The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge

I've made no secret of my love of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House, so I was really excited to learn about The Laura Ingalls Wilder Challenge being hosted by Barbara at the Stray Thoughts blog

The Reading Challenge was to read one Laura Ingalls Wilder related book in the month of February (the month of Laura's birth) and to blog about it on the last day of February. I was so excited when I learned about this challenge, not only because it gave me an excuse to read another book about Laura Ingalls Wilder, but also because I always enjoy meeting fellow Little House/Laura Ingalls Wilder fans. So for all the new readers stopping by today, I'm so happy to "meet" you and get to visit your blogs. And for all my regular readers, I hope my love of Little House isn't driving you nuts. I just can't help myself, it's a force beyond my control.

This isn't my first Laura Ingalls Wilder blog post. One of my first blog posts was a book review of The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure. You can find that blog entry here. Then I shared a review of a YA novel called Laura Ingalls Ruined My Life as well as my thoughts on The Long Winter here. And last month I shared what happened when my sister and I put baked potatoes in our pockets on a really cold day the way Laura's extended family members did in Little House in the Big Woods. You can read all about that here.

For this challenge, I decided to read My Life as Laura by Kelly Kathleen Ferguson.



The premise of this book is very similar to The Wilder Life. A life-long fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder decides to visit all of Laura's home sites. Along the way, she shares all the ways that her life connects to Laura's. I really liked this book. I thought it was funny and interesting and I felt invested in the author's journey. But the book does veer off into quite a few discussions of the author's life. If you want a book that is just straight Laura, you might not be such a fan. Personally, I enjoy hearing all the ways that other people connect to Laura and her life story. I loved hearing about the author's attempt to make her own Little House book, titled Little House in the Suburbs. I also attempted to write my own Little House-inspired tale (with my sister's help) called The Long Weekend. We got snowed in for the weekend, and lost electricity and I remembering thinking, This is just like The Long Winter. Except, wait a minute, no it wasn't. Laura and her family had to endure 7 months of blizzards while nearly starving to death and we only had to make it through 42 hours without cable and the worst thing that happened to us was that we ran out of regular potato chips and had to settle for eating the baked kind.

Even though this challenge is supposed to center just on books, I'm going to cheat a little bit and throw in a DVD recommendation. I loved this documentary:




For those of you who are purist and hate the Little House TV show, don't be alarmed by the involvement of Dean Butler with this project, it does not connect in any way to the show. Also, please don't hate me for loving the show. I know they aren't faithful to the book, other than that Mary is annoying and smug in both, and I know that show was ridiculous and not even historically accurate by the end. But I still love it. (Except for that episode where Carrie fell asleep and dreamed she was the size of a ladybug. I'm not even going to try to justify that episode.)

Have you read or watched anything about Laura Ingalls Wilder lately?

Comments

  1. Your read My Life as Laura sounds quite interesting, Angela. Thank you for sharing about how it parallels the life of Laura and the author's life. It was nice to "meet" you today.

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    1. Thank you Dianna. It was so nice to "meet" you too. I enjoyed stopping by your blog!

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  2. I'm glad that you really liked this book based on the story by one beloved author of yours.

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  3. I really want to visit one of their homes that is close to us!

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    1. I've been the one in Mansfield, Missouri and I had a great time!

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  4. Sounds like a fun project. The book sounds very fun and I’m glad you found it relatable.

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    1. I had so much fun with this blog project!

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  5. Great post! I love all things Laura Ingalls Wilder. I only wish I'd known about this challenge earlier. :D

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    1. I think Barbara does a Laura Ingalls Wilder challenge every year. I hope you get a chance to join next year.

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  6. Loved that show. It was just so much fun. So obviously I'm not a purist. LOL

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    1. Haha. I know a lot of people are horrified by the show, but I can't help but love it. The heart wants what it wants!

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  7. I think I mentioned that I recently read a biography of Laura - Prairie Fires. It was quite enlightening. The tv show didn't bother me. It wasn't anything like the books, but it was kind of cute.

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    1. I have Prairie Fires and I keep meaning to read it, but I haven't had time to read a book about history yet (history is a genre that I read at a very slow pace.) I'm hoping to get far enough ahead with reading soon that I can take the extra time to read it.

