watch some of the shows to help them get a better idea of what things were like. Or a teacher could have older people of the community come a talk to the students of what they remember about those times.