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  8. Your love for this author equals mine for Jane Austen. So I don't fault you on talking about an author your passionate about. I checked out your post for the baked potato and I found it fascinating. :)

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    1. I love Jane Austen as well. I didn't dress up like her for Halloween or anything, so I guess I love her books less than the Little House ones, but I like to re-read Jane Austen at least once every year or two and I like a lot of the movies as well. I'm always excited to meet a fellow Austen fan!

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  9. Huh. I didn't know there were books about fans visiting the Laura Ingalls Wilder famous spots. Interesting. I used to live not too far from one of Laura's houses. I can't remember the exact name of the town, but it was somewhere between Springfield and Rolla, Missouri, in the Ozarks. I've never visited, but maybe some day...

    Thanks for visiting Shell's Stories!

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    1. The name of the town is Mansfield. I've been there twice, once as a child and once as an adult and I had fun both times!

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  10. Hi.. and thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
    I think I read all the Little House books with my girls when they were growing up. Once, on a family trip, we stopped in De Smet, SD and found the house the Ingalls lived in ( Pa may even have built it ?) but as luck would have it it was closed that day.

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    1. Oh no, that must have been such a disappointment that it was closed. I've been lucky enough to get to visit the house museum in Mansfield, Missouri and I had a great time!

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  11. Thankyou for visiting and leaving such a sweet comment, I hope you will visit again and enjoy some of little adventures through life, here on the Isle of Lewis. Enjoyed your blog post today ans will now follow you with interest.

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    1. Thanks so much for following. I'd love to follow along on your blog!

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  12. Thanks for visiting my blog; I'm sorry comments were closed on my LIW post (that's happened with my older posts; it annoys me but I don't know how to fix it!). Anyway, I enjoyed this post a lot, as a fellow Laura aficionado. Your Long Weekend sounds like a great idea -- I like reading The Long Winter most winters. It helps me feel less whiny when I realize how much the pioneers had to endure in harsh conditions. Like you, I love the LHOTP TV show too. It's full of great memories of my childhood.

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    1. No need to apologize, I just wanted you to know I had read that blog post of yours. I read The Long Winter every year for the same reason. I tell myself "I may have had to clean the snow off my car, but at least no one had to shovel the snow off my bed."

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  13. I've actually never read or watched Little House on the Prairie! A lot of my friends are in love with it, and I think I was sick the week we read it in school (hah), so I'm still a Little House virgin. I feel like I need to fix this!

    Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Haha. It's such a wonderful series. I definitely recommend reading it. I learned so much about history from the books!

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  14. It has been an age since I've picked up one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books or saw the show (not a purest either, I guess). I loved her stories and still remember details from them now and then. I should look up some more about her life including this fun fan story. I love these. I wonder if there is any LIW fan fiction, too...

    Enjoyed the post, Angela.

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    1. My favorite book that tells the story of her whole life is Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Donald Zochert!

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  15. It's always fun to "meet" fellow fans - whether through a blog challenge or a book. So I'm glad to meet YOU - and perhaps I'll have to meet Ferguson as well :-)

    The past couple of years with Barbara's challenge, I've been making new fans - introducing my little ones to (one of) my favorite author(s).

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    1. So nice to meet you too! Thanks for stopping by the blog!

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  16. Thanks so much for participating in the LIW Reading Challenge! I don't think I had heard of this book, so I am glad to know of it. It does sound interesting! I am glad to know of that documentary, too. I loved the show as well - I just had to view it as a separate thing from the books. I have a hard time with winter, even though I live in the South and only have snow 2-4 times a year, so The Long Winter helps my perspective. :-)

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    1. I was so happy to participate. Thanks for hosting it!
      I feel the same way about the show. I consider it a totally different thing from the book.

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    2. I forgot about Laura Ingalls Wilder is Ruining My Life. I'll have to pick that up now and get it. I've read the other books and Dean's DVDs are always great. I met him at the cast reunion in Walnut Grove in 2014. It's nice to connect with another Laura fan.

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  17. I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and read them all when I was younger. The TV show was okay, but as it progressed, I didn't care for it. Maybe this summer I might read through the books again.

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